Ironmen picked to win final SEOAL grid crown
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By CRAIG DUNN Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
LOGAN — With only one exception, the Jackson Ironmen are a landslide choice to claim the 2016 — and final — Southeastern Ohio Athletic League football championship.
A poll of area media indicates the conference's 92nd football crown will be decided Friday, Oct. 7, when the Ironmen host the Logan Chieftains in a week-seven contest in Alumni Stadium.
A total of 13 sportswriters, broadcasters and Internet personnel (with each conference school represented by at least one voter), as well as other media who follow the SEOAL, were asked to take part in what will be the final poll, which in recent years has been conducted on an annual basis by The Logan Daily News.
The SEOAL will disband at the end of the current school year. Jackson, Logan and Warren are the only remaining members, with Jackson High School leaving the league at the conclusion of the 2016-17 school year to join up with five schools who are leaving the South Central Ohio League to form a yet-unnamed six-school conference.
Jackson hosts Warren in week six and Warren entertains Logan in week 10 in the only other league games.
Jackson, which has won the last two titles, garnered 12 of the 13 first-place votes for a total of 38 points, well ahead of runner-up Logan (27 points) and third-place Warren (13).
The order of finish on 12 of the 13 ballots was Jackson, Logan and Warren, with one participant keeping it from being unanimous by opting to go with a Logan-Jackson-Warren finish.
Points were awarded on a basis of three points for first place, two points for second and one point for third.
Logan has won 26 conference championships, Jackson 24 and Warren one, with Jackson having claimed four of the last six after Logan took five straight between 2005 and 2009.
The league is down to three members after charter member Gallipolis departed after the 2015-16 school year. GAHS joins former SEOAL members Portsmouth and Ironton in the Ohio Valley Conference, which now consists of eight schools.
The SEOAL, which was formed in 1925, is the longest-running non-city athletic conference in Ohio. Logan and Jackson are two of the eight charter members.