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Vernon Smith passes away

sad day now both founders of the COL family have passed , Vernon Father passed away in 1998 i do belive and with out them we would have never been so for all COL players out there please remember as we always. will we all we got

Thanks primarly to the hard work of former Washington Blue Lion and Central State University football player Vernon Smith and his father Elmer Smith Jr., the year 1994 saw the creation of a semi-pro football team in Washington Court House. Vernon had played some semi-pro ball and was eager to form a local team. After a good deal of research and lots of recruiting he was finally able to put together what would become the Washington Cowboys. Concerned over the large geographical size of the areas other semi-pro leagues, he then set out to form a new league with smaller boundaries. The Mid Eastern Football League was formed and began play in 1994. That first season was a great success as the Cowboys finished undefeated and took the league championship trophy. This success caught the attention of several area teams and the league began to grow. The Cowboys success on the field continued, however, they did not capture the league title in either of the next two seasons. The did manage to amass a respectable 22-8 record over the first three seasons of play.
The 1997 season marked several changes in this team. Over the winter months ownership of the team was transferred to Bill Rodgers. Rodgers had served as volunteer in public relations for the Cowboys during the previous two years. Along with the new owner, the team then assumed a new name, new colors, new coaches, new players, and they joined a different league.
The 1997 team became known as the Courthouse Colts, and they became affillated with the Northern Ohio League which included teams from Cleveland,Barberton,Zanesville and Columbus,Ohio as well as Pittsburgh,PA, Charleston WV, and Huntington WV. The competition in this league proved to be much tougher and the Colts finished with a 4-6 record. At the end of the season it was announced that the team was disbanding due to lack of sufficient financial backing.
Semi-pro football disappeared from Fayette County during the 1998 season, however, an effort to resurrect the team was underway. That effort culminated in the forming of the present team. The Central Ohio Lions, with John Ricketts, Terry Feick, and Mark Brobeck leading the way. This team played in the Lake Shore Football League, during the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 seasons. During this time the COL won 4 Southern Division Championships and 3 League Championships.
In 2003 the COL's request to play in the Crossroads Football League was accepted and the Lion's were league champions with a 10-0 record. On January 11th 2004 the COL defeated the Columbus Xtreme in Homestead, Florida to become the MLFN "AA" NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.
During the 2004 season the COL returned to the Lakeshore Football League and posted a perfect league record of 12-0. On Saturday, October 9th the COL defeated the South Bend Stampede 32-20 to become the 2004 LSFL Champions. The COL's overall record for 2004 was 14-0.
During the 2005 season the Lions competed in the MCFL and earned a record of 7-4.
The Central Ohio Lions participated in the UNITED STATES FOOTBALL ALLIANCE League for 2006 along with 19 other semi-pro teams and emerged with a 11-1 record. On January 14, 2007 the COL played the Chicago Thunder for the MLFN "AA" National Championship in Florida. The COL was denied their attempt to repeat as National Champions.