June 5 -“The numbers don’t lie,” explained Montpelier Athletic Director Joe Brigle. “When schools are graduating 80 to 150 more students per class than we are, they just have more kids to choose from and work with.” This is the fundamental reason behind the School Board’s recent passing of a resolution which will remove the majority of the school’s athletic programs from the Northwest Ohio Athletic League (NWOAL), which is comprised of schools that have classes at 2 to 3 times of Montpelier’s average class size.
Both Brigle and Superintendent Jamison Grime explained that the movement away from the NWOAL will allow Montpelier’s athletic teams to still compete against solid programs but will also allow the teams to compete against schools that look more like Montpelier in terms of class size. Grime also explained that the class sizes within the school district have been in decline over the last several years.
The decision to leave the NWOAL was not made hastily and has been under consideration by the school system for the last few years. It is a move that coaches, staff, and the school board believe will be good for the student athletes, the school as a whole, and the entire community as it will allow Montpelier athletes to compete against neighboring schools that they can compete against on an even playing field.
The effect of this decision varies across the different athletic teams offered by Montpelier Schools. Montpelier will remain a full member of the NWOAL, with all teams competing in the league, during the 2014-15 school year.
The football team will play an independent schedule during the 2015-16 school year. Beginning at the start of the 2016-17 school year, the football team will compete in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference (TAAC). Current members of TAAC include Cardinal Stritch Catholic, Danbury, Emanual Christian, Gibsonburg, Maumee Valley Country Day, Northwood, Ottawa Hills, and Toledo Christian as well as the neighboring schools of Edon and Hilltop. Both Edon and Hilltop, the same as Montpelier will be, are football-only members of the conference.
Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, Montpelier’s cross-country, volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball, golf, baseball, softball, and track teams will compete in the Buckeye Border Conference (BBC). This will in many ways be a return home for the Montpelier teams as Montpelier was a founding member of the conference when it was formed in 1967. Other schools competing in the BBC in these sports include Edon, Hilltop, North Central, Stryker, Fayette, and Pettisville.
No changes will be made to wrestling as Montpelier will remain a wrestling-only member of the NWOAL. Other members of the NWOAL include Bryan, Wauseon, Archbold, Evergreen, Patrick Henry, Liberty Center, Delta, and Swanton.
As for whether or not Montpelier will continue to face off against long time NWOAL rivals, most schools play out of conference games throughout all of their seasons and those decisions will be made by coaches as they determine their schedules for upcoming years.
Also being approved under consent agenda during the special meeting in which the resolution was passed was certificated employments for Steven Brancheau (7-12 Assistant Principal); April Thomspon (7-12 Cross Categorical Intervention Specialist); Christian Bauer (Health and Physical Education); Raya Fackler, Christina Minor, and Sarah Torres (Summer School Teachers for the 2013-14 school year); and Garret Leininger (Light and Sound Technician). The resignations of Matthew Kaullen (High School Science) and Jessica Oetjens (Intervention Specialist) were also accepted. Classified employment approved included Troy Christman (District Substitute) and Karen Benner (Paraprofessional).
A recommendation to approve a bid from Cardinal Bus Sales & Service, Inc. was also approved.