Walsh Jesuit can finally compete for a league championship in every sport.
The high school, which was founded in 1965, joined the North Coast League for this school year and will take part in the Blue Division against rival Archbishop Hoban.
Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Mentor Lake Catholic and Parma Padua are other co-ed schools in the NCL Blue Division. Cleveland Benedictine participates as an all boys school and Cleveland Heights Beaumont is a member as an all girls school.
“As far as opponents and so forth, there is really no change for us on our schedule because we generally schedule the other schools in our division,” Walsh Jesuit football coach Gerry Rardin said. “Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin is the only one we didn’t play last year that is now in our division, but we have played them in past years.”
Rardin said this will be the first school year that each Warriors team can play for a league championship.
“I am looking forward to the additional thing that a league race could bring,” Rardin said. “Whatever team wins the North Coast League football championship is a pretty good team and is going to make the state playoffs. I would assume. I cannot see a league champion from this league not make it. Making the state playoffs is the No. 1 goal for sure.
“We are new to it. The kids aren’t talking a lot about it, but I think they will get more excited about as we get closer to it.”
Rardin said the Walsh football team competed in the Inter-County Conference in the early 1980s with Canton Central Catholic, St. Vincent-St. Mary and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Warriors baseball coach Chris Kaczmar helped form the Cuyahoga River Baseball Conference in the late 1990s. The CRBC currently includes Walsh, St. V-M, Cleveland St. Ignatius, Lakewood St. Edward, Gates Mills Gilmour Academy and Hunting Valley University School.
“I think everyone is approaching the North Coast League with an open mind and I think in the long run everyone will really like it,” Rardin said.
The NCL White Division features Cleveland Central Catholic, Parma Heights Holy Name, Warren John F. Kennedy, Bedford St. Peter Chanel, Garfield Heights Trinity and Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph.
In other league news, Nordonia is a full member of the Suburban League this year. Barberton and Northwest are independent schools.