Here in 2020 Fort Loramie will still play high school football in the Cross County Conference but they have no league affiliation for that activity beginning in 2021. Barring a miracle they will play 2021 and possibly beyond as an independent, and they are still working diligently to find five more opponents to fill the slate.
I stated here late last year that the Redskins “needed some dominoes to fall their way” to find a conference alternative for football, or at least some increased scheduling opportunities. The first domino has fallen as Paulding is withdrawing from the Northwest Conference (Ada, Allen East, Spencerville, etc.), leaving seven football members which is not desirable for scheduling. The NWC will almost assuredly seek a new member either for football or all sports. While I don’t see Loramie attempting to join that group (primarily north and west of Lima), this situation could be the catalyst to aid the Redskins cause.
My sources confirm the hot rumor that Parkway (Midwest Athletic Conference, NW Mercer County) will be pursued as a candidate to take Paulding’s place as a full member. Many say they’re the top choice. This makes geographic and competitive sense. Though there are exceptions like boys basketball this season, the Parkway Panthers normally struggle against MAC competition in most athletic offerings. If Parkway goes, the MAC would need a football member to return to the even number of ten. Fort Loramie could then fill that slot. It’s public knowledge that they’ve already shown their football interest to the MAC while wanting to remain in the Shelby County Athletic League for other sports. Anna currently has this arrangement.
The huge question is what Parkway would do if invited and it’s not a sure thing either way. There are factions on both sides of the issue within that school district. Parkway isn’t the only NWC candidate as Lima Perry of the Northwest Central Conference (NWCC) is also viable. I can’t see private schools like Lima Central Catholic (Independent) or Delphos St. John’s (MAC) as prospects since the NWC essentially removed LCC just a few years back.
Though I don’t see it as likely, the NWC could also choose to absorb Paulding’s departure to proceed with seven football schools and eight overall members. Those seven would then have an odd football game to fill during league play and that could help fill the Loramie slate.
Keep an eye on both the NWC and Parkway. Fort Loramie certainly is.
Fort Loramie’s Jared Hoying is in limbo as the outfielder enters his third season in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) with the Hanwha Eagles. The league has already cancelled its March 14-24 exhibition slate and has no idea if the regular season will begin as scheduled on March 28. This is all due to the Coronavirus as that part of the globe is the epicenter of world concern.
Jared said on Wednesday that he and other KBO American players will likely remain in the USA until the situation has clarity. His team has been training in the Phoenix area.
Next week: Hockey from Troy to Lake Placid.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross has been a contributor to the Sidney Daily News since 1975.