(10-20-22) First some background on soccer that might be helpful.

Two Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) schools have girls soccer teams-Delphos St. John’s and Coldwater…both also have girls volleyball teams. Both are members of the single-sport Western Ohio Soccer League (WOSL).

The Blue Jays at the time of this article are 6-8-3 overall and finished 1-2-2 in the WOSL, the volleyball team is 8-14 and finished 1-8 in the MAC.

Coldwater was 9-7-1 and 2-2-1 in WOSL play, in volleyball the Cavs were Volleyball Co-Champs in the MAC with an 8-1 record and 18-4 overall. Coldwater’s soccer team first played varsity matches in 2009.

One MAC member, New Knoxville, has a boys soccer team and is a member of the WOSL. The Rangers, who don’t have a football team, finished the season 5-8-1 and 1-3-2 in league play. In the past girls have played and are on the team’s roster.

The Northwest Conference, who you can compare in many ways with the MAC membership, has a boys and girls soccer presence. It is a conference sport with five boys teams (Bluffton, Spencerville (also WOSL member), Lincolnview, Ada and Allen East) and seven girls teams (Bluffton, Columbus Grove, Delphos Jefferson, Allen East, Spencerville, Crestview and Ada).

Dan Otten

So why does the MAC seem to be avoiding soccer? That is a question that school administrators, ADs and the MAC Commissioner need to answer.

In the early days of soccer in Ohio, Celina thanks to Dan Otten, fielded the first ever boys soccer team in Mercer County.

That was 38 years ago in 1984.

1984 Celina Soccer

Over the years some feel that MAC member scholls had the same attitude about boys soccer as did St. Marys Hall of Fame Football Coach Skip Baughman (may be an old wives tale)…that as long as he was football coach the Roughriders wouldn’t have a soccer team. His last game as coach was in 1993 leading St. Marys to a state title over Uniontown Lake. St. Marys first year competing in boys soccer in the Western Buckeye League was in 1996.

Youth soccer programs at many of the MAC members is pretty much non-existent…although St. Henry does have a co-ed program for K-6th graders but they do not presently compete in area tournaments.

An attempt at Parkway in 2017 to start soccer in the district never took off—

The OHSAA has just three divisions in boys and girls soccer-

2022 OHSAA Divisional Breakdowns

The following email was sent (10-20-22) to every MAC Superintendent, HS Principal, AD and Football Coach to get a feeling of what might or might not happen in the future—

Dear Administrator, AD and Football Coaches –

Please reply…thanks in advance for your help—

  • 1- Would you consider adding girls soccer, boys soccer or both to your athletic program
  • 2-If no…is there a reason you can give us

Thanks again–

Reply-

Editor’s Note: A special thanks to those who replied to our email questionnaire

Mike Pohlman, Marion Local Superintendent

Larry Brown (FR), JulieGaerke (SH) , and I are at a meeting together right now.

We all said it would warrant discussion if our community brought the topic up for consideration. It hasn’t been brought up in our districts.

Josh Clune, Minster Local Schools Superintendent

When a sport is requested to be added to our athletic program, we look at all the factors to see if it is a good fit for us. These factors include, but are not limited to: costs, practice/game facilities, community/student interest, how it may impact our current sports, and Title IX compliance. I can add that in my time at Minster, boys or girls soccer has never requested to be added. The last sport we added a sport was boys and girls bowling about 5-6 years ago.

Eric Goodwin, Colwater Athletic Director

Coldwater is very similar to Minster.  We have policies in place for Intramurals and Club sports to become School sponsored.  Coldwater does have Girls Soccer though.  It was added on through a process of our Title IX compliance.  Boys soccer has never been requested nor is there an intramural or club team at Coldwater.  

  • Girls Golf
  • Girls Soccer
  • Girls Bowling
  • Boys Bowling
  • Girls Swimming
  • Boys Swimming

Matt Triplett, Parkway Athletic Director

In my 6+ years as AD at Parkway, there has never been serious consideration brought to me about adding soccer to our list of sports offered. If a new sport were to be added at Parkway, like Soccer, our policy dictates that they are a self-funded club team for 3 seasons. Upon completion of season 3, the board would vote on whether or not to add that sport to our list. In no specific order, some of the factors considered for approval or not are facility usage, program numbers, overall cost of funding the sport, transportation, impact on current sports and Title IX ramifications.

Did you know…

According to the 2021-22 NFHS participation statistics

Among other girls top 10 sports, soccer moved ahead of basketball to No. 3 behind track and field and volleyball,