YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – After three weeks of high school football, there are 13 teams still undefeated here in the Valley — four of which are from one conference. In fact, half of the teams in the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference this season have yet to lose.
“We’re going to have to be ready every week,” said Doug Velasquez, Lowellville head coach. “You know every team, every coach has their team ready to go.”
Springfield is no surprise. The Tigers were (9-1) last year and are one of the top teams in the Valley again this season.
But the other three have opened some eyes. Lowellville, Mineral Ridge and Jackson Milton are all undefeated in non-conference play.
Last year, those three teams didn’t have a single win heading into Week 4. They’ve gone from (0-3) last year to (3-0) this year.
“Oh, I think it’s great,” said Nathan Brode, Jackson Milton head coach. “To see these other schools that are starting out (3-0) or (2-1) versus last year and the hardships we all had to go through, it’s just great for the athletes at these schools, great for the coaches at these schools and the people in each community as well. Success is at a high right now for these guys.”
Those non-league wins will also pay off in computer points.
Last year, only one team from MVAC made the playoffs. McDonald ran the table at (10-0) and still didn’t qualify for a first-round home game in Week 11.
Just five wins can get you into the playoffs in Division 7 these days and right now, half of this league is poised to get it done.
“It’d be great,” Velasquez said. “Listen, when you’re in a league, you want everyone to do well, you want to do well. But if we can get four teams in, that’d be great. I mean, every week so far, it’s been, ‘Do whatever it takes to be (1-0) at the end of the night.'”