Zanesville, Ohio has been competing in the AAABA since 1947 and has been represented by the Junior Pioneers since 1955. The city has also played host to 16 regionals, including 10 in the past 11 years.
The Junior Pioneers' most successful season came in 1973. Tom Checkush's squad won the 4-team Dearborn, Michigan Regional despite dropping the opening game to Youngstown. The Pioneers rebounded with 4 consecutive victories against Fort Wayne, Mount Pleasant, and twice over Youngstown (21-6 and 2-0). It was their first--and currently only--regional tournament championship.
In the national tournament that year, the Pioneers placed 4th with 3 wins. Their wins came against New Brunswick (13-2), Washington (5-1), and Brooklyn (9-3) with loses to Detroit (12-5) and national runner-up Birmingham (7-4). Zanesville has finished 3-2 three other times, first in 1954, then 1957, and most recently a strong showing in 2008.
Zanesville has competed in the most Opening Night contests out of any visiting team. The Pioneers had to open against Johnstown in 1960, 1985, 1990, 2000, 2004, 2005, and 2009. The difficulty of winning in front of the large Opening Night crowd is well known to the Pioneers, as they are 0-7 on Opening Night and have been outscored 75-6 in those games. Despite the struggles to win against larger markets, the Pioneers have created one of the best AAABA traditions outside of Johnstown and are a a steady supporter of the tournament.