In its first season in the Ohio Valley Conference, the Ironton football team went 6-0 and earned the league title. A preseason media poll, conducted by the Ohio Valley Publishing sports department, indicates the Fighting Tigers are the favorite to repeat as OVC champions.
Ironton received five of the six first place votes, and had one third place vote, giving the Fighting Tigers 46 points in the poll.
Chesapeake — which finished tied for second with Coal Grove and Rock Hill with a 4-2 league record in 2015 — finished second in the poll, earning 41 points and one first place vote.
The Hornets were picked third with 36 points, while Portsmouth was fourth in the poll with 28 points. The Trojans finished fifth in the OVC last season, posting a 2-4 record in their first season in the conference.
Rock Hill, a 2015 playoff qualifier, was picked fifth in the poll with 23 points, while Gallia Academy was had 21 points to place it sixth in the poll. The Blue Devils were 1-9 overall last fall and are entering their first season in the OVC.
Rounding out the 2016 OVC poll are South Point with 11 points, and Fairland with 10. The Pointers were sixth in the league last year with a 1-5 record, while the Dragons went winless in 2015.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.