SIDNEY — It’s official: Sidney City Schools is leaving the Greater Western Ohio Conference League.
The Board of Education approved a resolution Tuesday night to leave the league at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year or sooner if by mutual agreement by all members of the GWOC. The new 10-team league, which hasn’t been named yet, will include Sidney, Troy, Piqua, Vandalia-Butler, Fairborn, Greenville, Stebbins, Tippecanoe, West Carrollton and Xenia.
“Our legal counsel advised us to have the board pass a resolution that we are leaving the league,” said Superintendent John Scheu.”We will be joining a conference that has schools that are similar in size to Sidney. They are comparable with the number of students, the proximity of the schools and competitive balance among the sports. No school stands out year after year (in each sport).
“This will be more competitive for our students,” he said. “There has been talk among the athletic directors about this. We’ll be with Division II and III schools.”
Athletic Director Mitch Hoying went on to describe the student athletes in Sidney City Schools.
“We have 850 students in uniforms this school year,” said Hoying. “That’s in the seventh through 12th grades. It’s 500 students because some of them play more than one sport. So you’re looking at 500 families of athletes.
“Twenty-five percent of our junior high students will play on a team during their six years (at middle, high school level),” he said.
Hoying said the district will be “better served by matching up with like teams” as Sidney City Schools.
“The EMIS numbers and enrollment numbers, along with competitive numbers of boys and girls in grades 9-12 play a role (in decision),” said Hoying.
Hoying said Centerville has 2,030 students in grades 9-12, while Sidney has 756 students.
“This is a disparity of 1,200 prospective athletes they have,” said Hoying. “If you look at the smallest school in our county, Russia, they have 47 boys and 47 girls in those grade levels. It (GWOC) is not a desirable situation to compete in.”
Hoying said Sidney has 22 varsity teams in the district.
“When you look at competitive balance, from 2005 to today, all games played by schools with larger enrollment have 70 percent of the wins.”
Hoying gave a brief history on how the GWOC came to have 20 teams. In 2000, he said, the Greater Miami Valley Conference had two teams leave the league. The Western Ohio League also fell down to seven teams.
“Having seven teams in a conference in football is not good,” said Hoying. “You’re looking for four other teams to play (to have 10 games).”
The two leagues combined to have a league of 14 teams.
“It was designed to go away but then the Mid-Miami League folded and those teams were added,” said Hoying. “Greenville, Tipp City and Carrollton all mirror us,” said Hoying. “Twelve months ago during an athletic directors meeting, we agreed to have two 10-team leagues with no crossovers. Then this year, the larger schools said they needed mandatory crossovers to fill up their schedules.
“As an athletic director, I just can’t live with this any more,” he said. “We decided to look for greener grass.”
He said one team — Trotwood-Madison — was left off the prospective league’s formation.
“Trotwood Madison does fit within our geography location and enrollment,” said Hoying. “But it doesn’t fit in the competitive balance of teams.”
Hoying said Trotwood-Madison has record of 145 wins and six losses in basketball against teams in the league. Their record in football is 64-6. In boys and girls soccer, they have a combined record of 7-112.
Records in other sports for Trotwood include 4-223 in boys and girls bowling; 2-120 in volleyball; and 71-101 in boys and girls tennis.
“We are looking for like schools to be competitive in all sports,” said Hoying. “When you have 800 uniforms suiting up, the team says ‘I have a shot at winning.’ The opposing team says ‘I have shot at winning.’ That’s why Trotwood is not included in the new league.”
Hoying said Sidney will probably still play some of the GWOC schools in non-league action after the new league is formed.
Scheu told the board that leaving the GWOC is a “big decision” on their part.
“We have been told verbally by the larger schools that they would release the schools after one year,” said Scheu.
With the new league, Troy will be the largest school while Tippecanoe will be the smallest school.
“At a superintendent’s meeting, the Piqua superintendent said they wanted to remain in a conference with Troy and Sidney,” said Scheu.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.