As Lakota begins its first season in the Midland Athletic League, the remaining seven Suburban Lakes League schools will play the 2009 football season with one league bye on their schedule.
Eastwood will fill that hole by hosting Northwest Ohio Athletic League power Patrick Henry in a non-league contest October 23.
PH has 11 state playoff appearances, including one state championship in 2005. The Patriots have a string of seven consecutive playoff appearances in the running, dating back to 2002. Gridiron contests between PH and its Henry County rival, Liberty Center, in NWOAL contests and the playoffs have become almost legendary in Northwest Ohio football lore.
Genoa had already established former SLL member Northwood to fill that hole once Lakota announced it would be leaving. The defending SLL champion Comets and defending Toledo Area Athletic Conference champion Rangers will meet on Northwood’s field Sept. 25.
The other three local SLL schools didn’t have quite the same luck finding a nearby school to fill that hole — but all three managed to find a team willing to travel here in 2009.
Gibsonburg will host Gates Mills Gilmour Academy on Oct. 2; Woodmore will host Division I Cleveland Rhodes out of the historic Senate (Cleveland public school league) Oct. 16; and Lake will host Allen East in its final game of the regular season on Oct. 30.
This marks the first of only two remaining school years left for the Suburban Lakes League. Meanwhile, the newly formed, six-team Northern Buckeye Conference took another step towards its first season of competition slated for 2011-12.
It is expected that the NBC (Eastwood, Rossford, Genoa, Lake, Rossford, and Otsego) will seek out two more schools with hopes of becoming an eight-school league.
The NBC has named Larry Jones the league commissioner, effective August 1. Jones was unanimously approved by the selection committee that interviewed applicants two weeks ago.
Jones was the athletic director at Sylvania Northview from 1983 until he retired in 2005. He previously was the basketball coach (1978-82) and baseball coach (1976-78) at Sylvania Southview. Jones also served as softball coach at Southview in 1981.
Jones, a graduate of Libbey High School, played football, basketball, and baseball at Defiance College. He had served as Northern Lakes League commissioner during the 1982-83 school year.
Jones was elected to the Libbey Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame in 2001.
The Oak Harbor High School athletic department will host its fall OHSAA pre-season meeting on July 30 beginning at 7 p.m. This is a mandatory meeting for parents and student-athletes participating in a fall sport in grades 7-12. Call the athletic office at 419-898-6216, ext. 320.
Northwood High School girls’ soccer is holding its first training meeting for the 2009 season at 8:30 a.m. July 20. All returning and new players should meet at the school soccer field. Girls should be prepared to take the strength test.