PDT Sports Writer
The Daily Times has learned another member of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League could be off to a different conference as soon as next year as Portsmouth may be leaving for the Ohio Valley Conference.
The move by the OVC to welcome Portsmouth officials into their next meeting of conference representatives comes as the conference will lose River Valley after this school year to the Tri-Valley Conference. One OVC official, who spoke to the Daily Times on the condition of anonymity, feels the Trojans are a fit for travel purposes.
“There aren’t any other area schools that make any sense as far as geographically for us to have besides Ironton and Portsmouth,” the source said. “…Schools aren’t just going to appear to be ready to go into the league. A lot of the schools around us are comfortable with where they are at.”
The source also lists Portsmouth High School as being comparable to the remaining five schools in the conference. According to OHSAA figures, the five remaining schools have a total boys and girls high school enrollment between 275 and 405 students. Portsmouth High School is listed as having 362 students.
If the Trojans leave, the SEOAL will shrink to four schools — Gallia Academy, Jackson, Logan and Warren — after losing Chillicothe over the summer to the South Central Ohio League. Marietta, Ironton, Athens and Zanesville have also left the league within recent years.
Discussions among OVC officials about adding Portsmouth to the membership have been ongoing for the last few weeks. In accordance with the OVC Constitution, a petitioning school cannot receive more than one no vote and be accepted into the conference.
The longest drive for Portsmouth to a current SEOAL school is Warren, which is 123 miles one-way according to Google Maps. In comparison, the team furthest away for the Trojans in the OVC would be Fairland. The trip to Proctorville is only 51 miles according to Google Maps.
If an invitation is offered by the conference and accepted by Portsmouth, schools such as Ironton, Jackson and Gallia Academy could also be options should further expansion be the conference’s continuing topic of discussion.
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.