GCL formally announces new 18-school alignment

The Greater Catholic League is simultaneously broadening and narrowing its focus.

The prep league announced Monday that it has combined with the Girls Greater Cincinnati League to become an 18-school GCL, but the league has three separate divisions, commissioners and websites.

“I think you’ll see a more efficient organizational structure,” Dr. Jim Rigg, Director of Educational Services and Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, said after Monday’s news conference at Receptions Conference Center.

The re-branded GCL has been operating since July. New logos have been created, and the three divisions are as follows:

Coed Division (coed schools) — Badin, Roger Bacon, McNicholas and Purcell Marian in the Central; Fenwick, Alter, Chaminade Julienne and Carroll in the North. Matthew Koenig is the commissioner. Website is gclc.gclsports.com.

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South Division (all-boys schools) — Moeller, Elder, St. Xavier and La Salle. Tom Gamble is the commissioner. Website is gcls.gclsports.com.

Girls Greater Catholic League (all-girls schools) — Mount Notre Dame, Ursuline, St. Ursula, McAuley, Seton and Mother of Mercy. Kim Douthit is the commissioner. Website is ggcl.gclsports.com.

GCL squads are no longer obligated to play teams from other divisions in the conference. In the Coed Division, Koenig said sports like football and basketball will have separate North and Central champions. Sports like tennis and golf will produce a single champion.

Koenig, the former Kings athletic director, is the director of sales and marketing at Apex Awards in Cincinnati.

“We’re our own entity, and we get to market ourselves as that,” Koenig said of the Coed Division. “I think it’s an opportunity for us.”

There are no plans for expansion, though Rigg said the GCL would consider Royalmont Academy, a new Catholic high school opening in Mason in 2014-15, if there’s interest down the road.

In regard to the thrice-failed Competitive Balance Proposal, Rigg said the archdiocese is “extremely concerned” about the possible separation of public and private schools in Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament play.

“I believe that some of the underlying motivations for the separation are flawed,” Rigg said. “There seems to be an assumption that private schools and some public schools recruit for athletic purposes. We haven’t had a substantiated case of athletic recruiting in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in years.”

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