By David Fong
TROY — Troy High School is going to need a rally of historic proportions if its hopes to maintain its five-year stranglehold on the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division All-Sports Trophy.
Coming out of the winter sports season, Troy — which has won the past five GWOC North Division All-Sports Trophy awards — trails Butler 96-82.
The GWOC North All-Sports Trophy is based on points accumulated throughout the school year for each varsity sport, based on the finish within the conference. A team that wins the conference gets seven points, a team that finishes second in the conference standings gets five points, a team that finishes third gets four points — all the way down to one point for a sixth-place finish.
In all of the past five academic years, Troy has led Butler going into the spring sports season, then managed to either maintain or extend that lead in the spring to hold onto the all-sports trophy. now, however, the Trojans are facing 14-point deficit heading into the spring.
In the past decade, the largest deficit any school has managed to overcome in the spring was during the 2008-09 school year, when Butler trailed Troy by five points, 91.33 to 86.33, going into the spring, but outscored Troy 31-20.5 during the spring sports season to capture the trophy by a final tally of 117.33 to 112.33.
Following the 2015 fall sports season, Butler led Troy 53-48 in the standings. The Aviators captured division titles in football, boys cross country, boys golf, boys soccer and girls soccer, while taking second place in girls cross country, tennis and volleyball. The Trojans captured division titles in girls cross country, girls golf, tennis and volleyball. Troy finished second in boys cross country and girls soccer.
Butler finished first or second in every sport but girls golf, which took fourth place. Troy finished first or second in every sport but boys soccer, which finished third, and football, which finished sixth.
In the winter, the Aviators were able to extend that lead on the strength of four North Division titles in the eight winter sports — boys swimming, girls swimming, wrestling and cheerleading. Butler also posted second-place finishes in both boys and girls bowling.
Troy, meanwhile, captured just one North Division title during the winter for girls bowling. The Trojans also posted runner-up finishes in both boys and girls swimming.
It bears mentioning that a pair of Troy winter sports, hockey and gymnastics, do not count toward the race for the all-sports trophy. The majority of schools within the GWOC do not have hockey or gymnastics teams.
In the GWOC North All-Sports standings — which indicates overall athletic success of every program within a school — it’s been a two-team competition between Troy and Butler since 2009, when Northmont, which had previously made it a three-team race atop the division, was moved to the GWOC Central Division when the conference expanded.
Since the formation of the GWOC North, Butler won the first two all-sports trophies in 2009 and 2010, while Troy has since won the last five. The Trojans and Aviators have finished one-two each of the past seven years. Statistically speaking, none of the other four schools in the GWOC — Piqua, Sidney, Trotwood and Greenville — have mounted a serious challenge at knocking Troy or Butler from the top of the standings.
The dynamics of the race for the North Division all-sports trophy could change drastically next season as Tippecanoe — which has fared extremely well overall in the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Division All-Sports standings — joins the GWOC North Division, replacing Trotwood-Madison.
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong