Southeast girls’ district tournament gets to play at the Convo

Published 2:02 am Monday, February 2, 2009

The Convo has a new tenant. The Southeast Ohio District Athletic Board is planning to take the girls’ district championship games to Ohio University.

In the past the district semifinals and finals have been played at Waverly’s downtown arena. It’s a great facility for the tournament, but this year only the semifinals will be held in Waverly as long as the weather cooperates.

The finals will move to Ohio University for the first time. The future of the tournament remaining at the Convo will be determined on the amount of fan support.

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Ironton is looking to enhance the numbers with tournament tickets already on sale in the high school principal’s office and Bob Linn Sporting Goods.

Tickets are $5 each and fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance because schools receive only a percentage of the presale.

See Page 8 for the sectional pairings for area teams.

Naming the field

Ironton High School is constructing new baseball and softball fields behind the new elementary and middle schools.

Hopefully, this will be the final resting place for the spring programs.

After leaving the high school property to allow Ohio University Southern to build, the baseball field has been rebuilt three times, once at the current Liebert Corporation site and twice at the new schools’ site.

I have suggested twice in the past — once at the Liebert site and once at the most recent site — that Ironton name its field for Mike Burcham, the school’s most successful coach.

With a record of 319-123, numerous sectional, district and league titles, and the school’s only state championship in baseball, Burcham is a member of the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches’ Hall of Fame.

He’s also a member of the Ohio Athletic Directors Hall of Fame and he was inducted into the University of Rio Grande Athletic Hall of Fame for his stellar baseball career.

On a similar note, Ironton football coach Bob Lutz should become the state’s all-time career victory leader this fall. It would be a nice idea immediately after the record win to name the field after Lutz.

Of course, it would still be Tanks Memorial Stadium. Many places have separate names for their stadium and their field such as Marshall University with Joan C. Edwards Stadium and James F. Edwards Field.

Branch-ing out

Former Coal Grove Hornets’ standout Tyler Branch has enjoyed some early success in his Ohio State track career.

Branch, who won the weight throw (56-10.25) and was third in the shot put at the Capital University indoor meet earlier, was eighth in the weight throw at the Penn State Invitational.

At the Ohio State-Michigan dual meet, the red-shirt freshman was fifth in the weight throw and the shot put.

—— Sinatra ——

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.