VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT
There was once a time in the Mahoning Valley's history -- before all the bickering, the meetings and the movement -- when you could actually name the high schools in each conference.
That time was 2001.
Nowadays, who's in what depends on when, where and why. (And how.)
But fear not. We're here to help.
So grab a few aspirin, turn your brain on and do your best to follow along as we do our best to break down the area conferences.
Boardman and Fitch are in the Stark County-based league with North Canton Hoover, Uniontown Lake, Massillon Perry, Massillon Jackson, Canton McKinley and Canton Glenoak.
Canton Timken is out. Chaney, Rayen and Wilson began play in the Steel Valley Conference last spring in everything except football.
There is some talk that the three schools will join the SVC in football when Rayen and Wilson consolidate in 2007, but it's still just talk.
Steel Valley Conference
Ursuline, Mooney and Warren Harding compete in football. Beaver Local, Warren JFK and the three City schools compete in everything else.
Metro Athletic Conference
Alliance is out. East Liverpool was going to join, then decided not to, leaving six schools: Canfield, Howland, Niles, Poland, Salem and Struthers.
Campbell will remain independent this year, then join the MAC in 2006-07.
Trumbull Athletic Conference
No change. The eight schools are Brookfield, Champion, Girard, Hubbard, LaBrae, Lakeview, Liberty and Newton Falls.
Sebring begins play this fall after leaving the Tri-County League. The other schools stay the same this year: Jackson-Milton, Lowellville, McDonald, Mineral Ridge, South Range, Springfield and Western Reserve.
Sebring is out, Wellsville is in. The other schools are Columbiana, Crestview, East Palestine, Leetonia, Lisbon, Sebring, Southern and United.
OK, now pay attention. Here's where it gets tricky. The ICL and TCL will merge into the two-tiered Inter-Tri-County League beginning next school year.
Tiers will be loosely based on school size and will vary depending on the sport.
For instance, the first year of football will look like this:
Division I: Columbiana, Crestview, East Palestine, Lisbon, Mineral Ridge, South Range, Springfield and United.
Division II: Jackson-Milton, Leetonia, Lowellville, McDonald, Sebring, Southern, Wellsville and Western Reserve.
East Suburban Conference
Youngstown Christian officially begins play this fall. Other schools include Ashtabula Sts. John and Paul, Cleveland Cornerstone Christian, Fairport Harbor, Ledgemont, Lutheran East, Pymatuning Valley and Southington.
Alliance is now in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference, where West Branch is a member.
Southeast is in the Portage County League.
East Liverpool and Beaver Local compete in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference.
Warren JFK is an independent in football.