The idea of a super or mega conference was first concocted five years ago, football being the driving force. The idea was to bring together two of the top conferences, the Pioneer and Western Reserve, along with two schools from the Lake Erie League, Lakewood and Garfield Heights to form the 18-team Northeast Ohio Conference. The NOC would have three divisions, each with six teams. Play would begin in the 2007-08 school year.
The Valley Division would have the best schools, the River would contain the middle of the pack and the Lake the struggling programs.
The principals that formulated the plan added a new twist. Each sport would would be aligned in the fashion. That would mean a school like Cuyahoga Falls would be in the Valley Division for baseball, its best sport, the River for swimming and diving, and the Lake for football.
If you are confused, you are not alone, Coaches sometimes aren't sure which division they are in or the name of the division.
Now after two years of play, the NOC made realignments in each of the sports. Here's the breakdown for the fall:
In football, Nordonia and Mayfield moved up to the Valley Division from the River to join Brunswick, Medina, Solon and Strongsville. Twinsburg, which was the Lake Division champion, moves up to the River to join Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls and Stow. Also coming into the River are Elyria and Lakewood, which drops down from the Valley.
Now for the rest of the fall sports, let's go by school.
Cuyahoga Falls is in the River for cross country, girls tennis, boys and girls golf, boys and girls soccer. The lone exception is volleyball, where the Black Tigers are in the Lake.
Hudson and Twinsburg are the most confusing. The Explorers are in the Valley for cross country, girls golf and tennis, boys and girls soccer while volleyball is in the Lake and boys golf is in the River. The Tigers are in the River for cross country, girls golf, girls soccer, while girls tennis, volleyball, girls is in the Lake, with boys soccer in the Valley.
Medina is easiest to remember, as it is in the Valley for all fall sports.
Nordonia is in the River for cross country, boys and girls golf, and in the Lake for girls tennis, volleyball and boys and girls soccer.
Stow is in the River Division except for two in the Valley - girls tennis and volleyball.
So this is the way these sports are aligned for this season and next. Of course, if two schools opt to flip flop divisions, as Twinsburg and Garfield Heights did in girls basketball and wrestling last year, then it could change.
Now, was that so confusing?