Shawnee moving to CBC Mad River in 2023-24

SPRINGFIELD — Shawnee High School’s athletic programs will compete in the Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division at the start of the 2023-24 school year.

Conference administrators voted 11-1 in the spring, approving Shawnee’s move to the CBC’s small-school division beginning next season. Urbana, which will move to the big-school Kenton Trail Division, voted against the proposal.

According to Ohio High School Athletic Association enrollment figures for the next two school years, Shawnee currently ranks seventh in enrollment in the conference. The boys ranks sixth in enrollment in the conference, while the girls enrollment ranks 12th out of the 12 schools.

After examining its enrollment and roster sizes throughout its athletic programs, Shawnee began looking at moving to the Mad River Division to ensure it could compete year-in and year-out, Tincher said.

“We went back and forth a lot, but after looking at all of our sports in both boys and girls, we’re more the size of a Mad River school enrollment-size,” Tincher said.

In the previous four years, Shawnee has won four conference titles — boys cross country (2018), girls cross country (2019), boys soccer (2020) and girls soccer (2021). The Braves haven’t won the CBC Kenton Trail title in football since 2011.

During the 2020-21 school year, Shawnee had four teams compete in the regionals — football, boys basketball, baseball and softball — and none of them won league titles.

“We’ve had some great teams who’ve had some great postseason runs, but they don’t have any conference titles to show for it,” Tincher said. “It’s good to play against the big schools because it will help you later in the season, but at the same time, people remember when they won conference titles.”

The Braves ranked ninth out of the 12 conference schools in enrollment size last school year, Tincher said.

“Numbers matter in the team sports because of depth and you can have junior varsity teams and develop kids more,” Tincher said. “It’s tough for us to compete with schools like London and Johnathan Alder who have larger rosters and larger pools to pick from day-in and day-out. We have no problem playing them once, but competing against them for a league title is tough.”

The school will make every attempt to continue playing longtime Clark County rivals Tecumseh and Kenton Ridge.

“We’ve got great rivalries,” Tincher said. “It’s nice to play those schools, especially because they’re so close.”

Central Buckeye Conference Realignment

Beginning in 2023-2024

(OHSAA enrollment number in parentheses)

Kenton Trail Division: Tecumseh (642), Jonathan Alder (554), Bellefontaine (545), London (525), Kenton Ridge (445), Urbana (435)

Mad River Division: Shawnee (409), Benjamin Logan (407), Graham (398), Indian Lake (373), Northwestern (363), North Union (342)

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