Willard: Northern Ohio League or Sandusky Bay Conference?

By Dave Schmidt – www.theseniorreports.com


February 22, 2013


A story appeared in both the Willard Times-Junction and Shelby Daily Globe on Monday, February 18th that focused on Willard’s future athletic conference home. Story was written by Jane Ernsberger of the Times-Junction and Chuck Ridenour, sports editor at the Shelby Daily Globe, also contributed to the story.


The article reveals several items that many have been looking for answers on in recent days about the Northern Ohio League and the Sandusky Bay Conference. The SBC recently lost Sandusky St. Mary to the newly formed Sandusky River League and is currently at seven members for the future.


Quotes from Willard School Superintendent Jeff Ritz-


Contact with the Sandusky Bay Conference:  **“They haven’t officially contacted us, yet,” Ritz said. “I would be open to listening to what they have to offer, contingent on the stability of their league.”


Asked if he has had a call yet from SBC officials ** “I am expecting one.”


His thoughts on the NOL ** “Our first goal is to sustain the stability of the NOL.”  “The NOL of today, however, is (not) the NOL of the past.”


How will this be decided: ^^Any decision that takes place will be made by the board of education, the superintendent, the principal at Willard High School and the athletic director. “It would definitely be a group decision,” 


The below quote might be of concern for the future of the Northern Ohio League members and how they approach the changes taking place in northern Ohio.


^^“We’re still a solid league of seven,” NOL commissioner Jim Yeager said. “We’re like a lot of leagues right now, just kind of sitting back and waiting to see what dominoes fall and where.”


The old saying “you snooze, you lose” could be what is taking place in the NOL. It has been a long stretch of time with problems facing the NOL, one of the oldest conferences in Ohio, with numerous schools leaving. The most recent debacle was the “in and out” membership of Vermilion.  With Ontario set to join in the fall of 2013 the NOL will have seven members and future scheduling issues in football, depending on the direction Willard takes.


According to the Times-Junction article letters have been sent out to invite schools to consider membership:  **Two of the seven to receive letters were former NOL members - Upper Sandusky and Galion.  The other five to receive letters from the NOL were Clyde, Huron and Edison of the SBC, Clear Fork of the Ohio Cardinal Conference and Western Reserve of the Firelands Conference.


No mention of when the letters were sent out or if anyone responded, but with news that Willard is considering a move could be a “stop sign” to some schools.


Turmoil in northern Ohio continues to take place and just when many thought things were calming down. Below is a quote that seems to be a key for many in high school athletic conferences. It’s too bad that this cannot be all handled in an open and honest method.


Words of wisdom in athletic conference changes- a college AD told me one time..."I just don't want to be the last guy in the room to turn out the light"



^^from TheNews-Messenger  story on February 2nd - http://www.thenews-messenger.com/article/20130202/HSSPORTS/302020003



**Shelby Daily Globe and Willard Times-Junction



EDITOR’S NOTE – Thanks to Daily Globe for forwarding us a copy of the above story.