Penn-Ohio All-Star football game canceled for this summer – OVAC game waiting to decide

Sports

Penn-Ohio wants to hold a special event for the selected players

COLUMBIANA, OHIO (WKBN) – Just like their counterparts with the Mahoning Valley Coaches Association, the Quad County Coaches Association has now canceled the annual Penn-Ohio All-Star Classic football game.  The contest was scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 25th at Springfield Local High School.

Larry Baughman, former Ohio Team director, and current Treasurer for the Quad County stated that the game will be hosted in Ohio next year, skipping the yearly host site rotation.  The game this year would have been the 41st edition of the game.

“We hate to do this,” Baughman said.  “I wanted to hold off to the end of this month.  But it’s been decided.  We want to stay safe.”

The fate of the game was determined in part due to the Pennsylvania game co-coordinators Neil Tkach and Curt Agastinell expressing that they didn’t believe they would be able to hold practices due to their state’s current situation with the coronavirus.  Pennsylvania has canceled school through the end of the year.

“People are out of work, and maybe the board of education from different schools might not let the kids play,” Baughman explained.  “If everything is shut down, you’re not using their fields.  All we need is for one kid to get sick and pass it around.”

The game features players from over 20 schools in the Quad County, representing Mahoning, Columbiana, and Jefferson counties.  The game this year was going to be coached by Rich Wright of Southern Local.

“I was really looking forward to it,” Wright admitted.  “With the seniors being disrupted in the winter and here again in the spring.  I had left my schedule open in June for conditioning and coaching the Penn-Ohio.”

“I haven’t coached it for a long time, I did it in the early 2000’s, and the late ‘90’s, but I was really looking forward to it.  With all the great players we had last year in the area, and it was going to be played in Ohio, so I was looking forward to it.  It was one of my individual goals to coach the game this year,” He said.

The Quad County awards scholarships to players in the association at the game each year.  Baughman pointed out that despite the cancellation, the association will still award those players.

“We’re still going to give the five scholarships out that we were going to award.  We don’t have those names yet,” He said.  “And we hope to do something for the kids.  I don’t know what it is yet, whether it’s giving them a jersey, maybe having a steak fry or something else for them.  Whatever the association decides, but we want to do something for them.”

“Hey, I want them to play,” He concluded.  “This senior class, it’s not right, but they will be able to get up tomorrow and be able to go on with their lives.”

“Instead of sitting here worrying about what we’re not doing, we probably should be worrying about their health and their families.  Those things run through your mind.  It’s just tough all the way around,” Wright added.

OVAC – Rudy Mumley All-Star Game

Another contest in question is the annual OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Football Classic.  The game is scheduled for July 24th at Wheeling Island Stadium.  Local schools in the OVAC include Beaver Local, Crestview, East Liverpool, Southern Local, and Wellsville.

“We are preparing as if it will go on,” OVAC game director Dirk Fitch said.  “Although I have been told not to purchase uniforms or anything like that.”

“Our big thing is that we stay at Bethany and we are waiting to hear from Bethany College to see if it is still feasible.  We’re contacting all the kids that were nominated to play, cheerleaders and the band.  But we are taking it day by day,” He added.  “We are preparing, but I’m not holding my breath.”

The OVAC is similar to the Penn-Ohio contest in that they will need coordination between two states to have the go-ahead to play.  In the OVAC’s situation, they will need to have clearance from both Ohio and West Virginia.

“We’re trying to make it work, but we know in the back of our minds it may not happen,” Fitch concluded.

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