Logan turned down for MSL membership
LOGAN — The Mid-State League will not be opening its doors to Logan High School… at least not as a conference member.
LHS administrators have been informed that the MSL has decided against expansion and/or breaking up its big-school Buckeye Division, moves that likely would have included Logan.
Logan has been one of the subjects of ongoing talks among MSL members in regards to possible expansion or realignment.
The mid-sized Ohio Division loses Madison Plains at the end of the current school year while the small-school Cardinal Division has seven schools and the league has been seeking an eighth member.
Logan would not fit geographically into the Ohio Division — although Logan is quite used to travel, schools in that division (Bexley, Whitehall, Grandview Heights, West Jefferson, London and Columbus Academy) see Logan as being too big and too far away — and would be too large for the Cardinal Division.
At this time, Buckeye Division members Amanda-Clearcreek, Bloom-Carroll, Circleville, Fairfield Union, Hamilton Township, Liberty Union, Logan Elm and Teays Valley are going to be kept together. Most of those schools have been together in that division for nearly 30 years.
Logan plays many of those schools in non-conference events in nearly all sports.
Hayes told LHS that adding a ninth school, or breaking up the Buckeye Division in order to make two smaller divisions, are options the conference has decided not to pursue at this time.
The Logan Daily News has learned the MSL was discussing the possibility of moving Hamilton Township and Teays Valley into a big-school division with Logan, but could not find enough other larger schools in the area that were interested in joining.
Having already been turned down by the Licking County League — after several months of speculation, that league decided against expansion last spring — and with Southeastern Ohio Athletic League membership rapidly dwindling, a difficult situation for Logan’s athletic program is gradually going to get worse.
Once charter member Gallia Academy departs at the end of the current school year, the SEOAL will be down to just three members: Logan, Jackson and Warren.
Those schools have agreed to stay together and continue to play for SEOAL championships while either trying to add other members or looking for landing places in other conferences.
Last spring, Warren was extended an invitation to join the East Central Ohio League but eventually turned it down due to travel issues as well as potentially being the smallest school in the big-school Scarlet Division.
Warren joined the 52-school Ohio Valley Athletic Conference in eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia as a secondary conference last winter.
Jackson has been unable to find a suitor as well, having been turned down for membership by four different conferences.
Logan and Jackson both have to deal with being considered too large of a school for some conferences and/or not being a good geographic fit for others.
With no other area conferences interested in expanding, realigning and/or wanting to bring Logan in, LHS will likely have to deal with the prospect of being an independent program with the exception of its limited SEOAL scheduling with Jackson and Warren.