By David Fong
Regional Sports Editor
As has been the case for much of the past decade, it looks as though the race for the Greater Western Ohio Conference American League North Division All-Sports Trophy will come down to two schools, Troy and Butler.
Following the winter sports season, Troy is sitting atop the GWOC North All-Sports Trophy standings with 88.5 points, while Butler is less than two points behind with 86.8. Tippecanoe is in third with 78.8 points, Sidney had 46, Piqua has 37.5 and Greenville has 36.3.
The GWOC North All-Sports Trophy is based on points accumulated throughout the school year for each varsity sport, based on the finish within the conference. A team that wins the conference gets seven points, a team that finishes second in the conference standings gets five points, a team that finishes third gets four points — all the way down to one point for a sixth-place finish. In the case of ties within the division standings, fractions of points may be awarded.
Troy has won the GWOC American North All-Sports seven out of the past eight years and the past two years in a row. This year will mark the final time the GWOC American North All-Sports Trophy is presented, as all six GWOC North teams, along with four of the five GWOC South teams, will be leaving to form the Miami Valley League beginning in the fall of 2019.
Coming out of the fall, Troy was atop the leaderboard with 48 points, while Tippecanoe was just two-tenths of a point behind at 47.8 and Butler was third with 41.3 points. A strong winter allowed Butler to jump Tippecanoe and close the gap on Troy, however.
Troy captured GWOC North winter titles in girls bowling and cheerleading. The Trojans finished second in wrestling and boys bowling, while sharing second place with Butler in girls basketball. Butler won winter titles in boys basketball, boys bowling, girls swimming and wrestling, while taking second place in girls bowling, girls swimming and girls basketball.
Tippecanoe won division titles in girls basketball and girls swimming, while taking second in boys swimming.
Since 2009, when Northmont moved from the GWOC North Division to the GWOC Central Division, it has been Troy and Butler atop the North Division standings. Tippecanoe has been in the conference since the fall of 2016, placing third in both of its two years in the North Division.
Butler won the first two GWOC North All-Sports trophies, then Troy won the title five years in a row before Butler broke that streak two years ago. The Trojans and Aviators finished in the top two spots in the standings every year since Northmont moved to the GWOC Central. Northmont was moved to the GWOC West prior to this school year when the conference went from three to four divisions.
The GWOC American North Division All-Sports Trophy will be awarded at the end of the spring sports season.
Last year, Troy trailed Butler by two points heading into the spring, but the Trojans were able to outscore the Aviators by 8.5 points last spring to bring home the all-sports trophy. Two years ago, Troy was able to overcome a five-point deficit in the spring.
Three years ago — the last time Butler won the GWOC North All-Sports Trophy —the Aviators held a 14-point lead coming out of the winter and were able to hold off Troy’s late charge in the spring. This will be the first time Troy has led the all-sports standings following the winter season since the 2014-15 school year. That year, Troy ended up beating Butler by four points in the final standings.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong