A year ago when it was announced that Madison-Plains High School would be moving from the Central Ohio-based Mid-State League Ohio Division to the expanding rural-based Ohio Heritage Conference, fellow MSL and Madison County rival West Jefferson insisted it was happy where it was and had no intentions of changing leagues.
That was before WJ officials realized that there was no real plan in place to replace Madison-Plains, leaving the Roughriders to make a decision they felt was best for their future.
West Jefferson and Greenon High School were recently invited to join the OHC after both schools applied for entry into the league a couple of months ago. If each school board approves the move they will become the 11th and 12th members of the conference which currently stands at eight teams.
The current league stands at eight but will expand to 10 in all sports except football this upcoming fall, with the addition of Madison-Plains and Fairbanks of Union County. If West Jeff and Greenon are officially accepted, the new OHC will see its footprint cover a five- county area, including Champaign, Clark, Greene, Madison and Union counties.
Seeing the uncertainty that was in place in the MSL definitely helped West Jefferson opt for the OHC, which had a much clearer idea of what it wanted to do going forward. The MSL has three divisions but it seemed to have a number of schools unwilling to realign to adjust to the depature of Madison-Plains.
“We’re really excited about it,” WJHS director of athletics Matt Adams said of the move. “I was on the MSL realignment committee because I wanted to see how the MSL Ohio would be affected by the (MPHS) move. But we found out that people don’t really want to move leagues, and Worthington Christian doesn’t really want to come into the Ohio.
“We really enjoy the MSL, but once we looked at the OHC it just seemed like a much better fit for us.”
The OHC was established in 2001 with founding members (Springfield) Catholic Central, Cedarville, Greeneview, Mechanicsburg, Northeastern, Southeastern, Triad and West Liberty-Salem.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616 ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.