GREENE COUNTY — While they will be taking on a lot of the same opponents during the fall high school sports season, there’s one definite change for a pair of area high schools in 2019: after 18 years as a member of the Greater Western Ohio Conference (GWOC) Greene County high schools Fairborn and Xenia are once again members of the Miami Valley League.
In a May 11, 2018 press release, the league announced its formation after a unanimous vote of approval from school superintendents representing Fairborn, Xenia, Butler, Greenville, Piqua, Sidney. Stebbins, Tipp City, Troy and West Carrollton.
According to the release, the Miami Valley League was first chartered in 1926. Greenville, Piqua, Sidney, Troy and Xenia were original members of the league.
The MVL stopped operation during the 1974-‘75 school year, when its three largest league members at the time — Miamisburg, Piqua and Sidney — formed what was then the Miami Central Conference. Xenia and Fairborn both left the MVL after 1964 to join the now-defunct Western Ohio League.
“Xenia is excited to be a part of the MVL beginning in 2019, we look forward to giving our student-athletes the opportunity to compete against the nine other member schools. Xenia was an original member of the Miami Valley League that started in 1926,” Xenia High School Athletic Director Nathan Kopp said in an emailed statement.
The MVL will have two divisions. The Miami Division will feature Butler, Greenville, Piqua, Tippecanoe and Troy.
The Valley Division will be made up of Fairborn, Xenia, Sidney, Stebbins and West Carrollton.
‘The MVL will provide educational opportunities for students through participation in interscholastic athletics while maintaining equity in scheduling and competition,’ Spahr is quoted as saying in the release.
Beavercreek, Centerville, Fairmont, Springfield and Wayne will remain in the Greater Western Ohio Conference in the American division, while Lebanon, Miamisburg, Northmont, Springboro and Trotwood-Madison will stay in the GWOC as the National division.
Trotwood-Madison is the only former American Conference GWOC team to not join the MVL.
The reformation of leagues enables most of the larger schools to remain together in the GWOC, while most of the smaller schools are now in the MVL.
With the exception of Troy, all of the schools joining the MVL have student populations of less than 1,000. According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Student Directory numbers for the 2017-‘18 school year, Troy’s student count was at 1,041.
With the exception of Trotwood-Madison (681 students), all of the remaining GWOC schools — Beavercreek, Centerville, Fairmont, Miamisburg, Northmont, Springboro, Springfield and Wayne — have student populations of 1,200 students or more.
One temporary drawback to the change in leagues will occur in football this season, as schools stick with their previously drawn up commitments to play non-conference games. As an example, Xenia has a contract to play road games at Southwestern Buckeye League schools Eaton and Franklin this season. As a result, the Buccaneers will play road games at Eaton, Franklin, Stebbins, Butler, Piqua and Fairborn, with just four home games this season instead of five.
The MVL plans on having nine football conference games in the future, which means each member of the 10-school league will play each other once, with one nonleague game.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123. You can visit the new Miami Valley League web page at mvlathletics.com .