High school football teams from Coldwater, Marion Local and Minster all play for state championships this weekend at Ohio Stadium on the Ohio State University campus.

MAC winning formula: No soccer, peewee football or transfers

Marion Local, Minster, Coldwater will play for state titles this weekend

There are many reasons for the unprecedented high school football success of the Midwest Athletic Conference, which features 10 small schools in Mercer, Darke and Auglaize counties.

Among the reasons for the league’s success: The schools do not field boys soccer teams, meaning more boys try out for football; there are few youth football leagues in the region, so the players don’t start playing formally until junior high and are less likely to get burned out in grade school. And there are few — virtually none — transfers of students from one district to another.

Coaches Chip Otten (Coldwater), Tim Goodwin (Marion Local) and Geron Stokes (Minster) concede their programs benefit from not having to deal with those issues.

“It’s a perfect storm up there,” said one veteran Dayton-area coach. “You’re not ruining kids (with football) when they’re little and burning them out and dealing with everything that’s wrong about the sport.”

Here’s what those three MAC coaches had to say about all that:

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