It was one number difference, but the jersey Wayne High School linebacker Mike Bartram wore Saturday in the North-South Football Classic at South Charleston, West Virginia, was of great significance.
Bartram, who wore No. 9 for the Pioneers, donned No. 8 in the all-star game in remembrance of Wayne teammate Colt Adams, a sophomore tight end killed in a car crash on May 28.
"I wore No. 8 to respect my fallen brother who passed away a week ago in a car wreck," Bartram said. "I called ahead to (South coach David Moneypenny) and told him I'd like to wear eight."
Bartram said he was overwhelmed by the news of Adams' death. The 16-year-old's SUV slammed into a semi on W.Va. 152 about 9 a.m..
"Mentally, I just broke down," Bartram said. "I had to come to graduation and walk through that morning. I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it to this day."
Bartram's last performance as a high schooler before heading to Marshall University was a fitting tribute to Adams.
RECLASSIFICATIONS: The bi-annual shuffle that is the Ohio High School Athletic Association division assignments has some teams from our area moving around.
Fairland, a playoff team last season in Division IV, moves down to Division V where the Dragons will reside with Ironton, Chesapeake, Rock Hill, South Point, Portsmouth, River Valley, Wheelersburg, Oak Hill and others.
Meigs is moving from Division IV to Division V. Coal Grove remains in Division VI. Symmes Valley, South Gallia and Green remain in Division VII.
OVC PREVIEWS: Preview dates and times are set for Ohio Valley Conference football, boys soccer and volleyball teams.
Football will take place Aug. 17 at Ironton, with Fairland vs. Portsmouth at 5 p.m., South Point vs. Chesapeake at 6 p.m., Rock Hill vs. Gallia Academy at 7 p.m., and Ironton vs. Coal Grove at 8 p.m.
Soccer previews are slated for Aug. 10 at South Point, with Fairland taking on Portsmouth at 6 p.m., Rock Hill playing Gallia Academy at 7 p.m. and South Point entertaining Chesapeake at 8 p.m.
Volleyball previews are scheduled for Aug. 16 at Ironton, with Fairland vs. Portsmouth at 5 p.m., South Point vs. Chesapeake at 6 p.m., Rock Hill taking on Gallia Academy at 7 p.m., and Ironton vs. Coal Grove at 8 p.m.
The girls soccer preview combines OVC and Southern Ohio Conference schools Aug. 10 at Portsmouth West. At 10 a.m., Rock Hill plays Piketon, followed at 11 a.m. by South Point vs. Wheelersburg. At noon, Fairland takes on Northwest. At 1 p.m., Chesapeake goes against Minford. At 2 p.m. Ironton St. Joe plays Portsmouth West.
RECRUITING ROUNDUP: Former Huntington High basketball standout John Dawson signed with West Virginia State University. ... Huntington St. Joe girls basketball player Hannah Roberts received an offer from the University of Pikeville. ... Cabell Midland tight end Zach McCoy picked up an offer from West Liberty University. ... Ironton linebacker Reid Carrico was offered by Northwestern University, Clemson University and the University of Alabama. ... Fairmont Senior basketball star Zyon Dobbs committed to James Madison University. ... Tolsia baseball standout Austin Bailey signed with Alice Lloyd College. ... Ashland offensive lineman John Stone picked up an offer from lake Erie College. ... Jacob Hutchison, an offensive lineman from Spring Valley, was offered by Concord University.
NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES: Former Russell tennis star Maci Russell was named the Midway University female student-athlete of the year. ... Rowan County's A.J. Hacker was named Kentucky's Mr. Baseball. ... Fairviews boys basketball head coach Derek Cooksey resigned to become an assistant at Russell under new coach Tom Barrick. Former Fairview girls coach Rick Griffith also has joined Barrick's staff. ... Former Minford baseball star Dylan Shockley of the University of Rio Grande was a 34th-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. ... Shockley's teammate, former Spring Valley standout Zack Harvey, was named second-team NAI All-American. ... Former South Gallia athlete Alexis Johnson-Schoolcraft of Rio Grande was named a NAIA scholar-athlete. ... David Greene resigned as baseball coach at Ashland.