SEOAL indefinitely suspends operations
By CRAIG DUNN For The Messenger Jun 5, 2017
JACKSON — If someday the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League is ever resurrected, it will either have to include the three members who were left standing or will have to be done with their permission.
As expected, the SEOAL suspended its historic 92-year run during a meeting Wednesday morning at Jackson High School, where building principals — who, as per the league constitution, comprise its Board of Control — signed an agreement in which the three remaining schools maintain the rights to all names associated with the conference.
While the league thus indefinitely suspends operations, it will not officially fold.
Logan, Jackson and Warren high schools are maintaining the rights to the names “Southeastern Ohio Athletic League” and “Southeastern Ohio League” as well as the acronyms “SEOAL” and “SEOL” as their intellectual property.
Those names are to remain dormant and in the possession of the three schools “until such a time when the league is revived upon our own accord,” the agreement reads.
“Anyone wanting to use any of the above names in any capacity will not be permitted to do so without first receiving the written consent of representatives of all three schools in order to waive the above action,” the agreement further states.
Each school will maintain a copy of the signed agreement in their official files and will have them at the ready in case a legal issue arises. Another copy will be forwarded to the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
With membership dwindling with each passing year — the league had 10 members a decade ago but had lost (in order) Athens, Zanesville, Ironton, Marietta, Chillicothe, Portsmouth and Gallia Academy — the three remaining schools made a pact to remain together until at least one of them found membership in a new conference.
That school turned out to be Jackson, which has joined the newly-formed Frontier Athletic Conference along with former South Central Ohio League members Chillicothe, Greenfield McClain, Hillsboro, Miami Trace and Washington Court House. The league begins operations this fall, with each school making a minimum commitment of four years.
The last three SEOAL schools — by agreement, Jackson was included — want to keep all rights to the league names in case there’s ever a chance of once again starting up the league and also to make sure any schools wishing to form their own conference don’t use them.
Formed in the spring of 1925, original members of the SEOAL were Logan, Athens, Gallia Academy, Ironton, Jackson, Nelsonville, Portsmouth and Wellston. Pomeroy joined a few months later but did not play football during the inaugural 1925 season.
Warren joined the conference in 1986.
With Jackson having found a new league, Logan High School is thus the only remaining charter member. Logan has yet to find a new conference for its teams and athletes to participate, however, and starting this fall will be forced to play an independent schedule on an indefinite basis.
LHS administrators have been in contact with most area leagues — including the Mid-State League, Licking County League, Ohio Capital Conference, Frontier Athletic Conference, Muskingum Valley League and the Tri-Valley Conference — seeking membership, but it’s thus far proven to be a fruitless search.
Three years ago, the Chiefs and Lady Chiefs were turned down for membership in the Tri-Valley Conference (along with Gallipolis, Jackson and Warren) when those four schools applied for membership as a group.
Then, early last year, LHS appeared to be on the verge of joining the Licking County League, only to see that 10-school conference decide not to expand after only Logan and Zanesville applied for membership. The league wanted at least four schools in order to expand.
At this point, the above leagues are either not looking to expand or re-align or currently don’t want to include Logan for reasons such as driving distance, the size of the school (Logan is Division I in all sports except for being Division II in football, which has more divisions than other sports), or fear that Logan would be dominant in football, the primary sport in high school athletics.
The SEOAL, which was the longest-running non-city conference in the state, now begins its indefinite hiatus and LHS begins an uncertain time in its long and storied athletic history.
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
- Mr. Ohio
- Posts: 6846
- Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:49 pm
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- Mr. Ohio
- Posts: 6846
- Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:49 pm
I don't think any other current or future conference would want to use the SEOAL name, so that stipulation seems odd to me. Since all the former SEOAL schools are spread out amongst multiple conferences now, I don't foresee a time when multiple schools would want to restart the SEOAL at the same time. Maybe it's just too sad to officially fold, when that is basically what is happening even if called by another name.
- Ground Buck
- JV Starter
- Posts: 471
- Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:18 pm
WOW! I'm sure Paladine will be very happy to know this. That way the league, I would use the acronym but with the article not sure were allowed to even post it on here, can continue to be the oldest league in Ohio. I know he was especially proud of that. I think they acted just in time too cause I had heard that there were several leagues who were unofficially arguing about which one would take over the name.
- Freshman Backup
- Posts: 114
- Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:30 pm
They ain't no discussion. We are now the sole members of this league. We trademarked he name. Those admins from the last three schools need donkey punched. They can say what they want but it's our. We plan to expand with schools who have a certain number of kids per acre.
- Purple Hippo
- Posts: 251462
- Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 8:39 pm
- Location: Logan, Ohio
Sounds like a lot of real small school will be looked at from Northwest Virginia. Not many families in them there hills per acre.
GO LOGAN..The anti-Christ is among us