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Banquet of Champions

May 14, 2013 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
THE OHIO Valley Athletic Conference is the largest athletic conference in the nation. It is also unquestionably the finest in all respects. The competition in the playing arena is first-rate, encompassing 50 schools in five classifications, spanning two states. No conference treats its athletes better than the OVAC. Not just for their athletic achievements but for what they also do in the classroom. The worlds of athletic success and academic prowess came together Monday night at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling. The annual Banquet of Champions dropped the curtain on the conference's 70th year of operations. St. Clairsville head football coach Brett McLean was the star of the show, winning the coveted Bill Van Horne Coach of the Year Award. He beat out some 600 other OVAC coaches in receiving the award. That speaks volumes on the job the former Brooke High star did in leading his Red Devils to the state Division IV championship game. But some 40 student-athletes also walked away big winners. They are the ones who were presented scholarships in varying amounts from a host of generous benefactors. More than $30,000 in scholarships was doled out Monday night at WesBanco. That also speaks volumes of what the OVAC means to the Ohio Valley. I have said on many occasions, the Ohio Valley is all about high school sports. And, in the Ohio Valley, the OVAC and high school sports are synonymous. That speaks volumes of what the OVAC is all about. The Banquet of Champions is the Cadillac of banquets. The OVAC is the Rolls Royce of conferences.


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