H-L board agrees to join athletic league

BASCOM — A special meeting of the Hopewell-Loudon Board of Education was called Tuesday evening. The board voted to accept the invitation to join the Sandusky Bay Conference for athletic competition.

With the 2019-20 year, Hopewell-Loudon will join the River Division that is comprised of the 10 smallest schools of the 23 SBC schools. The River Division is made up of Lakota, Gibsonburg, Margaretta, Hopewell-Loudon, Fremont St. Joseph, Sandusky St. Mary, Old Fort, Calvert, Danbury and New Riegel.

In the state computer rankings, Hopewell-Loudon will be included in Division seven.

The board was required to notify the Blanchard Valley Conference by Friday of its intention to leave that league after five seasons.

Several factors influenced this decision. Superintendent Dave Alvarado cited driving distances. Traveling to BVC averages 28.8 miles with the furthest being 42 miles to Pandora-Gilboa. The average mileage to SBC schools is 20.5 with the greatest distance being Danbury at 48 miles. Five SBC schools will be less than 20 miles distance.

Athletic Director Brian Colatruglio said of the 10 schools in the new SBC River Division, six are from the former Midland Athletic League. Renewing old rivalries might influence gate receipts. The last five years in the MAL averaged receipts of $70,200 per year while each of the three years in the BVC gates totaled only $66,000 a year.

Basketball teams are to play each other home and away. The BVC does not schedule junior high tournaments which forces Hopewell-Loudon to create the schedules which usually involves entry fees. The SBC is to assign officials for all sports which allows for better quality officials.

The athletic council and all head coaches were involved in the decision.

The board is to meet in regular session Sept 13.