COLUMBUS — When you win, and you win in style, it certainly does wonders with those who vote in the AP polls.
On Monday evening, the SOC II showed why it is one of the premier conferences in all of Southern Ohio as the famed league had three of its five units obtain votes from Associated Press sportswriters and broadcasters around the state — with two Scioto County schools obtaining top-10 spots and at least one first-place vote in the process.
With their 3-0 starts to the 2017 campaign, Wheelersburg, West, and Waverly were each able to obtain at least 22 or more votes from sportswriters across the state, with the Pirates and the Senators receiving 109 and 62 votes, respectively, to place inside the top-10 in the initial Division V state rankings.
Wheelersburg, who has outscored its first three opponents (Ironton, Fairland, and Heath) by an outstanding total of 126-9 so far in 2017, has been nothing short of dominant, as those numbers suggest. The Pirates held the Fighting Tigers and the Bulldogs to 100 yards or less in total offense while accumulating more than 400 total yards of offense on its own accord in all three affairs. In each victory, the Pirates allowed less than 50 rushing yards on the ground.
Not surprisingly, those numbers have Wheelersburg as a highly regarded program by state voters across the Division V realm due to the above facts, as the Pirates tied for fourth with Liberty Center in the division rankings with 109 points and received the second-most first place votes (four) of all teams in the Division V realm. That mark sits only behind top-ranked Pemberville Eastwood, who holds 161 points. Canfield South Range and Anna, who received three and two first-place votes apiece, sit just ahead of the Pirates with 118 and 117 total points.
Wheelersburg, however, has some company from its own conference. In fact, West, who is off to its best regular season start since the Senators started 6-0 in 2011 until Bob Shaffer, enter the rankings at No. 9 overall in Division V with 62 points — and a first-place vote — to its credit.
While each of West’s opening trio of affairs have played out to a different tune, the Senators’ results have ultimately been the same as Wheelersburg’s. In each of West’s opening trio of affairs (Fairland, Portsmouth, Coal Grove), the Senators have allowed its opponent to score on the first or second series of the contest, but have come back with a critical scoring drive in the following quarter to alter momentum.
Behind a defensive that has bent, but has failed to break, West has ultimately proven to have a defensive unit that can compete with anybody’s as the Senators have held the Dragons, Trojans, and Hornets to a combined 38 points in three games (an average of 12.66 points per affair). Their efforts, plus an effective ball control offense that includes Dylan Bradford, Garrett Hurd, and Josh Berry, have allowed West to establish a plus-four margin in takeaways in 2017.
In Division IV, Chris Crabtree’s efforts to make Waverly a respectable program have more than paid dividends over the past two seasons as the Tigers, again, have a stout program that features explosive playmakers in Clayton Howell, Drew Kritzwiser, and Easton Wolf. Like Wheelersburg, the Tigers have put on an offensive display of its own as Waverly has already scored 103 points (34.3 per contest) in its first three affairs (Piketon, Zane Trace, and Unioto) during the 2017 season, with the Tigers hanging 44 on the Pioneers and dropping another 31 against the Sherman Tanks.
‘Burg girls soccer remains seventh in OSSCA Poll
When a team remains poised in a critical situation, that poise is likely going to garner some favorable thoughts from coaches around the state.
On Monday, that point rung true for the Wheelersburg Pirates’ girls soccer program as the Lady Pirates garnered two additional votes in the latest version of the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches’ Association Poll en route to maintaining its seventh-place standing in the Division III version of the OSSCA’s latest polls.
Over the past four years, the Wheelersburg Pirates’ girls soccer program has grown into one that can compete with the best of the best.
That fact was proven again in the first edition of the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association’s State Poll, which was released on Monday, as the Lady Pirates collected 36 votes to obtain a seventh-place standing in the OSSCA’s Girls Division III Poll.
Wheelersburg, who currently holds a 6-0 mark to start the 2017 campaign, has outscored its opponents by a outstanding mark of 32-7 in its contests. The Lady Pirates pounded Northwest, 9-1, on Thursday evening and followed that SOC II conference win up by overcoming an early 1-0 deficit to defeat North Adams, 2-1, in another road contest.
Overall, the Lady Pirates sit behind only Cincinnati Summit Country Day, Cincinnati Madeira, Columbus Grandview Heights, Sidney Lehman Catholic, Doylestown Chippewa, and Archbold in the Division III Poll.
Wheelersburg played at Waverly on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The Lady Pirates will cap off the week by playing West on Thursday at 5 p.m. at home and Greenup County (Ky.) in a road battle on Saturday at 12 p.m.
1, Steubenville (15) 3-0 192
2, Perry (1) 3-0 138
3, Germantown Valley View 3-0 119
4, Bellville Clear Fork (1) 3-0 116
5, Poland Seminary (1) 3-0 97
6, Clarksville Clinton-Massie (2) 3-0 72
7, London 3-0 60
8, Cincinnati Wyoming 3-0 55
9, Bloom-Carroll 3-0 54
10, Shelby 3-0 48
Others receiving 12 or more points: 11, Newark Licking Valley 32. 12, Wauseon (1) 31. 13, New Concord John Glenn 27. 13, Girard (1) 27. 15, Oberlin Firelands 25. 16, Struthers 24. 17, Waverly 22. 18, Youngstown Cardinal Mooney 14. 19, St. Marys Memorial 12.
1, Pemberville Eastwood (7) 3-0 161
2, Canfield S. Range (3) 3-0 118
3, Anna (2) 3-0 117
4, Wheelersburg (4) 3-0 109
(tie), Liberty Center (2) 3-0 109
6, Gahanna Columbus Academy (1) 3-0 81
7, Chesapeake 3-0 78
8, Genoa Area 3-0 63
9, Portsmouth West (1) 3-0 62
10, Orwell Grand Valley 3-0 45
Others receiving 12 or more points: 11, Sullivan Black River 31. 12, Jamestown Greeneview 22. 13, Lewistown Indian Lake 18. 13, Marion Pleasant (1) 18. 15, Camden Preble Shawnee 16. 16, Wickliffe 14. 16, Ottawa-Glandorf 14. 16, Milan Edison 14.
OSSCA Girls Division III Poll
1. Summit Country Day School (Cincinnati) 4-0-0 100
2. Madeira (Cincinnati) 4-1-0 79
3. Grandview Heights 4-0-0 76
4. Lehman Catholic (Sidney) 3-1-0 57
5. Chippewa (Doylestown) 2-0-0 54
6. Archbold 4-0-0 41
7. Wheelersburg 6-0-0 36
t-8. Kirtland 1-3-1 28
t-8. Worthington Christian School 2-1-1 28
10. West Liberty-Salem 4-0-0 18
Receiving votes: Elyria Catholic, Columbus Academy (Gahanna), Liberty-Benton (Findlay), Lynchburg-Clay, Smithville