Sidney, Anna, Fort Loramie, Minster, New Bremen and Versailles’ football squads received new schedules earlier this week after the Miami Valley League, Midwest Athletic Conference and Cross County Conference reworked their plans for the season to fit the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s drastically different format for the 2020 season.
On Friday, the OHSAA announced a plan for a six-game regular season and a seven-week postseason. For the first time, all teams will be eligible for the playoffs, which will start on Oct. 9.
Football and other contact sports are currently barred by the state government from playing games. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said on Monday an announcement regarding contact sports’ ability to play games should be made soon.
The 10-member MVL announced on July 31 its schools would play only conference opponents in all sports, but all other area conferences were planning to stick with their original schedules.
That changed after the OHSAA announced its new football plan. As a result of the shortened regular season, all area conferences were forced to readjust football schedules and have eliminated nonconference games.
Lehman Catholic and Riverside are both members of the Northwest Central Conference, which has yet to announce new schedules for its members.
Sidney athletic director Mitch Hoying said the MVL’s football schedule redesign first prioritized divisional opponents and then tried to preserve as many crossover rivalry games as possible.
Sidney is in the MVL Valley Division with Stebbins, West Carrollton, Fairborn and Xenia and will face those squads Weeks 2 through 5. For crossover games, the Yellow Jackets will play rival Greenville for the Little Brown Jug in Week 1 and face archrival Piqua in Week 6.
“I think (Friday’s OHSAA announcement) is a step in the right direction and is a strong indicator we’ll be playing,” Hoying said. “Second, (MVL athletic directors) had a strong priority to make sure that everybody got three home games. That helps keep the peace, makes people happy and helps everybody’s booster groups.”
Teams could play more than six regular season games. The OHSAA said squads will be able to schedule more regular season games after losing in the playoffs, or they can opt out of the playoffs altogether and schedule more regular season games.
Schools will be allowed to play up to 10 regular season games after either losing in the playoffs or opting out of postseason play. Additional regular season games can be scheduled through Nov. 14.
Hoying said the MVL intends to schedule additional regular season games, and MAC commissioner Don Kemper said in a release the conference will likely schedule more regular season games after teams are eliminated from the playoffs.
“Barring illness or an unforeseen problem, we’ll schedule more games,” Hoying said. “Our kids work out all year long for a 10-game or more football schedule. We’re going to work hard to give that to them.”
The Midwest Athletic Conference will not crown a league champion this year. The MVL also won’t crown an overall league champion, but Hoying said the hope is MVL Valley Division and Miami Division winners will be crowned since divisional schedules remain intact.
“Assuming everyone stays healthy, assuming we get through the whole season, we’re hoping for those divisional awards,” Hoying said.
Fort Loramie will have a chance to earn another Cross County Conference title in its final season as a member. The 12-team CCC split its members into two groups of six based on recent season results, and each group with play each other Weeks 1 through 5.
The Redskins are grouped with Covington, Miami East, Bethel, Tri-County North and Twin Valley South and will face those squads the first five weeks.
In Week 6, the teams from the CCC’s two groups will be scheduled against each other based on league standings. The top team in each group will face off in Week 6 for the CCC title, while the second best, third best, fourth best and fifth best teams per league standings will also play each other.
The Redskins have won CCC titles outright the last two seasons. The conference will dissolve after this school year, and most members will be joining either the new Western Ohio Athletic Conference of the revived Three Rivers Conference.
Kemper said the 10-member MAC will not crown a league champion this year. The conference’s new schedules were formed by maintaining the originally scheduled games for Weeks 3 through 6 and moving the games originally scheduled for Weeks 7 and 8 to Weeks 1 and 2, respectively.
Anna will face Versailles, St. Henry, Parkway, Fort Recovery, New Bremen and Coldwater Weeks 1 through 6. Minster will face New Bremen, Coldwater, St. Henry, Delphos St. John’s, Marion Local and Parkway.
New Bremen will face Minster, Marion Local, Delphos St. John’s, Coldwater, Anna and Versailles. Versailles will face Anna, Delphos St. John’s, Marion Local, Parkway, Fort Recovery and New Bremen.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.