CENTENARY, Ohio — The OVC victors were indeed the Blue Devils — and so go this year’s spoils.
That’s because the Gallia Academy Blue Devils, in capturing their first soccer league championship in program history, landed a half-dozen spots on the all-Ohio Valley Conference club — which was announced on Thursday.
The Blue Devils, along with South Point, shared the inaugural OVC championship with identical 7-1 league records — as this season marked the first official OVC soccer campaign.
Both clubs, in fact, rallied from two-goal halftime deficits to win by one goal apiece on the other’s home pitch.
Gallia Academy was one of five schools in the league — joined by South Point, Fairland, Chesapeake and first-year program Rock Hill.
Last year, with only three league schools for soccer, Gallia Academy — in its final season as a member of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League — still had four players recognized as all-OVC.
This year, both the Blue Devils and South Point posted four first-teamers apiece, while Fairland, Chesapeake and Rock Hill all had two first-teamers each.
Each squad automatically received two Honorable Mention selections.
For the Blue Devils, midfielder Madi Oiler repeated to the first team, as she was joined by fellow first-teamers Isaiah Lester, Jacob Ratliff and Caden Wilt.
All four first-teamers were seniors, as Lester was a forward, Ratliff a midfielder, and Wilt was the squad’s primary goalkeeper.
Lester was a member of the all-OVC Honorable Mention unit a year ago.
The Blue Devils’ pair of Honorable Mention picks this year were wing Miguel Velasco and senior defender Drew Hall.
For the Pointers, repeating to the first team were Merrick Harris and Jake Helton, as they were joined on the first four by Chris Tatlonghari and Drew Smith.
Tatlonghari had made Honorable Mention last season.
For Fairland, Alex Ward and Jared Wilkes repeated to the first team, while Rock Hill’s first-teamers were Victor Aguilera and Isaac Floyd.
Chesapeake’s pair of first-teamers were Dalton Nida and Cameron King, as Nida notched repeat first-team accolades.
In addition to Gallia Academy’s Velasco and Hall, the other Honorable Mention choices were Caleb Pennington and Ryan Brown of South Point; Sean Harris and Alex Naegele of Fairland; Cole Mills and Jacob Martin of Chesapeake; and Jason Aguilera and Brody Floyd for Rock Hill.
Naegele and Brown both repeated as all-OVC Honorable Mention.
There was no Player of the Year nor Coach of the Year selected.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106