Alder might leave Mid Ohio Athletic Conference


(Posted Jan. 14, 2016)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Jonathan Alder Local Schools could be leaving the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference (MOAC) for the Central Buckeye Conference.

The Pioneers have been in the 16-team MOAC for three years, but with the planned departure of Fairbanks for the Ohio Heritage Conference and the breakaway of the eight-team Blue Division, that leaves only seven teams.

“Seven teams are tough to work with,” athletic director Tom Vargo said at the Jan. 11 school board meeting. “The Blue Division is planning to form a Morrow-Knox County league.”

Jonathan Alder is being considered for the Central Buckeye Conference (CBC) that has teams located between Spring-field and Bellefontaine. Some are planning to leave—Tipp City Tippecanoe and Dayton Stebbins to the Great Western Athletic Conference and Enon Greenon to the Ohio Heritage Conference, Vargo said.

“We have visited the schools to see their facilities,” said Mark Fenik, assistant high school principal. “We were warmly received.”

Fenik said the schools in the CBC field the same sports as Jonathan Alder does.

One aspect that impressed Fenik was the organization of sports for the lower levels, such as junior varsity (JV) and freshman teams, even as young as junior high.

“The MOAC struggles to field some teams for freshman and JV sports” he said. “The CBC plays at a regional level for the junior high teams.”

He also compared travel time and found shorter distances in the CBC than in the MOAC where all teams are farther north than Jonathan Alder.

“I feel it’s the best place for our kids,” he said.

Besides the teams planning to leave the CBC, the remaining teams in the conference are Bellefontaine, Benjamin Logan, St. Paris Graham, Indian Lake, Kenton Ridge, Springfield Northwestern, Urbana, Tecumseh and Springfield Shawnee.

No formal invitation has been issued but it could come by Jan. 20, Fenik said.

Vargo said the CBC was interested in Jonathan Alder and London.

“It’s nice to be wanted,” Fenik said.

Board member Tom Bichsel was concerned about which Ohio High School Athletic Association district the Pioneers would be in.

“We’re in the Central District now,” he said.

“We will not petition to go to the Southwest District,” Vargo said.

If the CBC invites Jonathan Alder to join its ranks, the school board would have to approve the move.

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