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Welcome, friends, to another exciting installment of “Goal Line Stance” with Scotty Mincher & Super Dave O’Malley, a bi-whenever column that looks deep into the psyche of the Mahoning Valley sports fan. In this segment, we will be combining two of our favorite things, high school football, and alternate realities. Allow me to continue…

The Mahoning Valley, a virtual battleground of football excellence, has produced some of the finest teams and players in the state of Ohio, the quintessential football state. We thought it would be fun to create a theoretical ten team power conference of valley teams based on historical accomplishments, consistency, and current trends. The teams we have chosen are, obviously, up for debate as they were selected by the YSN think cup, Scotty, and myself.
We now present the Mahoning Valley Power Ten…
Austintown Fitch Falcons.  Replacing a coaching legend is never easy, but the 2020 Fitch Falcons exceeded all expectations. They finished the campaign at 7 – 1 while putting up massive offensive numbers, an anomaly for such a smash-mouth football team.  Armed with an enormous student body, Austintown Fitch is a very deep team,  an asset during a pandemic. The Falcons have made 10 division I postseasons and appeared in two semi-finals (86, 92).  The future looks very bright for the Falcons.
Canfield Cardinals.  I asked Scotty what words pop into his mind when he thinks of Canfield football and without hesitation, he came up with “solid” and “consistent.”  These two qualities are building blocks to most success stories, but the Cardinals seem to take it to an extreme.  Rarely experiencing a losing season, 2013 being their last, the Cardinals have averaged over 300 yards of offense per game throughout the past decade.  A team that, simply, does not beat itself, the Canfield Cardinals have made 11 playoff appearances and have won 13 playoff games. They were the 2005 Division II runners-up.
Cardinal Mooney Cardinals.  The absolute crown jewel of Mahoning Valley football (slight alum bias), Cardinal Mooney is one of the most storied football programs in the state of Ohio.  Thriving on huge expectations, the Cardinals have made 29 playoff appearances and have captured 8 state titles.  Mooney has competed in 17 state semifinals and 12 finals.  Nothing more needs to be said.
Hubbard Eagles.  Flying somewhat under the football radar here in the valley, the Hubbard Eagles have done nothing but win. The Eagles have also produced some of the most dynamic players the valley has ever seen, most notably the 2015 backfield of LJ Scott and George Hill.  A breeding ground for Division I college prospects, Hubbard has made 16 playoff appearances. Scotty feels the Eagles’ elusive first state title is in the very near future.
Poland Bulldogs.  The success of the Poland Bulldogs is built on hard work and belief in the Poland system.  Capturing the 1999 Division III state title (one of Scotty’s earliest football memories), Poland has consistently produced hard-working and highly efficient football teams.  The Bulldogs have made the state playoffs 17 times and have won 18 postseason games. Poland has made 3 state semifinals.
South Range Raiders.  South Range has a real “Children of the Corn” thing going on. Relentless and very scary.  As a former Lowellville Rocket, Scotty knows the dominance of South Range firsthand.
In the mid-2000s, and sporting his “The Raiders Just Don’t Stack Up” t-shirt, Scotty watched the Raiders dismantle the Rockets and knock them out of playoff contention.  That was only the beginning. Since then, the Raiders have evolved into one of the true local dynasties with 17 playoff appearances and two trips to the state semifinals.
Springfield Tigers.  Talk about a team that is trending up. The Springfield Tigers have appeared in the last two division VI title games, losing last year’s game in heartbreaking fashion.  There is no reason to suggest they won’t be back.  With the return of QB phenom and Player of the Year, Beau Brumgard, Springfield is poised to claim dynasty status.  The Tigers have only appeared in 5 postseasons, but it’s all about the future for this team.
Ursuline Irish.  As with many private Catholic schools in the state, Ursuline must endure the stigma of unfair advantages.  What is often overlooked is the hard work and dedication that goes into building a winning program. The Irish put in the work.  A division IV power, Ursuline has captured 4 state titles, including an impressive three-peat from 2008-10. With 41 playoff wins, the Irish reached the semifinals 9 times. The area’s best rivalry: The annual Holy War between Ursuline and Mooney.
Warren Harding Raiders.  When Warren Harding and Warren Reserve joined forces in the early 90s they immediately won the state championship. Unfortunately, it was not a harbinger of things to come.
While Harding has consistently produced dominant teams and, perhaps, the greatest running back the valley has ever seen in Maurice Clarrett, the Raiders 1990 title remains their last (they also took the 1974 title).  Although Division I football in the state is extremely formidable, there’s no reason to think the Raiders can’t win another.
Warren JFK Eagles.  The little engine that could, Warren JFK has been a staple in the Division VII playoffs since 1980. The last valley team to capture a state title (2016), the Eagles have made 24 playoff appearances, including 5 trips to the championship and 2 state titles (1991).  The Eagles have also played in 7 state semifinals, making them the pride of Warren.

Well, there you are. I hope most of you can agree on the ten teams Scotty and I have chosen to represent our Mahoning Valley power conference. Then again, disagreeing is part of the fun. For those of you who feel we got it wrong, here are the five teams that narrowly missed the cut: Howland, Girard, Struthers, McDonald, and Crestview. 

This article is for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as an official ranking. Although, we would love to hear your thoughts.