Tipp, Stebbins to leave CBC for GWOC

As expected, Tippecanoe and Stebbins high schools will leave the Central Buckeye Conference and join the Greater Western Ohio Conference in the fall of 2016.

Those two schools formally applied to the GWOC just last week. Their acceptance was announced by GWOC Commissioner Eric Spahr on Thursday.

The CBC already has been proactive in anticipation of losing Tipp and Stebbins. Also last week CBC Commissioner Mike Ludlow announced and posted that the conference was looking to expand and was accepting letters of interest.

“We were hoping that (losing Tipp and Stebbins) wasn’t going to come to fruition, but it did,” Ludlow said Thursday. “We’re very disappointed to see those two go. We really didn’t see that it would happen like this and this quickly. They obviously feel it’s a better situation for them, so we wish them well.”

Ludlow said both schools will remain in good standing with the CBC and are expected to honor their conference schedule commitments through 2015-16.

Tipp and Stebbins are both CBC Kenton Trail Division members. Depending on interest, the CBC will have to realign itself with new members or shift Mad River division teams to have an equal balance of teams.

“We’ll have to do something,” Ludlow said. “Our goal is to try and not just replace them, but we think we need to get bigger to deal with some of our scheduling issues.”

Other CBC Kenton Trail members are Bellefontaine, Kenton Ridge, Shawnee and Tecumseh. Mad River members are Ben Logan, Graham, Greenon, Indian Lake, Northwestern and Urbana.

The addition of Tipp and Stebbins swells the area’s largest conference membership to 20. The GWOC currently consists of three divisions, six teams each. To accommodate Tipp and Stebbins, a fourth division will be created.

The new GWOC will be:

  • North: Butler, Greenville, Piqua, Sidney, Tippecanoe and Troy.
  • South: Fairborn, Stebbins, Trotwood-Madison, West Carrollton and Xenia.
  • East: Beavercreek, Centerville, Fairmont, Springfield, Wayne.
  • West: Lebanon, Miamisburg, Northmont, Springboro.

Spahr said football was the “driving force” behind the expansion. That would give the GWOC nine D-I teams and 11 in Divisions II-III. Lumped into North/South and East/West “sister divisions,” once those schools agreed to crossover football games, adding Tipp and Stebbins was a done deal.

“Our membership was very pleased with the outcome,” Spahr said. “At the end of the day, when we left the room, the conference felt as a whole that we were stronger than when we entered the room.”

Ludlow said the CBC is not targeting schools for new membership.

“It’s a sensitive situation,” he said. “You don’t want to offend neighboring conferences. Once one domino falls a lot of times there’s a lot of others that fall. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes. Ultimately, each school has to do what they think is best for their community and their kids.”

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