Lima Central Catholic has found opponents for its football season.
Thunderbird Athletic Director John Schnieders said an agreement has been reached to play Blanchard Valley Conference opponents in at least five and possibly six of its first games depending on how the schedule falls into place.
No set schedule has been finalized but is expected soon but Schnieders adds that they have filled their open slots with BVC schools.
“This morning we agreed to partner with the Blanchard Valley Conference and some of the schools in that league as they were putting together their adapted league schedules we were allowed to be included in that and kind of fill some spots that they had open, and we were able to secure our six game regular season with the BVC,” Schnieders said.
Schnieders admitted when the the Ohio High School Athletic Association released the six-game schedule with all teams making the playoffs he was caught off guard and by being an independent he was concerned on how to fill a schedule.
“It put all those conferences on the clock to figure out how they were going to adapt their schedules and whether they were going to crown league champions,” Schnieders said. “Certainly with independents like us it really took us for a loop because we were waiting for what the conferences were going to do and whether the games were going to happen or not and that is all 10 of our games.”
Surprised and then frustrated having to deal with this revised season because it wasn’t on the school’s radar that this is what they were going to do, Schnieders began the task of hunting for opponents.
“It has been very interesting through this whole thing and see play out but we are thankful for the opportunity the BVC has given us,” Schnieders said. “No one saw this coming and the really tough thing from my standpoint is that other states and other organizations like college football are pushing everything back but the OHSAA and the governor’s office have surprised everybody because they are like ‘no, no, no get it done.’ “
The Northwest Central Conference will be crowning two champions this year after splitting the league into two divisions and adding Crestline and Ridgedale a year early.
Aaron Matthews, NWCC commissioner, said the league met and came up with a schedule plan that hopefully is beneficial to all schools involved.
“It was a long, tedious process,” Matthews said. “We met over the weekend to discuss everything and at that point the discussion about getting Ridgedale and Crestline into the fold a year early came about and everybody was on board. Both schools were thrilled because there was a lot of uncertainty with their schedules.”
Because they were in some sort of limbo due to Crestline still being attached to the BVC and Ridgedale was an independent, the NWCC wanted to assist in them getting on the field and it also introduces the two schools to the conference a year early. Matthews added that both will have the opportunity to compete for a conference title and all-league honors this year as well which might not have happened.
“We tried to make it the best possible scenarios as we could, and we talked about a lot of different options and in the end we put something together and it came about perfectly with what we were trying to accomplish,” Matthews said. “We tried to accommodate every request we could but it was impossible in the end. The big thing is the athletic directors and me worked on this together, and we tried make it as fair and as balanced as we could.”
Matthews added schools that are eliminated from the playoffs will still have the option of scheduling games against each other to get some additional games.
“The winners of each divisions will be the conference champions,” Matthews said. “The other thing too is we decided and a lot of other conferences are doing this. If you didn’t play each other in the six games and you want to play then go ahead and schedule it.”
Perry, Riverside, Elgin, Upper Scioto Valley and Crestline will be in one division and Lehman Catholic, Hardin Northern, Waynesfield-Goshen, Ridgemont and Riverdale will be in the other.
All teams can play until Nov. 14.
A champion will not be crowned in the Western Buckeye League but schedules have been formulated after meeting Wednesday.
“There were three things we wanted to keep,” Kent Smelser, the WBL commissioner said. “We wanted to keep the rivalry games as much as possible, we wanted to have a strength of schedule and balance as possible and still get everybody three home and three away games.”
Smelser admitted it was a long process and they tried to be fair to each team, and he thinks they did a pretty good job of that.
Smelser added that teams can add games if they are eliminated from the playoffs if they so desire.
“Each school is going to decide for themselves after week seven,” Smelser said. “You can’t schedule them at this point because you don’t know who will advance. I don’t speak for everybody but everybody is going to have three or four games at the back end if they choose to play.”
The Northwest Conference coaches and athletic directors met Wednesday and have come up with a schedule but will not finalize it until Thursday.
“We are going to play all six league games, and we are going to have a league champion,” NWC commissioner Jon Derryberry said.