New league with a feel to TCL; EOAC embraces many power programs

East Palestine's Parker Sherry is the lone Big 22 recipient in the conference from a year ago.

Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference, EOAC, Football

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Much like the MVAC, the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference takes on a look which many area football fans will recognize. The Tri-County League in its’ last season of 2005 had a similar setup with Toronto filling the spot previously held by Crestview. Four of the teams finished with a winning record last season while two (Lisbon and Toronto) played in week eleven.

More:High School Football previews from other teams

Coming off of back-to-back playoff appearances, Lisbon’s expectations are soaring behind the return of Seth Stokes, Dougie Minor and Cam Summers. The Blue Devils have won 18-games over the past two seasons.

The Red Knights are seeking their fourth straight appearance in week eleven. Toronto’s coach Erik Meek has an inexperienced group which only returns 3 starters on defense. The Fall, Lisbon is hoping to make it a third straight trip to the playoffs. Each of the eight schools have advanced to the playoffs within the last nine years.

East Palestine’s offense is ready for another big season with Parker Sherry, Dominic Posey and Branden Kemp all back in the mix this coming season. Coach Tony Foster has challenged his defensive unit and offensive line to be ready to perform.

Coach Bob Spaite must replace many of his talented Columbiana players from recent memory. He returns 3 starters on offense and 4 on defense.

United welcomes back a plethora of experienced players with 7 starters on offense and 8 on defense set to be in the mix this summer. Cade Wood gained 769 rushing yards in only 10 quarters of play as a junior.

Robert Ramsey was officially named head football coach at Wellsville in mid-February. Ramsey served as an assistant at East Liverpool while being especially close to the program by working closely with the Little Potter organization.

Southern fell five straight games in 2016 before rallying to post wins in two of their final three games to finish the year at 4-6.

Year three of the coach Hadi Hadi-era begins in Leetonia. The Bears return seven starters which includes Roman Ferry (RB/DB), who is healthy and revving to go this summer. A young and inexperienced line may be the difference between Leetonia making real strides towards the upper half of the EOAC.

New League: Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference
East Palestine

2016 ITCL Red Standings
Springfield – 9-3 (4-0)
South Range – 9-2 (3-1)
East Palestine – 6-4 (2-2)*
Crestview – 3-7 (1-3)
United – 2-8 (0-4)*

2016 ITCL White Standings
Lisbon – 9-2 (4-0)*
Columbiana – 7-3 (3-1)*
Wellsville – 5-5 (2-2)*
Southern – 4-6 (1-3)*
Leetonia – 1-9 (0-4)*

2016 Independent
Toronto – 8-3*
*-EOAC member

2016 EOAC Leaders (based off of affiliation in former leagues)
Team Leaders
Scoring Offense
1.Toronto – 40.4
2.Lisbon – 38.3
3.Columbiana – 36.5
4.Wellsville – 31.6
5.East Palestine – 29.5
6.Southern – 17.9
6.United – 17.9
8.Leetonia – 8.1

Scoring Defense
1.Toronto – 17.8
2.Lisbon – 18.9
3.Columbiana – 19.8
4.Wellsville – 21.5
5.Southern – 31.6
6.Leetonia – 34.3
7.East Palestine – 35.2
8.United – 35.3

Individual Leaders
Passing Yards: Parker Sherry (East Palestine) – 1902
Completion Percentage: Mitch Davidson (Columbiana) – 59.7%+
Passing Touchdowns: Justin Miller (Wellsville) – 20+

Rushing Yards: Parker Sherry (East Palestine) – 1035
Yards Per Carry: Cade Wood (United) – 11.1
Rushing Touchdowns: Jason Thompson (Lisbon) – 19+

Receptions: Branden Kemp (East Palestine) – 35
Receiving Yards: Michael Shope (Wellsville) – 625+
Receiving Touchdowns: Michael Shope (Wellsville) – 8+

2016 Big 22 Selections
Mitch Davidson, Columbiana
Parker Sherry, East Palestine

Big games on the schedule
Aug. 25 – Toronto at Shadyside*
Aug. 25 – Columbiana at Western Reserve*
Sept. 1 – McDonald at Columbiana*
Sept. 8 – Columbiana at Springfield*
Sept. 29 – Leetonia at Lisbon
Oct. 6 – Lisbon at Toronto
Oct. 13 – Columbiana at Lisbon
Oct. 13 – Toronto at East Palestine
Oct. 13 – Southern at Wellsville
Oct. 20 – East Palestine at Lisbon
Oct. 27 – Columbiana at East Palestine
*-Non-league games

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