By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
After the breakup of the Cross County Conference became official, Newton, Bradford and the rest of the teams leaving the conference found a new home.
Now that home has a name.
Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, Newton and Bradford will be competing in the Western Ohio Athletic Conference, a league made up of 10 charter members of the CCC as well as a pair of teams from the Southwestern Buckeye League.
Newton and Bradford, as well as fellow current CCC members Ansonia, Arcanum, Franklin Monroe, Mississinawa Valley, National Trail, Tri-County North, Tri-Village and Twin Valley South will be joined by Preble Shawnee and Dixie from the SWBL to form the new league, now officially dubbed the WOAC.
“Every school in this new conference — with the exception of Dixie — was a charter member of the Cross County Conference in 1978. Preble Shawnee left after a few years to enter the SWBL,” Newton Superintendent Pat McBride said. “With only the exceptions of Dixie and Preble Shawnee, all of the other schools have maintained membership in the CCC for the duration of the conference’s existence, 41 years to this point and for the entire 43 years when the conference dissolves.”
Newton and Bradford are the only Miami County schools that will compete in the WOAC, with Bradford also being part of Darke County. The rest of the schools are in either Darke or Preble County.
“Because of our long association and history together, we look forward to maintaining our relationships through athletic competition well into the future,” McBride said. “We feel that the 12 schools that will make up the Western Ohio Athletic Conference are competitively balanced, similar in size and hold compatible values and expectations in terms of educating kids and the importance and perspective they have for athletic participation.”
In February at a CCC board of control meeting, the 10 departing CCC members officially submitted letters announcing that they planned to leave the league, leaving Miami East, Bethel, Covington and Fort Loramie — which is a CCC member in only football and girls golf — in the league. It was a move that took shape over the course of months, beginning in late November of 2018 at a luncheon between administrators from the Darke and Preble County schools. The main reasons cited were the difference in enrollment sizes between the departing and remaining schools, as well as competitive balance in the sports.
The WOAC has had help in putting its plans and rules together from a familiar source, too.
“John Butch, long-time former educator/athletic director/coach at Mississinawa Valley and the current secretary of the CCC, will maintain that same position for the WOAC,” McBride said. “John has been instrumental in developing bylaws for the new conference. He was on the original committee to develop bylaws for the CCC back in 1976.”
Earlier this month, Miami East, Bethel and Covington announced their intentions to form a new conference also beginning in the 2021-22 school year with a total of eight member schools. Milton-Union and Northridge from the SWBL, Troy Christian from the Metro Buckeye Conference and Lehman and Riverside from the Northwest Central Conference will join them. That league does not have an official name yet.
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.