LOGAN — Scheduling high school football games is difficult, to say the least, when only three of 10 are conference games.
Such is the case, however, for the Logan Chieftains — as well as fellow Southeastern Ohio Athletic League members Gallipolis, Jackson and Warren — starting with the 2015-16 school year.
That’s when, for the first time in league history — dating all the way back to 1925 — the SEOAL will be down to four members.
Rather than move the entire SEOAL schedule to the final three weeks of the season, league administrators recently decided to maintain the schedule in its current rotation.
There will thus be one SEOAL matchup per week in weeks six through nine before week-10 Logan-Warren and Jackson-Gallipolis matchups wind up the season.
Beginning in 2015, Logan’s conference weeks are seven (Jackson), nine (Gallipolis) and 10 (Warren). The other combinations are Warren-Jackson in week six and Gallipolis-Warren in week eight.
Six of the Chiefs' seven non-conference slots for the 2015 season have been filled. Logan has added Cambridge, a first-time foe, in week four and has filled week eight with Columbus St. Francis DeSales.
Both Cambridge and DeSales are currently Division III schools. Logan is Division II.
Week six — the slot in which the Chiefs have played Portsmouth in recent seasons — is still vacant for both 2015 and 2016.
Logan and Cambridge tentatively planned to play a home-and-home two-game series in 2008 and 2009 before Logan wound up moving games with Gallia Academy into the week-four slots those two seasons.
Neither Logan nor Cambridge has a league conflict with week four. Cambridge — which, along with former SEOAL members Marietta and Zanesville, is in the East Central Ohio League — doesn’t start conference play until week six.
These will be the first-ever meetings between the Chieftains and Bobcats. Logan will host Cambridge Sept. 18, 2015 and will travel to Cambridge Sept. 16, 2016.
Cambridge will replace Loudonville in week four. Logan and Loudonville have mutually agreed to end their two-game series with Logan’s return visit to Loudonville this fall.
Coming off a 5-5 record in 2013, Cambridge has not had a losing season since going 4-6 in 2008. The Bobcats last made the state playoffs in 2006, when they recorded a perfect 10-0 regular season before losing in the second round of the Division III playoffs.
Cambridge has made just three state-playoff appearances... all of them in consecutive seasons from 2004 to 2006.
Logan and DeSales played eight times between 1987 and 2003, with the Stallions winning five games and the Chieftains three.
A member of the Columbus-based Central Catholic League, DeSales is a perennial post-season qualifier, but missed the playoffs each of the last two seasons after posting back-to-back 5-5 records.
Prior to that, however, DeSales made 18-straight state tournament appearances and won its region four times in a span of five years between 2007 and 2011.
The Stallions won state championships in 1985, 1997 and 1998 and were state runners-up in 1990, 1996, 2001, 2005 and 2009.
DeSales, which has made the state playoffs 22 times, lost to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in the 2009 state Division III championship game and fell to Steubenville in the 2005 state D3 finals.
DeSales will replace Zanesville in the week-eight slot. Cambridge and Zanesville are going to play their ECOL game in week eight beginning next fall, which thus opened week four on the Bobcats’ schedule and week eight on Logan's slate.
Set your clocks: With many conferences (including the SEOAL, starting this fall) having changed, or being in the process of changing, kickoff times to 7 p.m., all but one Logan game begins at 7 p.m. this fall.
The lone exception on the 2014 Logan schedule is week three at Meigs, a game that will kick off at 7:30.
2014 schedule: Aug. 29, Lancaster; Sept. 5, at Teays Valley; Sept. 12, at Meigs (7:30); Sept. 19, at Loudonville; Sept. 26, Nelsonville-York; Oct. 3, at Portsmouth*; Oct. 10, at Jackson*; Oct. 17, Zanesville; Oct. 24, Gallipolis*; Oct. 31, at Warren*
2015 schedule: Aug. 28, at Athens (7:30); Sept. 4, Teays Valley; Sept. 11, Meigs; Sept. 18, Cambridge (7:30); Sept. 25, at Nelsonville-York (7:30); Oct. 2, open; Oct. 9, Jackson*; Oct, 16, at DeSales; Oct. 23, at Gallipolis*; Oct. 30, Warren*
2016 schedule: Aug. 26, Athens; Sept. 2, at Teays Valley; Sept. 9, open; Sept. 16, at Cambridge; Sept. 23, Nelsonville-York; Sept. 30, open; Oct. 7, at Jackson*; Oct, 14, DeSales; Oct. 21, Gallipolis*; Oct. 28, at Warren*
*—Southeastern Ohio Athletic League games
All games begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Cambridge has requested to start the 2015 game at Logan at 7:30.