(Posted Feb. 15, 2016)
By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer
After a decade in the Mid-State League, Jefferson Local is picking up its stakes and moving next year to the Ohio Heritage Conference, which was established in 2001.
School board members approved a recommendation by Superintendent William Mullett to join the conference for the 2017-18 school year, with the intent to remain in the conference for at least four years.
“This looks like a better fit for West Jeff,” commented board member Jerry Doran.
According to Shawn Buescher, dean of students, Jefferson Local will be in the conference’s North Division, along with West Liberty-Salem, Triad, Fairbanks, Mechanicsburg and Springfield Northeast.
The South Division includes Madison-Plains, Southeastern, Cedarville, Greeneview, Greenon and Springfield Catholic Central.
Prior to joining the Mid-State League, Jefferson Local was an independent district for approximately four years. Before that, it was a member of the Buckeye Athletic Conference, Central Buckeye League and the old Metro League, which included teams such as Dublin, Olentangy, Hamilton Township and Marysville.
“We feel it’s a great fit for our kids,” said Buescher about the Ohio Heritage Conference. “The communities are similar and the school sizes are similar.
“The distances we travel will probably be about the same as with the Mid-State League, but the travel time will be shorter because we won’t have to drive across Columbus.”
Buescher reported that while the Ohio Heritage Conference was the only conference interested in adding Jefferson Local to its roster, the conference was the only entity the district was interested in joining.
“It takes West Jefferson back to its roots in playing schools similar to us,” said high school Principal Dave Metz.