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Southern and Eastern line up across from eachother during their game on Saturday
Southern and Eastern line up across from each other during their game in Week 10. (Nick Henthorn/WOUB)

End-of-Year Conference Recap: TVC-Hocking

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The 2019 high school football season is reaching its conclusion, and for every TVC-Hocking team, that time has already passed. Three Hocking teams made it to the playoffs this season in another exciting season within the conference.

Trimble High Schools Sawyer Koons (42) tries to break tackles during a game between Trimble and South Gallia High School on Sept. 20, 2019, in Glouster, Ohio. (Charles Hatcher/ WOUB)
Southern QB Gage Shuler awaits the snap
The Lancers find the open field for a run
South Gallia High Schools Tristan Saber (14) hands the ball off during a game between Trimble and South Gallia High School on Sept. 20, 2019, in Glouster, Ohio. (Charles Hatcher/ WOUB)
Mason Dishong looks on during the Eagles' game against the Southern Tornadoes. (Nick Henthorn/WOUB)
Joseph Pantelidis stands ready on defense during the Wildcats game against the Trimble Tomats. Photo: Nick Henthorn
Trimble High Schools Garett Richards (72) celebrates a touchdown with Todd Fouts (5) during a game between Trimble and South Gallia High School on Sept. 20, 2019, in Glouster, Ohio. (Charles Hatcher/ WOUB)

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Federal Hocking Lancers (1-9, 0-8)

Preseason ranking: 8
Final ranking: 9

Federal Hocking was able to snap their long losing streak in week one of the season, with a victory over Hundred (WV) 28-20. Unfortunately they weren’t able to win any of their next five games of the season. After the Lancers 42-12 loss to Belpre, the Lancers forfeited the remaining four games of their season due to a lack of players. Snapping the losing streak is a step in the right direction for Fed Hock, who will be looking to win a conference game if they field a team next season.

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South Gallia Rebels (1-9, 1-7)

Preseason ranking:6
Final ranking: 8

It was another tough season for South Gallia, ending with only one victory all season. The Rebels defeated Federal Hocking 44-0 in week three of the season. Close losses were the story of their season, as in weeks eight and nine the Rebels fell by a combined seven points to Miller and Wahama. They also lost by only two points in the first week of the season to Symmes Valley, a team that would end the season 9-2 with a playoff berth. Expectations were higher for Kyle Northup and company, but they weren’t able to find more than one victory this season.

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Miller Falcons (4-6, 2-6)

Miller Logo

Preseason ranking: 7
Final ranking: 7

Our lead reporter Sam Wiesneth nailed this prediction on where Miller would finish in the conference. Miller improved on a 3-7 2018 season with a 4-6 mark in 2019. The Falcons started the season with a 28-25 victory over Beallsville and ended the year with wins over South Gallia and Fairfield Christian Academy. The middle of their season was difficult with their only victory in between those games coming against Dohn Community. The Falcons might only have beaten one conference foe, but because of the forfeit against Federal Hocking, the Falcons had a final conference record of 2-6.

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Wahama White Falcons (3-7, 3-5)

Wahama Logo

Preseason ranking: 9
Final ranking: 6

Wahama surpassed expectations given during the preseason by the largest margin of anybody in the conference. Wahama took down Federal Hocking, South Gallia, and Miller, en route to a 3-5 conference record in the Hocking this season. Their success in close games was the difference, as the White Falcons beat Miller by four points and South Gallia by six. Wahama did fall in both of their games against opponents from West Virginia. Grabbing victories over in-state foes is the next step in the development of the White Falcon program as they leave the Hocking for the Little Kanawha Conference next year.

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Southern Tornadoes (5-5, 4-4)

Preseason ranking: 5
Final ranking: 5

Another correct preseason prediction, this time it comes in the middle of the pack. Southern played to their expectations perfectly. The Tornadoes beat every team picked below them and lost to every team picked above them in the preseason rankings. Thanks in no small part to running back Trey McNickle, the Tornadoes were able to remain competitive after losing Logan Drummer to graduation. Nobody sets their expectations to finish .500 in conference play and overall, but this season should be viewed as a success for Southern.

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Belpre Golden Eagles (5-5, 5-3)

Preseason ranking: 3
Final ranking: 4

The Golden Eagles were making a playoff push for most of the season, but fell off with losses to Warren, Eastern, and Waterford to end the season. The most impressive performance from the Golden Eagles might’ve actually come in a loss. Belpre hung with Fort Frye, a team that went unbeaten during the regular season, for over a half. Despite starting 0-2 against Fort Frye and Trimble, Belpre bounced back with five straight 20+ point victories. Despite stumbling out of the gate and during the end of the season, Belpre flashed some major potential to compete with some of the top teams in the conference and outside of it this season.

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Eastern Eagles (8-3, 6-2)

Preseason ranking: 4
Final ranking: 3

Eastern was able to snap their playoff drought that lasted since 2001 this season in dominating fashion. Needing a victory over Southern to make the playoffs, Eastern left zero doubt in a 63-6 blowout. After that win, the Eagles fell to Newark Catholic 35-7, but that doesn’t put a damper on a historic season. Eastern has both of their running backs, Steve Fitzgerald and Blake Newland, returning next season. With those guys and more returning, Eastern should be looking for another playoff run in the 2020 season.

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Waterford Wildcats (9-3, 7-1)

Preseason ranking: 2
Final ranking: 2

Waterford lost three games this season to teams that went a combined 29-1 during the regular season. That’s some stiff competition. When the Wildcats weren’t taking on those foes, they were dominant. Waterford won six games by double digits and held on for wins against Belpre 24-19 and Wahama 28-22. The Wildcats also were able to win a playoff game for a second straight season, defeating Shenandoah 48-30 in the first round. I’d expect Waterford to be near the top of the Hocking once again in 2020 with players like Holden Dailey back.

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Trimble Tomcats (11-1, 8-0)

Preseason ranking: 1
Final ranking: 1

The Tomcats had another dominating season in 2019, but they weren’t able to complete their ultimate goal of winning a state title. A 10-0 regular season and another TVC-Hocking title will have to do for the Tomcat senior group who have finished their historic run in Glouster. These seniors, including Sawyer Koons, Conner Wright and others will be severely missed but Trimble seems to always find a way to replace them. I wouldn’t be expecting a regular season where the Tomcats give up SIX total points next season, but another TVC-Hocking title and playoff appearance should always be the goal.