In a season where unpredictable weather and games dotted the landscape, a quintet of traditional powers proved to stand tall once again in the unveiling of the Southeast Ohio District Athletic Board’s (SEODAB) tournament brackets.
Both of the Wheelersburg Pirates’ baseball and softball programs, along with the Minford baseball program, the Green baseball program, and the Clay softball program, each obtained No. 1 seeds in their respective district brackets, which were released on Sunday afternoon.
In the Division IV softball ranks, the Clay Lady Panthers, who are 19-1 on the season, will host a sectional final next Thursday against the winner of No. 8 Mowrystown Whiteoak and No. 9 Green. Clay won the SOC I Championship outright by winning its first 12 games of the year against conference play. The Lady Panthers’ only loss was a 5-4 defeat to Valley on March 28.
The Lady ‘Cats, along with South Webster and East, join Clay in the Division IV, Minford I District Bracket. In addition to Green’s matchup with Whiteoak, which will commence next Monday, the Lady Jeeps (Federal Hocking) and the Lady Tartans (Manchester) will also play on Monday, as well. All three units will play on the road.
In the Division IV, Minford II District Bracket, No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 7 New Boston sit as the lone Scioto County representatives in the Minford II side of things. The Lady Titans will host Ironton St. Joseph on Monday, while the Lady Tigers will host Western on Monday as well.
The district semifinals and finals will be held on May 16, 18, and 20 at Minford High School, with the Division IV, Minford I Bracket competitors playing on Tuesday, May 16 and the Division IV, Minford II Bracket units playing on Thursday, May 18. The championship affairs will be held on Saturday, May 20 at 11 a.m. for the Minford I Bracket and at 1 p.m. for the Minford II Bracket. All sectional contests will be at 5 p.m.
As far as the Division IV baseball tournaments are concerned, the Green Bobcats will also host a sectional final behind their undefeated 13-0 mark in SOC I play and 16-3 overall record. Green, who is the No. 1 seed in the Division IV, Southeast II District, will host the winner of Ironton St. Joseph and Peebles on Tuesday, March 9.
In addition to Green, No. 3-seeded Notre Dame (Manchester) and No. 4-seeded South Webster (Glouster Trimble) will host sectional final contests on Tuesday, while Clay, who will try to venture its way through the Division IV, Southeast I District Bracket, will hold a sectional final contest of its own in Rosemount when the No. 2-seeded Panthers take on No. 7 East or No. 10 Western on Tuesday. Matt Miller’s Tartans will host the Indians on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. in Slocum.
The district semifinal and final contests, which will be held at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, will take place from Thursday, May 15 to Saturday, May 17, with the Southeast I competitors playing their district semifinal affairs on the 15th and the Southeast II teams taking to semifinal action on the 16th. Both teams will play for district titles on the 17th at approximately 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
On the baseball and softball sides of the coin, it was business as usual for Wheelersburg and Minford, with each of the baseball and softball units at both schools obtaining no worse than a No. 2 seed in the brackets.
In the Division III softball realm, the defending state champions and the No. 1 unit in the state’s D-III coaches poll received — to little surprise — a home date in the sectional finals of the Unioto I District Bracket. The No. 1 Lady Pirates, who are 17-1, will face the winner of what should be an interesting matchup between OVC rivals in No. 9 Portsmouth and No. 8 South Point, who will play next Tuesday in South Point in a sectional semifinal affair.
Northwest, who joins the Lady Pirates and the Lady Trojans in the Division III, Unioto I realm, obtained a No. 6 seed in the bracket. They’ll play at Eastern Brown next Friday.
In the Division III, Unioto II Bracket, Minford, who holds a 14-2 overall record on the year, will host either No. 7 Chesapeake or No. 10 Fairland in a sectional final contest next Friday.
West and Valley, who are the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds, respectively, will take part in the Division III, Unioto III Bracket. Valley will host West Union in a sectional semifinal next Tuesday for the right to play Piketon, while West will play at Coal Grove next Friday.
The district semifinals and finals will be held at Chillicothe Unioto High School on May 16-18, with each of the two semifinal affairs in each bracket occurring at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on those days. The district finals will be held at 11 a.m. (Unioto I), 1 p.m. (Unioto II), and 3 p.m. (Unioto III).
As with the Division III softball side of things, the Division III baseball brackets saw the Pirates and the Falcons take home the main headlines, with both units obtaining No. 1 seeds. Wheelersburg will host the winner of either No. 8 Oak Hill or No. 9 Chillicothe Southeastern on Saturday, March 13 in the Division III, Southeast I Bracket, while Minford will host No. 8 Sardinia Eastern Brown or No. 9 Bainbridge Paint Valley on the same date in the Division III, Southeast II Bracket.
Joining Wheelersburg in the Division III, Southeast I Bracket is Portsmouth, Valley, and West, who are in the same half of the Division III, Southeast I Bracket as the Pirates are. Valley, who enters the tournament as a No. 12 seed, will play at No. 5 North Adams in a sectional semifinal held in Seaman, while the Senators will play host to the Trojans in what is quite possibly the most intriguing of all of the first round matchups available. Northwest, who is in the Southeast II Bracket with Minford, rounds out the matchups as the Mohawks will travel to Kingston for a matchup against No. 3 Chillicothe Zane Trace.
The district semifinal and final matchups for the Southeast I and II Brackets will occur from May 18-20, with the Southeast I semifinals (May 18) and the Southeast II semifinals (May 19) occurring at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on both days. The title contests will be on May 20 at 11:00 a.m. (Southeast I) and 1:30 p.m. (Southeast II)
For more information on the district brackets, check out the Southeastern Ohio District Athletic Board website at http://www.seodab.org/.