OVAC now at 49 teams
COLUMBIANA — And then there were 49.
The Ohio Valley Athletic Conference membership — effective today — has been reduced to 49 schools as Columbiana Crestview has withdrawn.
The Rebels, who joined the OVAC in November 2016, are focusing on a newly formed two divisional conference in the Youngstown area.
“The OVAC is a great conference and we appreciate what it did for us in giving us a home base when we were an independent school,” said Crestview Athletic Director Paul Cusick.
During its brief history in the OVAC, Crestview won a pair of championships. It won a softball title in 2019 and earlier that school year it also won the 3A volleyball title.
After joining the OVAC as an independent school, Crestview was part of the All American Conference Blue. That is now joining with the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference to form two eight-team divisions.
“Scheduling wise, this (move) is going to create a lot less conflicts for us,” Cusick said. “It just makes more sense for us to join this league.”
According to OVAC Executive Director Dirk DeCoy, the Rebels departure will not affect the classifications for 2020-21. The Rebels had been slated to compete in 3A, so that class will only have nine schools.
The OVAC had spent the 2019-20 school year at 51 members, but Meadowbrook has exited the conference as well. The Colts had let OVAC officials know several years prior to their move that they’d be joining the Muskingum Valley League starting in the 2020-21 school year.
Prior to those departures, and not counting St. John Central’s closing in 2019, the last school to depart the OVAC was East Richland Christian in 2018.