Ironmen picked to defend SEOAL football crown
A poll of Southeastern Ohio Athletic League media indicates the conference's 91st football championship will likely be decided Oct. 9 when the Jackson Ironmen visit the Logan Chieftains.
A panel of eight sportswriters and Internet personnel — with each conference school represented by at least one voter — picked the Ironmen to successfully defend their 2014 title, the key game being in week seven when Jackson and Logan meet in Logan Chieftain Stadium.
The annual poll was conducted by The Logan Daily News.
The poll was close, however, with Jackson (29 total points) edging Logan (27), followed by Gallia Academy (15) and Warren (9). Points were awarded on a 4-3-2-1 basis for first place through fourth, respectively.
Jackson (five) and Logan (three) garnered all of the first-place votes and both teams received all of the second-place votes as well. Gallipolis was picked for third on all but one of the ballots.
Three different teams — Gallipolis (2012), Logan (2013) and Jackson (2014) — have won the last three championships. Jackson unseated Logan as league champion with a 42-7 win last October in the Apple City en route to a 10-0 regular season.
Logan has won 26 conference championships, Jackson 23, Gallia Academy 17 and Warren one. Jackson has claimed three of the last five after Logan took five straight between 2005 and 2009.
The league is down to four members after Portsmouth departed for the Ohio Valley Conference at the conclusion of the 2014-15 school year, and charter member Gallia Academy also leaves the SEOAL for the OVC when the current 2015-16 school year ends.
While the 91st season will not be the conference's last — SEOAL administrators have determined Jackson, Logan and Warren will remain together until one of those three schools finds another league — it will be the last, at least for the near future, with at least four members.
Four schools is the fewest number of members in conference history. The league was formed in 1925 and is the longest-running non-city athletic conference in Ohio.