Ohio Valley Conference high school football appears to be back.

Downtrodden overall for several years, the OVC sends four of its eight teams — Fairland, Gallia Academy, Ironton and Portsmouth — to the playoffs this week. The addition of Gallia Academy, which won the league outright Friday night with a 44-0 victory over South Point, strengthened the conference, as did bringing in Ironton and Portsmouth within the last four seasons. The league didn’t often put more than one team in the postseason through the years.

The conference also features some of the area’s premier players. Portsmouth running back Talyn Parker has run for 2,326 yards on 239 carries in 10 games. He received a phone call from Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer last week. Fairland quarterback Joel Lambiotte has thrown for more than 2,300 yards.

RECRUITING ROUNDUP: Wheelersburg boys basketball star Tanner Holden committed to Wright State University. … Huntington High running back Ty Wilcoxon committed to Marshall University. … The Thundering Herd offered Coal Grove quarterback/defensive back Nate Harmon a preferred walk-on position. … Boyd County girls basketball standout Harley Paynter visited the University of Kentucky last week.

Cabell Midland offensive lineman Logan Osburn visited Marshall. … Spring Valley defensive back Tyson Kade received a scholarship offer from the University of Pikeville. … Morgantown linebacker Jestohn Moore received an offer from Villanova University. … Point Pleasant quarterback/safety Cason Payne picked up offers from West Virginia State University and Glenville State College. … Portsmouth Notre Dame girls basketball star Ava Hassel visited Youngstown State University last week. … Ashland quarterback Braxton Ratliff picked up an offer from Morehead State University. … Cabell Midland tight end Zach McCoy visited Penn State University on Saturday.

Gallia Academy basketball center Zach Loveday visited West Virginia University. … Huntington High tight end

Bryce Damous and offensive lineman Max Howell were offered by Arizona Western Junior College, where former Highlander Jadon Hayes stars as a running back. Damous also visited East Tennessee State on Saturday. … Chapmanville boys basketball star Obinna Anochili Killen received an offer from Ohio University. … Ashland defensive tackle Ryan Bryant picked up offers from Lake Erie College, Georgetown College, and the University of the Cumberlands.

Former Fairland track and field standout Jackie Wagner, now at Ponte Vedra High School in Jacksonville, Florida, has offers from Jacksonville State University, the University of New Orleans and Warner University. … Ashland tennis player Parker Clarke signed with Georgetown College. … Mingo Central wide receiver Drew Hatfield visited WVU on Thursday. … Cabell Midland defensive lineman Nevin Ferguson received an offer from Concord University. … The University of Louisville offered Huntington Prep basketball player Jaemyn Brakefield on Saturday.

PANTHERS NEED WRES-TLING COACH: Lincoln County High School is searching for a wrestling coach. The job posting lists a pay of $2,000. For more information, call LCHS principal Dana Snyder at 304-824-6000.

ROUNDING UP: Spring Valley volleyball won the Huntington High Invitational Oct. 20, defeating defending state champion Musselman in the semifinals and George Washington in the championship. The Timberwolves followed that by winning the Mountain State Athletic Conference championship on Saturday. … Fairland golfer Hanna Shrout was named as the Ohio Southeast District girls player of the year.

Fairland golfer Reece Belville was named academic All-Ohio. … Cabell Midland running back Ivan Vaughn surpassed the 5,000-yard rushing mark last week in a Knights’ victory over Huntington High. … Boyd County’s boys soccer team reached Kentucky’s Sweet 16 for the first time in school history and advanced to the Elite Eight. … Ashland’s freshman football team defeated Russell’s freshmen 36-0 in the 67th Kiwanis Bowl. … Logan defeated Winfield 16-0 to win the Mid-Valley Athletic Conference middle school football championship Thursday. … Huntington defeated Barboursville 34-20 to win the Cabell County middle school football championship Thursday. … Ceredo-Kenova won the Wayne County Middle School football championship.

Poca defeated Man 32-16 to win the Black Diamond Conference middle school football championship. … Boyd County won the Kentucky Class AA, Region 6 boys cross country championship as Isaiah Caperton took individual honors. … All 12 Man High School volleyball players made the honor roll last semester. … Rock Hill’s boys and Fairland’s McKenna Pannell qualified for the Ohio state cross country meet. … Gallia Academy and Point Pleasant will renew their football rivalry next season. … Huntington St. Joe’s girls basketball team has just four home games scheduled and none until Jan. 12. … Trimble won the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division football title. Athens claimed the TVC Ohio Division crown.

Source: The Associated Press