The seasons come and go. The memories made during those spans never disappear.
It was an intriguing 2015-16 prep sports year within the Ohio Valley Publishing area, one that saw numerous accomplishments come to each of the 10 high schools located within Mason, Meigs and Gallia counties.
There were ups and there were downs to go along with feats both large and small. But, no matter how tough the adversity, the athletes never gave up — which in turn made for some really good stories over the course of the last 10 months.
Being able to look back on the highlights from the 2015-16 high school sports year, five things really stuck out in the tri-county area. And, more importantly, each county was represented in some fashion in those five selections.
So, starting Tuesday, the OVP Top Five Stories of 2015-16 begins a countdown from five to one — with the story of the year scheduled to run in the weekend sports editions of the Point Pleasant Register and the Sunday Times-Sentinel.
There were plenty of options in getting the list down to five stories, but the ones that didn’t make the cut were no less important. In actuality, the quintet that did make the grade simply had more going on around them and had a greater impact at the time.
Next week’s list, however, is next week. Here’s a look at the other great accomplishments from the OVP area during the 2015-16 school year.
— Two individuals and three teams all qualified for the district golf tournament in their respective divisions. Gallia Academy advanced out of its eighth straight sectional, while both the boys and girls teams at Eastern made the school’s first-ever appearances. Logan Sheets appeared in his third district tournament in four years for River Valley, while Levi Chapman advanced out of sectionals for Meigs.
— Gallia Academy won volleyball titles in both the SEOAL and OVC, then captured its first sectional crown since 2004. GAHS also won the OVC title in golf, while the soccer team captured the program’s first sectional crown in over a decade.
— The Eastern girls cross country team won its fifth straight TVC Hocking title and also won the D-3 sectional team title.
— Southern volleyball won a share of the program’s first TVC Hocking title since 2005 after posting identical records of 13-3 with both Trimble and Waterford.
— Eastern volleyball returned to the regional tournament for the first time since 2012 after defeating Trimble (and former coach Howie Caldwell) in the district title game.
— A total of 10 grapplers qualified for the state tournament this winter, including nine wrestlers in West Virginia and Justin Reynolds from Gallia Academy in Ohio. GAHS also produced four district champions, while Point Pleasant earned a trio of regional championships at the Class AAA level.
— The Eastern girls basketball team won its 11th consecutive sectional title while also advancing to the program’s seventh straight district championship game.
— The Southern girls basketball team captured the program’s first sectional championship since 2004.
— The South Gallia boys basketball team won the program’s sixth sectional title this season and have appeared in the district tournament four out of the last six years.
— There were three 1,000-point scorers in the area this year, which included OVCS senior Marshall Hood, RVHS senior Tyler Twyman and SGHS senior Landon Hutchinson.
— Point Pleasant softball advanced to its second regional championship game in three years while also winning its 11th consecutive sectional title. Point Pleasant baseball also qualified for its third straight regional appearance.
— There were four league champions in baseball and softball within the OVP area, which included shared baseball crowns by Wahama (Trimble, Waterford) in the TVC Hocking and Meigs (Wellston, Alexander) in the TVC Ohio. Gallia Academy baseball won its inaugural season in the OVC, while Eastern softball captured the program’s fifth consecutive TVC Hocking title.
— The Gallia Academy brother-sister combo of Pierce and Adriana Wilcoxon repeated as sectional champions in tennis, then qualified for state after winning a play-in match two days after the regional event.
— Wahama softball advanced to the program’s first-ever regional final after an 8-4 victory over five-time defending Class A state champion Buffalo.
— Eastern baseball won its first district championship since 2011, becoming one of three TVC Hocking squads to qualify for regionals. EHS knocked off Belpre and Waterford defeated Trimble in the D-4 district finals, which ended up being an all-TVC Hocking field.
— The Eastern girls track and field team won its seventh straight TVC Hocking title and also claimed its fifth district crown in six years. EHS also accounted for half of the eight state qualifiers this past spring.
— Gallia Academy and Meigs each had two participants in the state track meet at Jesse Owens Stadium. Cory Scarberry and Kassidy Betzing each earned podium finishes for MHS, while the Blue Angels had their state scoring streak snapped at 19 years.
— Mason County produced 29 state qualifiers in track and field, which included six individual regional championships from the group. Both Point Pleasant and Wahama earned three regional titles apiece, but PPHS had one more qualifier than WHS after getting 15 kids to Laidley Field.
The No. 5 story of the 2015-16 OVP sports season will appear in the Tuesday sports editions of the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, Point Pleasant Register and The Daily Sentinel.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.