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Sheridan Generals defender lines up against a Tri-Valley Scotties lineman on October 12, 2019

End-of-Year Conference Recap: Muskingum Valley League

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It’s hard to believe, but the 2019 football season is over. For the MVL, there were many surprise teams that took to the top, and then there were some that didn’t quite live up to the hype.

New coaches, upperclassmen stepping up and strong team chemistry were all factors in seeing which teams would be atop the standings this past season. Keep in mind, with the expansion of the league next season, this will be the final year with the original nine teams.

The MVL took some time to take shape. Granted, no one knew who the best team was going to be until week seven in the season. There’s always a preseason favorite, but for the teams throughout the conference, the league didn’t turn out how many thought.

Philo Electrics Casey Munyan celebrates after making a tackle.
Nate Johnson prepares to take the snap in the Generals game against the Pioneers. (Taylor Jedrzejek/WOUB)
The New Lexington Panthers get the ball into the end zone against the Morgan Raiders
Caden Miller attempts to get by a Philo defender
The John Glenn Little Muskies survey the field before a play. (Joseph Hennessy/WOUB)

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Morgan Raiders

Morgan Logo

Preseason Rank: 8
Final Rank: 9

The Morgan Raiders 2019 campaign wasn’t the brightest that they’ve had. In fact, it was a rough that had a lot of bumps, as the Raiders finished the season with a record of 1-9 (0-8, MVL). The one bright spot, however, was a week eight victory at home against Logan Elm. The defense took a stand in the match-up against the Braves, shutting them out en route to a 20-0 victory.

Another bright side for the Raiders is the fact that this team is young. Only losing a handful of seniors, the Raiders will look to have a bounce back season in 2020. Head coach Chase Bowman is trying to establish a culture in Morgan and will continue to do so heading into next season.

As for the overall team, the only way is up.

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West Muskingum Tornadoes

West Muskingum

Preseason Rank: 9
Final Rank: 8

In the preseason rankings, MVL lead reporter Paul Roth said the Tornadoes will have a tough season ahead, and that proved to be the case for West M. The Tornadoes finished the season 2-8 (1-7, MVL) with wins coming against Morgan in week four and Ridgedale in week 10.

Just like Morgan, West Muskingum is among the younger teams in the MVL, which could possibly help the team later down the road. As for head coach Joshua Whetstone and company, the tough lessons learned this season will be taken into next year, with a fresh slate.

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Crooksville Ceramics

Crooksville Logo

Preseason Rank: 6
Final Rank: 7

For the Crooksville Ceramics, although a finish with a 3-7 (2-6, MVL) record was how the season ended, the final record doesn’t reflect how the 2019 campaign went.

One game that stood out was the week two match-up against Philo. Despite losing 49-43, the Ceramics led for a large majority of the game. For many games throughout the season, the Ceramics displayed heart and a “never give up” mentality, just like they did against the Electrics in week two.

As for roster changes, the Ceramics will be losing a healthy dosage of seniors, including quarterback Caden Miller. Overall, although the season didn’t turn out to be completely ideal for Crooksville, the end result shouldn’t be frowned upon. Heading into next season, head coach Casey Vallee will have his work cut out to build a younger squad.

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Maysville Panthers

Maysville Logo

Preseason Rank: 7
Final Rank: 6

The 2019 campaign for the Panthers was average as Maysville finished 4-6 (4-4, MVL). There were definitely some games in the season that slipped through the grasp for the Panthers, most notably, their week nine match-up against Logan.

The 14-12 loss to the Chieftains was additional salt in the wound, as the Panthers lost their last three games of the season.

Just like the lower ranked teams in the MVL, the Panthers are also one of the younger teams, so it’ll help heading into the offseason.

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New Lexington Panthers

New Lexington Logo

Preseason Rank: 5
Final Rank: 5

Although an MVL title or the playoffs wasn’t in the Panthers resumé at the end of the season, this year was a success. That’s the bottom line. The Panthers finished 6-4 (4-4, MVL).

The most surprising reason as to why the Panthers were successful: Kevin Board. Board was in his first season as head coach and he improved New Lex in every aspect on the field. Board brings the old fashion, get in your grill coaching mentality to the team, while also being a “players-coach.”

One big key to the number of wins and losses for New Lex is that they won the games they should’ve won and lost the games they had a good chance to lose. A big key for next year is to win the games that they’re underdogs in.

One plus heading into the offseason for the Panthers: quarterback Logyn Ratliff has one final year. One negative: Christian Vance, the dominant offensive producer, is graduating this year.

After a solid 2019 season, Kevin Board and the New Lex Panthers will look to build on it in 2020.

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Philo Electrics

Philo Logo

Preseason Rank: 3
Final Rank: 4

The 2019 season didn’t turn out to be everything the Electrics had hoped for. Finishing with a 6-4 (5-3, MVL) record, there are many thoughts around the program as to “what could have been?” Key losses to MVL champions John Glenn 21-17 and Sheridan 21-19 answer that question.

Had the Electrics come away with victories in these two big games, they could’ve possibly won the MVL, and definitely made the playoffs. Instead, they depended on a slim chance of making the playoffs heading into a week 10 match-up at New Lexington but would ultimately lose and conclude their season.

The Electrics will also be losing quarterback Hunter Adolph, who was a big offensive component for Philo. Bright side, however, is Casey Munyan will be returning for one final go-around.

A 2020 season will be full of optimism for Philo, to see if they can regain traction as top competition in the MVL.

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Tri-Valley Scotties

Tri Valley Logo

Preseason Rank: 1
Final Rank: 3

For Kevin Fell and the Tri-Valley Scotties, the 2019 season was not up to par with usual standards. Although the Scotties ended up being a top three team in the MVL, they didn’t end up being the best. Finishing 7-4 (6-2, MVL) was not good enough to get another MVL title, which could’ve been the ninth in a row.

A loss to the Philo Electrics at home proved to be the difference maker in the Scotties season. Overall, the season didn’t turn out to fit the standards that have been established over the years in Dresden, and the Scotties will look to bounce back next year.

The offensive firepower punch of Aidan Fritter, Blake Sands and Jordan Pantaleo are all returning for their senior years next year, so look for the Scotties to reclaim the throne.

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Sheridan Generals

Sheridan Logo

Preseason Rank: 2
Final Rank: 2

In 2019, the Sheridan Generals accomplished what was expected of them. Although they lost former Gridiron Glory Player of the Year Ethan Heller, there was no drop off.

Led by Paul Culver III, the Generals finished 8-3 (7-1, MVL) and once again won a share of the MVL. Key victories for Sheridan came against John Glenn as Sheridan won 13-12 and against Philo 21-19.

Sheridan will have team leaders Shay Taylor and Nate Johnson returning for their senior seasons next year, so look for the Generals to contend for the MVL once again in 2020. But as for the 2019 season, Sheridan can go into the offseason with a successful year behind them, and a MVL title to show for it.

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John Glenn Little Muskies

John Glenn Logo

Preseason Rank: 4
Final Rank: 1

For John Glenn, this was the year. The Little Muskies won their first MVL title since 1980, and what a season it was. Many fans around the MVL didn’t expect the Muskies to have such a great leap, but Matt Edwards made sure his squad would be ready.

The biggest win for John Glenn, by far, was against Tri-Valley in Dresden. The 24-21 victory for the Little Muskies proved that they are for real and showed that they are another serious contender in the MVL.

As for the make-up of the Little Muskies roster, it is a senior heavy group, so heading into the offseason, a lot of player development will have to happen if they look to pick up where they left off.

As for now, John Glenn can bask in the glory of being the best in 2019.