The Cross County Conference has unanimously voted to add Fort Loramie as a football-only member, planning chairman and Newton Local Schools Superintendent Pat McBride announced Friday.
Currently a football independent, Loramie would join the CCC for the 2017 high school season. That would coincide with the varsity football debut of longtime CCC member Tri-Village. Counting the expected return to a varsity program by Bradford, that would expand CCC football to 12 teams.
“The most important thing is it brings stability to our league,” McBride said. “Fort Loramie is well known in all sports. They’re an athletic school. Obviously, we’re bringing in a school that brings that with them. They’re going to be bringing good crowds and that’s what you always want.”
Loramie is a charter member of the Shelby County Athletic League, which doesn’t have football. But that hasn’t prevented Loramie from quickly establishing itself as a small-school power. The Redskins are on a run of six straight seasons of advancing to the football playoffs.
CCC members Covington, Miami East and Tri-County North also qualified for the 2014 football playoffs.
The CCC would split into two divisions of six teams each for football only. Which division teams are placed would depend on the previous combined four seasons’ results against member schools. Weeks 1-2 will be open dates and Weeks 3-10 conference games.
Similar to the Midwest Athletic Conference, a two-year adjustment of conference games will be used. That ensures the best teams don’t play the weakest teams and the maximum amount of computer points are available.
Ironically, Loramie is currently seeking a head football coach following the resignation of Matt Burgbacher. He succeeded Scot Brewer at Troy.
Tri-Village announced in January it would begin a middle school and JV football program this fall and field its first varsity team in 2017. The Patriots have since named Jason Schondelmyer their head football coach.
Bradford opted not to field a varsity team last season because of low participation numbers and the preseason resignation of then-head coach Curtis Enis, the former NFL player. John Cruse was promoted to lead the Railroaders as a JV program last year.
Not counting Tri-Village, Newton and Franklin Monroe are the only CCC members that participate in all girls and boys sports except football.
Once Tri-Village announced it was starting a football program, McBride began the search for a 12th football-playing member. The even number of teams makes it easier for scheduling.
“It was a perfect fit,” McBride said of Loramie’s addition. “We’re glad to have them.”