TONIGHT PROVIDES the Ohio Valley the social event of the summer season as the Rudy Mumley OVAC Charity Football Classic unfolds at Wheeling Island Stadium.
It is often taken for granted that Ohio rates the favorite tag and will subsequently prevail. Such may be the case again this year.
West Virginia has a quality roster, with a much more big-school flavor than in year's past, thanks to the addition of Morgantown, University and Parkersburg South to the conference.
But you cannot pick against Dave Bruney.
Preparation time is preciously limited for the game. Thus, organization, discipline and a quality coaching staff all come into play.
That being said, how can you go against Bruney and his assistants?
The Martins Ferry head man is 4-0 coaching in the game. He obviously knows how best to meld a collection of individual standouts into a highly efficient team.
I look for Ohio to prevail by a 28-14 count.
One downside for Buckeye fans attending the game tonight is they will be dealing with a virtual sauna, again being placed on the east side of the stadium. The first half of the game, barring rain, is always tough on Ohio partisans. Tonight it could be real nasty if the heat wave continues.
Should the unforgiving heat continue today, or if nasty storms pop up similar to Friday night, television will be a great option.
With all that said, high school footballs season has returned.
SONS OF ITALY
THE ITALIAN Festival is one of the special attractions of the year in the Ohio Valley. When you can draw 100,000 people to an event over the course of three days, it is unquestionably a major happening.
I am not an Italian Festival-goer, but I do look forward to the event for one reason. The week of the festival, the Bellaire Sons of Italy Lodge invites a host of media types to its gorgeous gigs to sample their most recent batch of famous sausage. The Sons treat us like kings and feed us some of the best food you will ever taste.
Such was the case again Tuesday.
Some 18 Sons members were attendance, putting the finishing touches on their 3,000 pounds of sausage for the Italian Fest. Some of the group members are growing long in the tooth, but you will not find a more jovial, generous or friendly group of individuals anywhere. They take great pride in the sausage-making ability, but also how they treat people.
I want to personally thank Sons President Dick Vannelle and Judge Frank Fregiato for the invite and for their unending hospitality.
A LOCAL native who went on to basketball coaching greatness died a week ago. Yorkville's Vince Chickerella died at age 81. He was a coaching legend in the Columbus area.
Chickerella amassed a 202-57 record at Columbus Linden High from 1956-68, winning the Ohio state boys' big school title in 1967. His prep success propelled him to the college ranks, guiding Capital from 1969-78, recording a 179-72 mark an three Ohio Athletic Conference championships.
Chickerella opted to return to the prep ranks, taking the DeSales head post. He rang up a 50-21 mark with the Stallions, winning the Class AA state title in 1987. He ended his prep coaching career with a three-year stint at Hilliard.
Chickerella is in both the state baseball and basketball coaches hall of fame. He was 270-34 as a prep baseball coach. Chickerella was an assistant with Ohio State for four seasons, helping the Buckeyes to the 1965 national baseball championship.
DENNIS WATSON, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Belmont County, has been appointed to the Habitat of Humanity of Ohio board of directors.
A SUPERB prep football staff got even better when Gregg Bahen was officially hired by the Martins Ferry Board of Education Monday. Bahen enjoyed a tremendous head coaching career at Steubenville Central, including leading the Crusaders to a state championship.
KUDOS to the village of Yorkville for its efforts in erecting a new welcome sign. The sign is impressive. One of the major players in it coming to fruition was Blair Closser, who was unable to attend the picture-taking session Monday.
DESPITE 90-plus temps, the Bellaire Chamber of Commerce has set the date for its Christmas Parade. It will be staged Nov. 26 and the theme is "Christmas Times Past."
OHIO STATE appears on the verge of dodging a potentially lethal NCAA infractions bullet. The Buckeyes will not be charged with failure to monitor, a violation of major proportions. Thus, the door is opening for the Buckeyes to slip through with a not too painful NCAA penalty.?Even if such does occur, OSU?Athletic Director Gene Smith still must be handed his walking papers. He has failed to deliver effective leadership.
Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com