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Jonathan Stokes’ record as Wellsville volleyball coach over two seasons was 54-3. In the Friday editions, the marking was wrong.

South Range makes state

CANTON — The South Range softball team secured a 8-4 win in eight innings over Champion in the Div. a place in the state tournament. III regional final on Friday in Willig Park.

Gretchen Bartels provided the winner with two doubles and an RBI. Juli Stachowicz was the winning pitcher with 10 strikeouts, a walk and two runs earned.

Gabby Gradishar conceded defeat as the champion with 10 strikeouts, a walk and four earned runs.

South Range (26-3) meets Wheelersburg in the state semifinals Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

Hiram falls in the opening game

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — No. 21 Coe College scored four runs in the fifth inning and Ellie Thurow took the lead from there by beating Hiram 5-0 in Friday’s opening game of an NCAA Division III Super Regional.

The two teams meet again today at 2 p.m. at Clark Field in the best-of-three series.

Thurow gave Angel Santellan just a single early in the fourth inning. Thurow improved to 14-4 this season with a 1.13 ERA

Coe (36-9) is coming off his first NCAA regional championship since 2009.

Hiram (27-15), playing in the super region for the first time, lost for the second time in his last 12 games.

The serial winner advances to the NCAA Championships in Marshall, Texas.

Schedule for SEC debates

(AP) – Southeastern Conference leaders have been debating what to do with their football plan for more than a year.

Play eight conference games a season with a rival or nine league games with three?

Whether ESPN is willing to pay to air more SEC games will factor into the decision, though it’s unclear how much. With SEC officials traveling to the Florida Panhandle for spring meetings next week, there’s still no deadline for a decision on a format to go into effect next year.

“We have to make a decision, and if we don’t make a decision, is that the be-all and end-all? No,” Commissioner Greg Sankey said in an interview. “But at some point we have to land the proverbial plane. I think we are ready for that.”

Other items on the agenda for the Destin, Fla. meetings include gambling after Alabama fired its baseball coach while an investigation into suspicious betting on a Crimson Tide game was conducted; What better way to prevent, or at least deter, fans from storming pitches and pitches after games? and of course a name, image and likeness royalty for athletes.

The football schedule is the headliner.

The SEC currently plays an eight-game conference schedule with 14 members across two divisions. Each team has an annual cross-divisional rival. In 2024, Texas and Oklahoma arrive to make the SEC a 16-team conference and there will be no more divisions.

Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M and Florida — schools that constantly compete for playoff spots and national championships — favor nine league games per season.

“We definitely want nine at A&M,” said Aggies sporting director Ross Björk. “We expanded for a reason. And people want more SEC content, right? There is clearly a demand, especially in football.”

For some schools with more modest goals, where national titles are sought but not expected, attending an extra game as part of the toughest football conference in the country is not ideal.

Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart has publicly endorsed eight. Auburn AD John Cohen signaled his support for eight while in the state of Mississippi; It’s unclear if the job change has changed his mind.

There are concerns in the conference about playing five away league games every two seasons instead of the current four per year. Home games bring in millions in revenue.

ESPN could potentially help offset that. The SEC’s latest media rights deal with ESPN/ABC begins in 2024, making the station the exclusive home of the conference. Replacing non-conference games with SEC vs. SEC games should bring more value to the network.

Sankey said the decision didn’t depend on how much the network might spend to make it worthwhile for SEC schools to compete more: “It simplifies things way too much.”

One of Sankey’s bosses had a slightly different message this week.

“I’m probably saying more than Commissioner Sankey would have me say, but of course when you go to a nine-game schedule, you have to be compensated for going to a nine-game schedule,” Georgia President Jere Morehead said versus The Athletic Week. “There are still some dynamics that need to play out with our media partners.”

The SEC has more clarity on the timeline than it did a year ago, when it assumed Texas and Oklahoma would join in 2025. Texas and Oklahoma officials will attend next week’s meetings but will not have voting rights yet.

The expansion of the college football playoffs was also in limbo a year ago. That has now been clarified: the CFP will be expanded from four to twelve teams in 2024.

Choosing annual rivals will also not be an easy discussion in a nine-team format.

“I’ve always been a proponent of attending more (conference) games,” Alabama coach Nick Saban told Sports Illustrated earlier this year. “But when you play more games, I think you have to have the three fixed (opponents), right? They give us Tennessee, Auburn and LSU. I don’t know how they got there?”

There is no guarantee that Destin will vote on a new schedule model, Sankey said. All that is required to decide on a model is a majority vote. Ideally, however, the SEC would like to involve all stakeholders in the final decision.

Sankey recalled that former Tennessee AD Doug Dickey once told Sankey’s predecessor, the late Mike Slive, that in the SEC even close votes had to be unanimous after they left the room.

“People will express their views, share their disagreements and then we will vote and life will go on and we will schedule football games and play them,” Sankey said.

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