(11-19-21) Schools thinking about an athletic conference change in the future are already taking place, with Swanton considering a recent invitation from the Toledo Area Athletic Conference.

With the 2021 fall season mostly complete, schools are hoping to clarify their conference affiliation for the future. Football scheduling is one of main items facing the remaining members of the Three Rivers Athletic Conference (TRAC), other sports don’t have the roadblocks on putting together a full schedule.

With an exodus of all public school members (except Lima Sr) to the Northern Lakes League (NLL)…the TRAC is left with 5 private school members and the Spartans. The problem is four of those are private schools, two are all boys school and the other two are all girls schools. Which is the TRAC would decide to stay in place as is…you would two coed schools, plus two all-boys and two all-girls…making it like a 4 school conference.

Emails were sent to school administrators of the remaining TRAC members asking for an update:

John Hall, Principal, Toledo St. Francis de Sales

Thanks for reaching out. St. Francis does not have any information to share at this time. 

Matthew Daniels, Senior Director, Toledo Diocese Department of Catholic Education

I have no updates and am not part of any conversation at this time regarding athletic conferences. Thank you for your inquiry.

Three Rivers Athletic Conference

Lima Senior
Toledo Central Catholic (coed)
Toledo Notre Dame Academy (girls school)
Toledo St. Francis de Sales (boys school)
Toledo St. John’s Jesuit (boys school)
Toledo St. Ursula Academy (girls school)

The Toledo area big schools have been in turmoil for several years (since 2011), it first started when the private schools decided to ditch the Toledo City League for the TRAC and leave the TPS schools to fend for themselves. It will take some ‘out of the box’ solutions to solve the problem for the remaining TRAC members, and some give and take for all of them Would the TPS schools ever forgive those remaining TRAC members for leaving?

Independents

Lima Central Catholic (LCC)
Ft. Loramie (football)

LCC, after being kicked out of the Northwest Conference for winning to many titles, remains an independent in most sports. The T-Birds boys and girls soccer teams are members of the single-sport Western Ohio Soccer League, the rest of the sports compete as independents. Being a private school and dominating in several sports makes them very unattractive to some of the area conferences.

Ft. Loramie (football) just went thru the past season as a football independent. The Redskins were left out in the cold this past year when the conference they competed in decided to split and start two new conferences…they were not invited to compete in either one. Don’t look for anyone to take them on as an affiliate member…they have proven to be very competitive since their program started.

Blanchard Valley Conference

Arcadia
Arlington
Elmwood (future)
Liberty-Benton
McComb
Pandora-Gilboa
Riverdale
Van Buren
Vanlue

Northwest Central Conference

Crestline (football only)
Elgin
Hardin Northern
Lima Temple Christian (no Football)
Lima Perry
Ridgedale
Ridgemont
Upper Scioto Valley
Waynesfield-Goshen
Cory-Rawson (future)
North Baltimore (future)

The Blanchard Valley Conference and Northwest Conference seem to be brought together, with a couple of BVC schools deciding to move to the NWCC in hopes of being more competitive. The BVC also lost Leipsic in the past couple of years to the Northwest Conference. With North Baltimore the most recent to leave for the NWCC…the BVC is left with nine members?

It is not unusual for schools to not discuss openly plans for a conference change or move. Sometimes they even make moves without informing every member. How do conferences and schools decide on membership, there does not seem to be a clear way of doing it.

Private schools have a very difficult time getting an invite in the past years to join a public school dominated conference.

Even the Midwest Athletic Conference in the past has shied away from private schools

Before the start of the 1999 fall season, league officials entertained adding Versailles, Sidney Lehman (Catholic) and Lima Central Catholic to the league. Following a vote, Versailles was the only school accepted, and they began competition in the fall of 2001.

One item that might be considered that could help solidify confereences in the future was the doubling of teams in a region, from 8 to 16, qualifying for the state football playoffs, the impact of that should help. In the past many schools and leagues made moves that would support computer points, bringing in another quality school would cut the possibility of a member school moving on…or a school might leave to a league they felt more competitive in.

League changes will continue…it only takes one school to leave to get the dominoes to start to fall.

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