(7-19-18) Two Ohio High Schools, Lima Central Catholic and Winton Woods, are what you might call ‘caught in football purgatory’. For one reason or another, not of their making, they are both independents. For most sports scheduling as an independent can be handled without sleepless nights, but football can cause a coach and the athletic director to have constant nightmares.

In Iowa this would not happen, the state association sets the schedules with district play, so there is no conference interference to reject a school for membership. While in states like Minnesota and Wisconsin the state association has a hand in helping schools like LCC and Winton Woods find a conference home, including placement.

Ohio has no involvement with conference membership, which allows free movement for schools and conferences with no consequences in adding or deleting members. Which is bad news for LCC and Winton Woods in solving the problems they are facing now and in the future.

An independent school in Ohio has no conference championship, no all conference awards at the end of the year. The only reward is a possible trip to the playoffs, which is rather to accomplish with such a diverse schedule every year.

Taking a look at both schools 2018 football schedules:

8/24 @ Spencerville
8/31 Delphos St. John’s
9/8 Ada
9/15 Toledo Waite
9/21 @ Toledo Rogers
9/28 @ Woodlan (Ind)
10/5 @ Columbus East
10/13 Bluffton (Ind)
10/19 Troy Christian
10/27 Lucas

The first three games are what LCC hopes for in the future, area rivals including NWC members Spencerville and Ada, plus WBL member and a big rival in Delphos St. John’s.

LCC this season will play two Indiana schools, both members of the ACAC, Woodlan is last year’s Indiana 2A State runner-ups after losing to Southridge 15-14 in the championship game.

Add to that two Toledo city schools, who also struggle to get a schedule put together after they were left behind when the TRAC was formed several years ago.

Toss in games with Columbus East, Troy Christian and Lucas (east of Mansfield) and you see what the T-Birds have to look forward too in 2018.

Winton Woods
8/24 Trotwood-Madison
8/31 West Clermont
9/7 Upper Arlington
9/15 @ Thurgood Marshall
9/21 @ Northwest
9/28 Indianapolis (Ind) Bishop Chatard
10/5 Edgewood
10/12 @ Cincinnati Elder
10/19 Columbus St. Francis de Sales
10/26 @ Cincinnati Moeller

For Winton Woods you start the season out with the defending Ohio D III State Champions, Trotwood-Madison. The Warriors take on one Indiana school, Indianapolis (Ind) Bishop Chatard. Add two GCL schools to that list in Elder and Moeller and the plate is pretty full. Last season they played a Canadian school, not this year.

The beefed up schedule helped the Warriors to a Ohio D II state runner-up finish last season losing to Akron Hoban in the state final game 42-14.