By David Fong
Ten athletic programs reached back in time to help determine the future.
The Miami Valley League — which will be comprised of 10 former members of the Greater Western Ohio Conference — formally announced Friday it will resume play for the 2019-2020 school year following a unanimous vote of its respective school superintendents.
The Miami Valley League will was first chartered in 1926 and included Troy, Piqua, Sidney, Greenville and Xenia. Those five schools all will be a part of the 2019 reincarnation of the MVL, along with Tippecanoe, Fairborn, Stebbins, Butler and West Carrollton.
“This is a great opportunity for our student-athletes and coaches that will allow us to have some equity in competition and consistency in all sports,” Troy athletic director Dave Palmer said.
Troy was a member of the first version of the MVL until the 1960s, when it left to join the Western Ohio League. Troy left the WOL in the 1980s to help form the Greater Miami Valley Conference. In 2001, the GMVC and WOL essentially merged to form the GWOC.
All 10 schools that will be participating as members of the MVL are former members of the GWOC, which has has continued to add a handful of schools over the past 17 years. Tippecanoe joined the GWOC in 2016-17. The schools remaining in the GWOC are: Centerville, Wayne, Fairmont, Beavercreek, Springfield, Northmont, Springboro, Miamisburg, Lebanon and Trotwood-Madison.
Before the formation of the MVL became official this week, there was some discussion of a two-year commitment by the departing schools to remain in the GWOC. That timetable has been cut short by one year, however, and next school year will be the final year of competition in the GWOC for the schools that are leaving.
“We have a lot to do and a short amount of time to get organized and ready to go,” Palmer said. “Now that it’s official, we are going to have to roll our sleeves up and get down to putting together what we want the league to look like in terms of scheduling and everything else. The exciting part is that we have a blank slate to work with and we can make it look like whatever we want it to look like.”
One thing that already has been decided, Palmer said, is how football scheduling will work in the new league. He said each team will play all nine of the other MVL schools one time, with all nine games counting in division standings. Each team will be responsible for scheduling one non-league game per season.
The league will be divided into two divisions. In the Miami Division will be Troy, Tippecanoe, Piqua, Butler and Greenville. In the Valley Division will be Sidney, Fairborn, Stebbins, West Carrollton and Xenia.
Troy is contracted to play Cincinnati Turpin in 2018 and 2019. Palmer said Troy will honor its contract with Turpin in 2019 and only play an eight-game MVL schedule that season.
“There may be several schools in that position that already have contracts for games in 2019,” Palmer said. “It will be up to each school to decide how they want to handle that. We are planning to honor or contract and play an eight-game MVL schedule that year. Other schools who have signed contracts may do the same. Then in 2020, we hope to have everyone on a nine-game league schedule.”
Palmer said a meeting will be held soon to determine exactly how scheduling will work for the other sports. While Troy is leaving the GWOC, Palmer said, he expects to maintain a relationship with the remaining schools when it comes to scheduling.
“We’ll work to schedule those teams on a per-sport basis,” he said. “In some cases, we are going to want that competition from the bigger schools. Take volleyball, for example. We have been very competitive with the bigger GWOC schools in volleyball and will look to continue scheduling them so our kids can get that competition.
“In some sports, we are going to need to schedule those teams. In ice hockey, we have to schedule teams like Centerville if we don’t want to be traveling to Cincinnati or Cleveland or Toledo to play all of our games. In bowling, if we just played the teams in the MVL that have bowling, we wouldn’t have enough matches to fill our our schedule, so we’ll be looking to play some of those GWOC teams.”
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong