Board of Education approves GWOC exit

By Darrell Wacker -

VANDALIA — The Vandalia-Butler Board of Education voted 3-0 to leave the Greater Western Ohio Conference during its meeting on Tuesday morning.

The vote means that the Aviators will join a new 10-team conference with Fairborn, Greenville, Piqua, Sidney, Stebbins (Mad River), Tippecanoe (Tipp City), Troy, West Carrollton, and Xenia pending Board of Education approval in each of those districts.

Board Member Kent Zimmerman left the meeting prior to the vote and Member Melissa Pruszynski was absent from the meeting.

The resolution says that Vandalia-Butler will leave the conference at the end of the 2019-20 school year “or sooner if by mutual agreement.” A new league is to be formed no later than the 2020-21 school year.

News of the impending breakup broke earlier this month after the winter meeting of the GWOC’s athletic directors, principals, and superintendents.

The schools’ departure would leave the GWOC with 10 teams incuding Trotwood-Madison, Centerville, Wayne, Fairmont, Beavercreek, Springfield, Northmont, Springboro, Miamisburg, and Lebanon.

In an interview earlier this month, Butler Athletic Director Jordan Shumaker talked about the different needs of Butler versus schools such as Centerville or Fairmont that are nearly three times Butler’s size.

“When you talk about schools with 3,000 plus kids versus schools even smaller than us with 900 enrollment the needs are just different,” said Shumaker. “That doesn’t make our needs more important than anyone else’s but it does make them different. These are not new issues which is why we are in the sixth iteration of the GWOC in 20 years and, just like we have done for the past 20 years, we are in discussions on how best to solve them. Everyone wants what is best for their community and their kids which is what we are paid to do.”

Shumaker said that the larger schools want league-sanctioned sports in lacrosse and boys volleyball – sports the smaller schools don’t play. He also said that the communities are different as are the competition level.

“We are all for increased participation but not if it is detrimental to the athletic department as a whole,” he said. “These are all issues we are talking about and deciding if we can solve as a group of 20 schools or are they solved a different way.

Shumaker said Butler athletes will see very little change in the teams is sees on the schedule. He noted the Northmont football game, mandated by the GWOC, will likely move to a different week.

“We will still go out and schedule the Fairmonts, Beavercreeks, and Centervilles – schools 2-3 times our size, when it makes sense for us to do so,” he said.

By Darrell Wacker

Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.

Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.