The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


October 2, 2013

Sectional hoop sites now fluid

As this space predicted back in February, high school boys and girls basketball will be following the lead of sports such as baseball, softball, starting this season.

The Northeast District Athletic Board announced Tuesday morning that all sectional tournament games in all four divisions will now be played in the home gymnasium of the higher-seeded team.

That is the system that has been used in baseball and softball and soccer for years, now, and it has worked without a hitch, for the most part.

After the sectional champions are determined, the district games will be contested at neutral sites.

In addition, Division I will also have blended sectional-district tournaments, whereby a school has a choice between two districts, based on their seed at the drawing.

Let there be light

The following item comes courtesy of column contributor Scott Wludyga:

The term, “Friday Night Lights” has become synonymous with high school football. But for the last several years, the Pymatuning Valley Lakers football team has been playing in a lot of ‘Friday Night Shadows’ on its home field. That’s because the lights at Laker Stadium in Andover Township are the same lights their fathers and grandfathers played under years ago.

The lights are have been in place since 1980 when they were brought over by helicopter from the Lakers’ old home field a few blocks away on Chestnut Street, where they were first installed sometime in the 1960s. The old lights are not reliable, and have gone out in the middle of athletic events on numerous occasions.

“We have not had a game in sometime where all of the lights have stayed on for the entire night,” PV Athletic Director Melody Nowakowski said. “We have even had a whole pole go out and had to continue playing on the lighted side of the field, switching sides on every change of possession.”

An estimated cost for new lights is about $235,000, a large number for a small district on a tight budget. That’s why the Pymatuning Valley Athletic Boosters, along with support from the PV School District, is launching a fundraising effort to “Light Up Laker Stadium” with new lights.

The PV Athletic Boosters supports all 13 high school sports at PV, booster president Laurie Inman said.  And she says the lighting project will help more than just the football team. The long jump and pole vault runways have been moved to improve safety for the football players. And that also enables the field to be wide enough for soccer. “We have a five year estimation on project completion,” Inman said, “but we do not know if the lights will last that long. We are counting on alumni and community support for this project to become a reality.”

Alumni are already lining up to help. An alumni flag football game is scheduled for Nov. 27, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. Former Laker football coaches and Ashtabula County Football Hall of Famers Joe Kearney and Ken Parise have already agreed to coach the former players. The teams will be determined after players have signed up, based on the number of players their ages.

Former cheerleaders and band members have also started signing up to be a part of what is sure to be a memorable night, complete with raffles and a photo booth.

“We want not just alumni but all Pymatuning Valley community members to come out and support this event. Our alumni have a great amount of pride for our school and we want this to continue on to our future Laker graduates,” Nowakowski said.

“The stadium is a gathering place for community, and PV Schools has definitely reaped full value from the current lights,” Inman said.  “It is a necessary upgrade, but it is also about school and community pride. We have a great complex at PV Schools, so let’s work together to put the stadium in line with the rest of our facilities.”

The cost to participate in the flag football game is $25. The deadline to sign up is Oct. 25. Players and participants will receive a souvenir jersey or T-shirt. Admission for the game will be $5 for adults and $3 for students with tickets available at the gate.

You can sign up online at or email or call Laurie Inman 858-3800.

Donations can be sent to:

PV Laker Lights

c/o PV Athletic Boosters

PO Box 954

Andover, Ohio 44003.

Text Only
  • The Final Countdown A Don McCormack column: If you could go back...

    Over the weekend, yours truly had an opportunity to catch on of his favorite, albeit more than a bit cheesy, movies — “The Final Countdown” — which starred Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katherine Ross, James Farentino and Charles Durning.

    April 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: AAC seems A-OK for Edgewood

    For the first time since the demise of the storied Northeastern Conference, teams from Edgewood High School are competing for conference championships this spring.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Schedule:


    PV at Windham (4:30)
    Conneaut at Seneca (4:30)
    Wickliffe at Madison (4:30)
    Niles McKinley at Jefferson (5)

    April 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Waitin’ on a woman...

    Let’s face it — we will never know exactly what a gobbler is thinking. However, we have a good idea of what his motives are during the spring. In one word, girls, he’s waitin’ on a woman.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jefferson flying high

    Jefferson boys track coach T.J. Furman didn’t know what to expect from his young team coming into the 2014 season.

    April 20, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    Jefferson 130, Pymatuning Valley 88, Springfield 75, Southeast 73.50, LaBrae 67, Liberty 56.50, Conneaut 44, Maplewood 39, Chalker 32, Windham 18
    at LaBrae

    April 20, 2014

  • Advantage, Diemer

    Every pitcher wants to get the advantage against every batter she faces. Edgewood lefty Taylor Diemer gave herself that edge and it proved to be key as the Warriors topped Madison, 1-0, Friday at Edgewood.

    April 19, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    Edgewood 1, Madison 0
    at Edgewood

    April 19, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:


    Brookfield at Conneaut (1)
    Grand Valley at Berkshire (10)
    Chardon at Madison (DH, 11)
    Edgewood at Fairport (11)
    West Geauga at Riverside (11)

    April 19, 2014

  • Spartans knock around Dragons

    After being cooped up in gymnasiums for the better part of the season so far, the Conneaut and Lakeside softball teams were just happy to get onto a diamond. Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Spartans toppled the Dragons, 11-2, Thursday afternoon at Lakeside.

    April 18, 2014

Sports Week in Review April 14 to 19
Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video