VANDALIA — The Miami Valley League (MVL), first chartered in 1926, will resume play in 2019 with the 10 schools, including Vandalia-Butler, who voted to leave the Greater Western Ohio Conference (GWOC) earlier this year.
The league will also begin play a year earlier than originally anticipated after a nearly unanimous vote of GWOC schools to allow an exit after one year rather than the two years in the league’s bylaws.
Butler will join Greenville, Piqua, Tippecanoe, and Troy in the Miami Division of the MVL while Fairborn, Sidney, Stebbins, West Carrollton, and Xenia will compete in the Valley Division. The schools will play a nine-game football schedule with all games counting in divisional standings with a champion being crowned in each division. Each school will have just one non-conference game each season.
Butler Athletic Director Jordan Shumaker applauded the announcement.
“The MVL announcement is exciting for the future of Aviator Athletics,” he said. “While I am thankful for our 17 years in the Greater Western Ohio Conference, I believe that the new league will provide a great home for our student-athletes for decades to come. The opportunity to compete in interscholastic athletics against similar schools, programs, and communities will be a great fit for Butler.”
Earlier this year Shumaker pointed to the schools remaining in the GWOC, including Fairmont, Centerville, and Beavercreek, as much larger schools with different interests and needs than schools the size of Butler. One specific example mentioned is a desire for league sanctioned sports in lacrosse and boys volleyball.
“When you talk about schools with 3,000 plus kids versus schools even smaller than us with 900 enrollment the needs are just different,” he said. “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.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.