By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
TROY — For the ninth year in a row, the race for the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division’s All-Sports Trophy was between Troy and Butler.
And for the third — and final — year in a row, the Trojans claimed the prize.
Troy — which entered the spring season with a slim 1.7-point lead in the GWOC American North Division All-Sports Trophy standings, holding an 88.5-86.8 advantage over Butler — put the finishing touches on its third consecutive All-Sports Trophy victory, adding three points to its lead to seal the win with 115.5 points to the Aviators’ 110.8 and claim the final trophy ever for the division as the teams all leave the GWOC for the newly-formed Miami Valley League this fall.
Tippecanoe was third in the standings with 98.8 points. Sidney was a distant fourth with 57 points, Greenville was fifth with 54.3 points and Piqua was sixth with 47.5 points.
In the fall, all six teams will leave for the MVL, with five of them — Troy, Tippecanoe, Piqua, Butler and Greenville — staying together in the same division. Sidney will leave its North rivals to join Fairborn, Stebbins, West Carrollton and Xenia in the other division.
The GWOC American 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.
Coming out of the winter, Troy led by less than two points over Butler, which had trailed Troy by 6.7 points after the fall. Troy and Tippecanoe were in the first two places after the fall season, with the Trojans leading the Red Devils by only two-tenths of a point at 48-47.8. But the Aviators made up five full points on the Trojans, winning four division championships in the winter while Troy only won one. Tippecanoe, despite winning two division titles, fell out of contention by only earning 31 points to Butler’s 45.5 and Troy’s 40.5.
In the spring, however, Troy’s GWOC American North championship in tennis proved to be the difference.
The teams’ finishes in baseball and softball cancelled each other out, with Butler winning the division title in baseball and Troy finishing third — a difference of three points — but the Trojans finishing third in softball and Butler finishing sixth — another three-point difference. Boys and girls track were a wash, too, as Troy’s girls claimed a division title with Butler as the runner-up and Butler’s boys winning the title and Troy the runner-up, a difference of two points back and forth ending in a 20-20 tie between the four sports.
In tennis, though, the Trojans won the division title outright, defeating Butler 5-0 in head-to-head play as Butler finished in a three-way tie for second with Tippecanoe and Sidney, giving Troy a final 27-24 lead in the spring standings and cementing the overall win.
With the win, Troy has now won the GWOC American North All-Sports eight out of the past nine years and the past three 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.
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 was 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.
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 all three of those years in the American North Division — although the 98.8 points the Red Devils scored this year was the highest total in any of those three years.
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 National West prior to the 2016-17 school year when the conference went from three to four divisions.
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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