LEIPSIC – After deciding to leave the Blanchard Valley Conference after the 2021-22 season Monday, Leipsic received an invitation to join the Northwest Conference.
James Raabe, commissioner of the NWC, said an invitation has been extended to Leipsic to join the conference for the 2022-23 season after a meeting was held with conference administrators Wednesday.
“We are looking for a replacement for Paulding, and we sent an invitation to Leipsic.”
Raabe added that Leipsic still has to accept and nothing will change this fall.
Paulding’s decision to leave for the Green Meadows Conference left the NWC with eight members, including seven that play football.
Leipsic athletic director Gary Kreinbrink said the school is finalizing things and may have an answer soon.
“We certainly have a plan in place, and we hope to finalize things by next week and so by next week we should provide what our next step is in moving forward,” Kreinbrink said.
Kreinbrink said the decision to leave the BVC was not an easy one. The Vikings began playing football in the BVC in 1965 and the rest of the sport in 1971.
The Leipsic School Board of Education voted 5-0 at its monthly board meeting to leave the BVC. Leipsic remains a member of the Putnam County League.
“It wasn’t a decision we made quickly,” Kreinbrink said. “This was a decision our administrative team has had in the back of their minds for a few years now. We are just concerned about the enrollment numbers in football right now, and we are looking at other options.”
The BVC has seen two teams leave within the past six years. Hardin Northern exited the conference in 2014 and Hopewell-Louden went to the the Great Meadows Conference in 2017.
Eight of the 11 teams in the BVC play in Division VII in football and Kreinbrink added that he did not like how the conference divisional makeup was heading, including Liberty-Benton being a D-V school.
“At one time everyone was the same size and it worked out great but it is not 1970 anymore so everything is different now,” Kreinbrink said. “We just decided if we had the opportunity to look as some other options we would do that and at this time that is what we are going to try and do.”
Kreinbrink added a number of individuals were involved in the decision making process.
“This was a collaborative decision from our coaches and from our extracurricular administrative team,” Kreinbrink said. “This wasn’t that our superintendent decided or the athletic director decided. We have had great success and great relationships with the BVC. There is nothing wrong with those schools. We are just trying to plan long term for the best interest of our students.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.