While the Meigs Marauders and Gallia Academy Blue Devils seek to repeat, there is a new-look lineup awaiting the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division golf clubs.
The Marauders — in the TVC-Ohio Division — and Gallia Academy — in the Ohio Valley Conference —aim to repeat as champions, while Eastern, Southern and Wahama will all chase after Waterford for TVC-Hocking supremacy.
Meanwhile, South Gallia and River Valley intend to simply improve.
Those are the storylines surrounding the 2017 Ohio Valley Publishing area boys golf teams, as the conference schedules for the TVC and OVC have been announced.
Once again, while the TVC-Ohio hosts seven league matches with all seven schools in one tilt per week — and the OVC championship is contested in a single-day stroke-play tournament — it’s a whole new format for the nine-team TVC-Hocking.
With triangular matches no longer utilized, there will be three five-team TVC-Hocking affairs per week — from Monday, Aug. 7 thru Thursday, Sept. 14.
There are no Friday or Saturday league matches, as each team will host half of the league on one date and the other half of the division on another.
For example, Eastern, with the Meigs County Golf Course as its home course, is hosting the entire league in the opening week —with South Gallia, Wahama, Southern and Federal Hocking playing the Eagles on Monday, Aug. 7 and Trimble, Miller, Waterford and Belpre facing Eastern on Tuesday, Aug. 8.
If the Eagles are to defeat all eight squads, then following the first week their team record would be a perfect 8-0.
The next team would be 7-1, the next at 6-2, the next at 5-3, and so forth.
Miller — with Forest Hills as its home course — is only playing half of the league (Waterford, Belpre, Trimble and Federal Hocking) the first week (Thursday, Aug. 10), but plays the other half (Eastern, South Gallia, Wahama and Southern) the second week (Wednesday, Aug. 16).
Following the Falcons completing those league matches, their record could then be calculated.
That same scenario is also playing out for Belpre — which hosts Waterford, Trimble, Miller and South Gallia on Thursday, Aug. 24 and Wahama, Eastern, Southern and Federal Hocking on Wednesday, Aug. 30.
The Golden Eagles and Federal Hocking entertain the TVC-Hocking clubs at Oxbow Golf Club, while Waterford does the same at Lakeside Golf Club in nearby Beverly.
The Trimble Tomcats — at Ohio University Golf Course in Athens — also split their hosting weeks, with Wahama, Belpre, Eastern and Federal Hocking invading on Thursday, Sept. 7 and Miller, South Gallia, Waterford and Southern playing there on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
Waterford — the two-time defending champion —will host Eastern, South Gallia, Wahama and Southern on Tuesday, Aug. 15, followed by playing Trimble, Miller, Belpre and Federal Hocking two days later (Thursday, Aug. 17).
There will be four matches played at Riverside Golf Club in Mason, as Wahama (Tuesday, Aug. 22 and Wednesday, Aug. 23) and Southern (Tuesday, Sept. 5 and Wednesday, Sept. 6) will host on back-to-back days.
Wahama hosts Belpre, Miller, South Gallia and Federal Hocking for the first match, while welcoming Trimble, Eastern, Southern and Waterford for the second.
Southern hosts South Gallia, Belpre, Trimble and Miller for its first outing, while Wahama, Waterford, Eastern and Federal Hocking are the other half.
South Gallia plays its host matches at Cliffside Golf Club in Gallipolis —with Wahama, Belpre, Eastern and Southern playing the Rebels on Tuesday, Aug. 29 and Waterford, Trimble, Miller and Federal Hocking making the trek two days later (Thursday, Aug. 31).
Federal Hocking, which did not field a team a year ago, hosts its home league matches the final week of play —with Wahama, Belpre, Eastern and South Gallia on Tuesday, Sept. 12 and Waterford, Trimble, Miller and Southern playing on the final day (Thursday, Sept. 14).
There are 10 total league matches played for each school — and any makeup matchups will be played the week of Sept. 18.
Waterford won last season’s championship with a record of 13-1, losing only at Eastern by a mere three strokes (178-181).
Eastern at 12-2 and Southern at 11-3 were the immediate runners-up, as Belpre and Miller tied for fourth at 6-8 —while Wahama was next at 5-9.
Trimble’s tally of 2-12 and South Gallia going 1-13 were the other two official league marks.
Meanwhile, Meigs captured its fourth TVC-Ohio title in the last five seasons, including only one share — with Vinton County three years ago.
The Marauders went a perfect 42-0 in the division — as a result of winning all seven matches with each individual triumph counting as a 6-0 mark in the league standings.
Athens finished second at 33-9, followed by Alexander at 28-14.
Vinton County finished fourth at 20-22, followed by Wellston at 17-25.
Nelsonville-York was sixth at 3-39, while River Valley — which fielded just three golfers all season — went 0-42.
River Valley — at Cliffside Golf Club on Tuesday, Aug. 15 — and Meigs — at Meigs County Golf Course on Wednesday, Aug. 23 — host the second and third TVC-Ohio matches respectively.
Alexander — at Ohio University Golf Course on Thursday, Aug. 10 — opens the round-robin rotation, followed by River Valley and Meigs.
Nelsonville-York, on Aug. 30 at Forest Hills, and Athens — on Sept. 18 at Athens Country Club — bookend both division duels at Franklin Valley.
Wellston will host the first Franklin Valley contest on Thursday, Sept. 7 —followed by Vinton County playing host four days later (Monday, Sept. 11).
For Gallia Academy, the two-time defending OVC champion, its conference tournament is set for Friday, Sept. 22 at Shawnee near Portsmouth.
Besides the Blue Devils, Portsmouth, Coal Grove, Chesapeake, Fairland, Rock Hill, South Point and Ironton are all in the OVC.
Point Pleasant has no league affiliation for golf.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106