Steubenville to Join ECOL

by Jed DeMuesy on May 3, 2010 at 8:58 am

And then there were 11. This afternoon, the East Central Ohio League added a new member to their ever-expanding league. After a 7-3 vote from member schools, Steubenville was approved for membership in the ECOL, which has now added four member schools in the past calendar year. On the heels of Zanesville, Rosecrans, and Marietta, the Big Red out of Jefferson County will push the ECOL to 11 schools. Upon entry, Steubenville will compete with Dover, Cambridge, Marietta, New Philadelphia, and Zanesville in the Scarlet Division. Competing in the "small school" or Gray Division will be Claymont, Coshocton, Meadowbrook, River View, and Rosecrans. When reached for comment, Zanesville Athleitic Director Scott Aronhalt said that with the addition of Steubenville, the ECOL can now boast a school in all of the major cities in Eastern Ohio. Aronhalt also adding that the travel aspect of including the Big Red wasn’t as big of a concern for his school, considering the rigorous travel schedule that faced Zanesville in the SEOAL. "I think this move proves that the ECOL is interested in having a widespread influence in the state of Ohio" Rosecrans Athletic Director Mike Bullock said. Bullock and Aronhalt also lauded the facilities in Steubenville, with both also adding that the move to add Steubenville will hopefully be a catalyst to add an additional school to the Gray Division. ECOL Commisioner John Neighbor confirmed to WHIZ that the league has sent out invitations to at least twelve schools, inquiring whether or not they would be interested in joining, with the current target being Indian Valley, who left the ECOL after the 2006-07 school year. Neighbor also confirming when the Big Red will join the conference completely will be determined within the next few weeks, but could start competing against ECOL schools in some sports as early as this fall. Neighbor also confirmed that the "crossover game" in football that would allow one team from a given division to play one team from the other division has been made optional, instead of manditory.