MCS joins MBC
May 4, 2012
Mansfield Christian will join the Mid-Buckeye Conference beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. Lucas and St. Peter's will also be join the MBC. The following article is from the Mansfield News Journal dated May 4, 2012 written by Curt Conrad.
MANSFIELD -- St. Peter's, Mansfield Christian and Lucas are no longer looking for a conference.
The Mid-Buckeye Conference is no longer on life support.
MBC commissioner Ron Wintermute announced the addition of the three Richland County schools Thursday. They will join MBC members Loudonville, Danville and East Knox beginning with the 2013-14 school year.
"I give all the credit to Loudonville, Danville and East Knox," Wintermute said. "With the other five schools announcing their intention to leave, those three schools remained proactive.
"A year ago, everybody thought the league was going belly-up."
The MBC will experience a serious shakeup in the fall of 2013 when Utica, Northridge and Johnstown begin play in the Licking County League and Fredericktown and Centerburg head for the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference. East Knox has announced its intention to join the 16-team, two-division MOAC in 2014, which would leave the new-look MBC with five teams.
Lucas, which was left out when the 10-team North Central Conference fell apart last fall, is no stranger to the MBC. The school was a member from 1968 to 1979 and again from 1981 to 1999.
"We're excited because the school has a long history in the conference," Lucas principal and athletic director Eric Teague said. "For the first time in a long time, we'll be playing against schools with similar enrollment."
Lucas was easily the smallest of the 10 NCC teams when the Ohio High School Athletic Association released its most recent enrollment figures. The Cubs had 59 boys and 62 girls in grades nine through 11 when the OHSAA performed its 2010 count, three times smaller than some NCC schools.
The new MBC will also be a more travel-friendly league for the Cubs.
"Our average trip in the NCC was 55 minutes," Teague said. "Our longest trip in this league will be shorter than what our average trip was in the NCC.
"Our school day doesn't end until almost 3:30, so we have to pull kids out of class all the time to get to 5 o'clock games in the spring. That won't be a problem with this league."
Mansfield Christian also has a history -- albeit a brief one -- with the MBC. The Flames were members of the conference during the 1982-83 school year.
"We're very excited to be joining the league," MCS athletic director Doug Taylor said. "We think it will be a good fit size-wise and in terms of travel.
"When we started investigating the possibility of joining the league, we made a list of pros and cons and there weren't a lot of cons."
For St. Peter's, this will be the first time in history the school is fully affiliated with a conference. The Spartans compete in the United Independent Soccer Conference (along with Mansfield Christian and Loudonville). Athletic director Tim Failor said the girls basketball program was briefly affiliated with a conference in the late 1980s.
"This is a perfect fit for us," Failor said. "We have searched for opportunities in the past, but we were never considered because we don't play football. I understand that. Football is a big draw."
St. Peter's had a club football program for a brief time in the early 2000s. Failor said fielding a varsity football team wouldn't be feasible.
"Given our enrollment, we can't entertain that possibility right now," he said.
The MBC might not be done expanding, Wintermute said.
"We're still looking," he said. "There has been a lot of (conference) movement in the last year or so. If we find a school or schools that fit, we would consider them."