The Southern Buckeye Academic and Athletic Conference has emerged from the latest round of conference realignment stronger than ever.
That was the consensus at the June meeting of SBAAC athletic directors and superintendents when new members Fayetteville, Wilmington, Clinton-Massie and East Clinton were introduced, according to a press release issued by the SBAAC.
“The overall feeling in our league is we want to get better, we want to improve the level of competition and provide a quality athletic experience to our student athletes and you (the new schools) help bring that to the Southern Buckeye,” said SBAAC president and New Richmond Supt. Adam Bird. “Schools in our league may not experience as much success as we are used to, but this will make us stronger.”
Fayetteville comes into the SBAAC as a football only member in 2017 while Wilmington, Clinton-Massie and East Clinton will join the SBAAC in 2017 in all sports. Wilmington and Clinton-Massie will replace Amelia and Norwood, joining Goshen, Western Brown, Batavia and New Richmond in the SBAAC American Division.
East Clinton and Fayetteville will be members of the smaller-school National Division along with Blanchester, Williamsburg, Clermont Northeastern and Bethel-Tate giving both divisions six teams for football. Felicity and Georgetown are non-football members of the National Division. Fayetteville will remain a member of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference in all other sports.
“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Clinton-Massie, East Clinton, Wilmington, and Fayetteville (for football) into the SBAAC for the 2017-2018 school year,” said SBAAC commissioner Pat Hill. “The future of the SBAAC will be filled with new competition, new rivalries, and new relationships for all of our communities.”
Wilmington, Clinton-Massie and East Clinton were left without a league for the 2017-18 school year when the five other members of the South Central Ohio League announced in January that they were leaving to form a new league with Jackson and without the three Clinton County teams.
Clinton-Massie has one of the top Division IV football programs in the state with a record of 117-14 the past 10 years including back-to-back state titles in 2012 and 2013. Wilmington reached the 2016 OHSAA Division I Final Four in basketball. Hurricane athletes were Division I by only two boys and competed in Division III in football and Division II in other sports.
“Wilmington is thrilled to be joining the SBAAC,” said Wilmington athletic director Troy Diels. “The professionalism that we have experienced from the commissioner and all the administrators in the conference has been wonderful.”
Both Clinton-Massie and East Clinton are former members of the SBAAC but left to join the SCOL due to travel considerations. East Clinton is happy to be back in the SBAAC.
“East Clinton is thrilled to be part of the SBAAC,” said East Clinton Supt. Eric Mcgee. “The administrators within the SBAAC have all been extremely welcoming. Our student-athletes will benefit from the competition within the SBAAC and will be an asset to the conference as well. We look forward to establishing long-lasting relationships within the SBAAC.”