PREP FOOTBALL Just talk, but SVC growth possible
At least seven schools have been mentioned as candidates for expansion.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- The rumors have started.
Since the members of the Steel Valley Conference voted to keep the league together on Tuesday, several schools have been mentioned as possible members.
Campbell Memorial, Warren Kennedy, Chaney, the future Youngstown consolidated school, East Liverpool and Steubenville are the most likely candidates.
Most of it is just talk. So far.
"We haven't discussed anything yet, but it's something we will be discussing," City Series commissioner John Tullio said. "We're happy to hear the Steel Valley is interested in us."
Tullio said he would also ask SVC members if they would be interesting in joining the City Series.
"The first thing we would want to do is sit down with all parties and discuss things," Tullio, who has been contacted by the SVC, said. "We're open to all options and we've been looking at other options on our own."
Tullio declined to say what the other options were.
Campbell and Warren JFK
Kennedy High officials had not been formally contacted by Thursday, but athletic director John Gillen said the Eagles would also be open to SVC membership -- just not in football.
"We would be interested in meeting with them to talk about things," Gillen said. "But before we did anything, I'd have to talk with the coaches and my principal."
Warren JFK and Campbell Memorial were previously in the Mahoning Valley Conference and have been independent since 1993. JFK tried to join the SVC in the early 1990s in all sports except football but was turned down.
Campbell Memorial athletic director Ed Rozum said the Red Devils also might be interested in joining in non-football sports.
"They're too large for us in football, but we do play a lot of them in other sports," Rozum, who has not been contacted by the SVC, said. "It's something we'll talk about with our coaches and administrators."
Gillen said JFK would welcome Campbell, but has some reservations about East Liverpool and Steubenville because of increased travel time.
"That's always an issue," he said.
Steubenville and East Liverpool
Steubenville and East Liverpool have not been contacted, but both schools were involved in discussions with Warren Harding last spring. Warren athletic director Paul Trina tried to organize an All-American Football Conference, but could not generate enough commitments and the idea was scrapped.
"I'd have to talk to [the SVC] first, but off the top of my head, I'd say we'd be interested," Steubenville athletic director Reno Saccoccia said.
East Liverpool would also be interested, athletic director Donald Rogers said. The Potters and Big Red both belong to the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference.
"We're always open to discussion because we'd like to get into some kind of league," Rogers said. "There aren't that many teams who are independent and believe me, we've checked around. So far, nothing has worked out."