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March 22, 2012
Morning Journal News


From recent newspaper articles, I would understand that United and perhaps some other schools are thinking about leaving the Inter-Tri County League. Good for them.

I have never been a fan of the Inter-Tri arrangement. The name is awkward and the classification of some schools as "Lower Tier" is demeaning to those schools.

Most importantly the schedule has some odd matchups involving significant out-of-county travel for teams and their fans.

A Columbiana County Athletic Conference would consist of East Palestine, Columbiana, Crestview, Leetonia, Lisbon, Wellsville, Southern and United. During football season this would mean seven conference games with three dates open for non-conference opponents. These games, except for major rivalries, would be played on Friday nights.

Hopefully, some traditional non-conference rivalries could be reinstituted like East Liverpool vs. Wellsville and Salem v. Lisbon. Play those games on Saturday evening along with other games like the annual contest of Beaver and East Liverpool. Other rivalry games between CCAC teams like Crestview and Columbiana and Wellsville and Southern should also be scheduled for Saturday thus giving diehard football fans two nights of pigskin competition every fall weekend. Just think of the crowds.

In basketball and other sports, all the county's schools should be encouraged to compete against each other with the traditional rivalries featured on a separate night to the delight of the real fans. All this means: excitement, no "But-For" league, and no "Lower Tier."

There will no doubt be opposition to any such change and perhaps for some good reasons. But in the end, are you more likely to go the Wellsville at Mineral Ridge game or would you rather buy a ticket to watch the Potters play in Nicholson stadium?

Ashley Pike




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