By Rob Kiser
The Miami Valley League — formed in 1926 and which Piqua last competed in during the 1960s is back.
Greenville, Sidney Troy, Xenia and Piqua were all charter members.
And they will be joined by fellow current GWOC members Tippecanoe, Vandalia-Butler, Fairborn, Stebbins and West Carrollton when play begins in the Fall of 2019.
“The MVL will provide educational opportunities for students through participation in interscholastic athletics while maintaining equity in scheduling and competition,” MVL commission Eric Spahr noted, while stating all 10 teams will continue to compete in the GWOC in 2018.
The Miami Division will include Piqua, Greenville, Tippecanoe, Troy and Vandalia-Butler.
The Valley Division will include Fairborn, Sidney, Stebbins, West Carrollton and Xenia.
One team had to move from the current GWOC North, which had six of the 10 schools.
“We didn’t look at geographics at all when looking at the two divisions,” Piqua athletic director Chip Hare said. “We looked at it from a competitive balance issue. Both Sidney and us volunteered to move to the new division.”
Football fans shouldn’t panic about the possible end of the Piqua-Sidney rivalry.
Teams will play all nine teams in football, with just one non-conference opponent.
And Piqua will continue to play Troy win Week 10.
And in other sports — where feasible — there will be 18 league games, with schools playing a home-and-home with all nine schools.
“We know there are sports where there can be some tough decisions (like basketball and volleyball with 18 of 22 games with league games),” Hare said. “But, in the past, there was some talk about, we didn’t have to place this team in this sport, but in either sports we did. We wanted to be fair about it starting out.
“This is as fair as it could be. We can always reexamine it in two years. And in some cases, the schools didn’t look at what was best for their school — but was best for the greater good of league.”
Hare addressed concerns about Trotwood not being invited into the new league.
“This was about the 10 schools that are in the league,” Hare said. “It is not about anyone who was not included. These 10 schools have a long tradition with each other and the communities and we are excited about that.”
And this has all come about in less than a four-month time period.
“When you look at we had not even talked about this before January and we have gotten all this done by May,” Hare said. “I think it says a lot to the superintendents about how committed we are to this league and working with each other. We want this to be not just one of the top leagues in the area, but in the state.”
To bring the MVL back — and make it bigger and better than ever.