Wilmington has 3 ‘league’ options for future athletes


By Mark Huber - [email protected]



Wilmington City Schools coaches met Wednesday with athletic director Troy Diels and high school principal Mindy McCarty-Stewart to discuss the district’s league options.

“It was more of an informational meeting,” Diels said. “I had sent several emails to them with news as it was going on. This was kind of a recap of where we are.”

And where future Hurricane athletes are appears to come down to three options — become an independent school without league affiliation, join the Southwest Ohio Conference (SWOC), join the Southern Buckeye Athletic & Academic Conference (SBAAC).

While Wilmington has completed a questionnaire for both the SBAAC and the SWOC, it only has an invitation to join the SBAAC. There is a deadline of May 1.

Clinton-Massie and East Clinton also have been invited to join the SBAAC.

Diels said he has not heard from the SWOC since submitting the questionnaire several weeks ago.

Wilmington is a member of the South Central Ohio League, along with fellow Clinton County schools Clinton-Massie and East Clinton.

Other SCOL members are Chillicothe, Hillsboro, McClain, Miami Trace and Washington, but those schools want to leave the SCOL at the end of the 2016-17 school year.

Diels said the discussion included comments from coaches across the board.

“They had thoughts that I hadn’t thought of before so it was good to hear from each individual sport,” Diels said. “We were just kind of kicking around what it would be like for everybody.”

Diels said the next move in this process would be for him and Stewart-McCarty to meet with Supt. Ron Sexton and members of the board of education at the committee level “to weigh our options and see what our next best move is going to be.”

“Things are happening quickly, so it feels like fast-forward mode,” Diels admitted.

And it almost has to be because “everybody realizes the first option of being independent is not a good option for anybody,” Diels said.

The reason for moving so fast is to get a full 10-game schedule of football games for the 2017 fall season. With the pending exit of five SCOL schools, there is a major void in the football schedule beyond the opening three non-league games.

And with the majority of schools involved in league games in weeks 4-10, it’s difficult to find legitimate opponents within a reasonable distance for those weeks.

Current members of the SBAAC are New Richmond, Blanchester, Amelia, Batavia, Bethel-Tate, Clermont Northeastern, Felicity-Franklin, Georgetown, Goshen, Norwood, Western Brown and Williamsburg.

Should the county trio joins the SBAAC, the alignment would be as follows:

• American Division (big schools): Wilmington, Clinton-Massie, Western Brown, New Richmond, Goshen, Batavia.

• National Division (small schools): East Clinton, Blanchester, Clermont Northeastern, Bethel-Tate, Williamsburg, Felicity-Franklin, Georgetown.

Fayetteville is a member of the National Division for football but the Southern Hills Athletic Conference for all other sports. Felicity and Georgetown do not have varsity football.

The SWOC, a league which Wilmington was previously a member, consists of Little Miami, Ross, Mt. Healthy, Harrison, Talawanda, Edgewood and Northwest.

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By Mark Huber

[email protected]

Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.

Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.

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