(4-19-21) Lima Central Catholic (LCC) and Lima Senior will soon have a lot in common. Lima Senior’s present athletic conference the Three Rivers Athletic Conference (TRAC) looks to be losing four member schools to the Northern Lakes League. That move will most likely leave the Spartans and the remaining Toledo private schools looking for a new conference home.

Since 1980 Lima Sr, has been in three different leagues, all three included numerous long road trips (from Toledo to Cincinnati) …there is not to many parts of the state that the Spartans have not played a conference game over the years. It will not be the first time the Spartans have been homeless and playing an independent athletic schedule.

Athletic League Affiliations

LCC has been an independent since the end of the 2012-13 school year after leaving the Northwest Conference (NWC) after a short stay of just seven years. Why did they leave? The reason was concerns from fellow members of the NWC over an unfair competitive balance between LCC and the other nine member schools, LCC submitted a request to withdraw from the NWC at the end of the 2012-13 school year. LCC earlier had offered to pull out of the conference in football and basketball, but that proposal was rejected by member schools.

From 1969 to 1975 the T-Birds were members of the Miami Valley League (MVL), along with Shawnee, which included numerous road trips to the Dayton area.

Before the start of the 1999 fall season, Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) officials entertained adding Versailles, Lehman Catholic and Lima Central Catholic to the league. Following a vote, Versailles was the only school accepted.

Is the Western Buckeye League (WBL) an option for both schools?

WBL Commissioner Kent Smelser in an email reply to SSN on Lima Sr. and LCC situation-

At this point I do not feel the WBL is looking to do any expansion. It’s a very solid league that works well together and I think everyone is happy with the way it stands right now

Speculation was running wild for a time that Defiance might consider a move to the NLL and that would a spot for Lima Sr., in a reply to SSN (4-12-21) –

Defiance Athletic Director Jerry Buti

Defiance HS feels that we are in the best league in Ohio with outstanding member schools that are represented by Administrations, ADs and Coaches that do what is best for student athletes and their programs. The WBL is second to none. Defiance is not looking or going anywhere.

Local options for both schools seem very dim and unlikely…however; a Putnam County League (PCL) type option might work for both schools. The PCL (has no football) presently has eight members, three of them (Columbus Grove, Leipsic and Pandora-Gilboa) also compete in other conferences.

Example: Lima Sr., LCC, Shawnee, Bath and Elida. No football because of the WBL playing a 9 game conference schedule. Other sports, including basketball, could be a part of this ‘secondary’ conference.

There are pros and cons to be examined, but a plan like this is workable.

The pandemic has shown everyone in high school sports that adjustments can be made to fit what works at that time…let us hope LCC and Lima Sr. athletes have the opportunity for some form of a conference experience.