Mid-State League 2020-2021

The Dock

Well-known member
Newark Catholic's league and non league schedule has prepared them for this run. When you play a non league games with Cardington and Upper Arlington and league games with Johnstown and Heath (twice) cross overs with Licking Heights, Granville, Watkins Memorial, and Zanesville (they were blown out in most of them) this prepared them for anything that they will face in the tourney. It gave them confidence that they can compete with anybody in D-IV.
This what has frustrated me, at times, with baseball. Lots of talent and always well-coached, but because so much of the schedule is against teams that you can just 10-0 in 5 and with rainouts screwing up the non-league we get to District Finals: get gut-checked & have a big screw-up and run out of outs to claw back. Happened in 16, 17, 18 and 19. Not that you can’t expect great baseball out of whoever your opponent is at that stage, but if a season goal is to make regionals & beyond and you’re stuck in a big 2-3 week lull of the schedule where only one or two teams pushes you the full 39-42 outs then the level of play isn’t primed in to your team to get it done under the lights.

BU girls basketball? Would argue the same thing. HP boys basketball: This year? And possibly future years? The intensity, skill, physical tools, athleticism coaching and depth that WC has —there’s no preparing for that in this league. Not on any individual mark let alone the sum product of all those things that is WC. BU softball? Same thing.
 

gils

Well-known member
Yea I watched the game highlights on 270 basketball ,WC is pretty good; would not be surprised if they reach the finals. They they gave Newark one of their losses.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
An idea would be to chop the intra-division schedule from 14 games to 7, and then build back to 14 guaranteed games (with crossovers.)

Everyone plays their divisional opponents once... 7 games

From there a school would pick two divisional opponents to play the second time around... 7 + 2 = 9

Then, based off previous year standings, a school would play the two schools who finished in the same standing (e.g. 3rd place Cardinal plays 3rd place Ohio and 3rd place Buckeye) across the other two divisions [9 + 2 = 11], the two schools who finished either above or below the standing (all 1's play the 2's; all 3's play the 4's; all 5's play the 6's; all 7's play the 8's) [11 + 2 = 13] and the school who finished above or below them in the standing in their own division. 13 + 1 = 14

With this system: competition parity is increased, rivals are maintained, variety is mixed in to the schedules and better tournament preparation can happen for everyone.

What would be possible arguments against this idea?
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I don't see why this is a three-division league if its just basically three individual leagues playing under the same banner. Does each division, as a collection of schools, have interests and motivations that are different from the other divisions? If there is no difference of interest or motivation, is keeping things the way it is achieving the goals and interests of all divisions?
 
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bsee54321

Active member
Newark Catholic's league and non league schedule has prepared them for this run. When you play a non league games with Cardington and Upper Arlington and league games with Johnstown and Heath (twice) cross overs with Licking Heights, Granville, Watkins Memorial, and Zanesville (they were blown out in most of them plus 8 of the 12 losses came to these teams) this prepared them for anything that they will face in the tourney. It gave them confidence that they can compete with anybody in D-IV.
Grandview Hts went 1-8 in league play- playing Worthington Christian, Whitehall (twice), Buckeye Valley (twice), Wellington (twice winning 1), Columbua Academy and Bexley. Out of conference the Bobcats have gone 8-1. So if your league is tuff then you can schedule lighter on Non Conference. If your conference does not prepare you then schedule up on Non conference. Harvest Prep scheduled up on their non conference to get them ready for tourney time. I am sure that Grandview would schedule any of the Cardinal Division schools that would call to schedule.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Grandview Hts went 1-8 in league play- playing Worthington Christian, Whitehall (twice), Buckeye Valley (twice), Wellington (twice winning 1), Columbua Academy and Bexley. Out of conference the Bobcats have gone 8-1. So if your league is tuff then you can schedule lighter on Non Conference. If your conference does not prepare you then schedule up on Non conference. Harvest Prep scheduled up on their non conference to get them ready for tourney time. I am sure that Grandview would schedule any of the Cardinal Division schools that would call to schedule.
Not this year, and it ended up mattering. HP played 7 quarters of non-conference basketball before the tournament because COVID issues on the Cardinal side caused the originally-scheduled, league-mandated games to get pushed into dates that were already scheduled into HP's non-conference. Quick example off the top 'my head: HP was going to play up at Ottawa-Glandorf and they had to cancel because of league obligation. They played more quarters against 8th-place Miller, who they beat 117-23, than they did non-conference opponents. Literally -- look here: https://www.maxpreps.com/high-schools/harvest-prep-warriors-(canal-winchester,oh)/basketball/schedule.htm

And to head off "well that was COVID-year basketball, what can you do?" -- look at baseball with rainouts and mandated-scheduling. If a Cardinal baseball team gets their game against a league opponent like Harvest Prep rained out, the league requires them to get the game made up ASAP even if it means cutting out the "schedule-up" in non-league. How often do teams get to play a 27-game schedule? Not often.

There is also an argument that was made a few years ago back on the Huddle from a poster affiliated with a Franklin County MSL school that mentioned "balance of competition" concerns within the divisions: sport-specific and all-sports. That poster made a very eloquent and detailed "relegation"-system argument that wasn't too different from what I suggested.

Also: Grandview and FC were inked to play in boys hoops on the original schedule this year. In recent years we've played the Bobcats in baseball, soccer, and football.

Edits for grammar and Arbiter-reference.
 
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bsee54321

Active member
2 Mid State League teams left in Tourney.
Division III- Worthington Christian vs Wheelersburg
Division IV- Grandview Hts vs New Boston

Good Luck to both Mid State League teams. Worthington Christian has a good chance to advance and win the Regional. Grandview Hts will have its hands full with New Boston. I have seen last 2 tourney games via streamline of New Boston. New Boston is not Worthington Christian but do have some nice players but nothing Grandview Hts has not seen during league play. I think Grandview Hts does create some issues for New Boston. This game could be a close game.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Anyone know where I could catch the NB Glenwood game tonight? Wanna see what we’re up against come tuesday.
New Boston has one very good player in 6'5" Kyle Sexton. I watched them two years ago at the Convocation Center in Athens and he absolutely tore up as a sophomore. He has a very decent supporting cast around him -- none are nearly as flashy or scoring-threat like him, but some decent skill.

NB plays a really weak conference schedule. Saw them vs Portsmouth Notre Dame on a stream where NB would have lost if not for the kid from Notre Dame completely biffing the outlet pass off the rebound while up 1 with :04 left.

NB is also a very peculiar situation because their Competitive Balance number (52) is actually higher than their boys count (48.)

NB would not win a game in the MSL-Ohio. Just my opinion, of course. But that does not really matter in the context of GH vs NB. From what I remember watching of GH at ODU last March (although its a little hazy because...) and trying to consider who GH would have on this year's team (not Collier, not Lachey) GH should be considered the favorite in this game.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
2 Mid State League teams left in Tourney.
Division III- Worthington Christian vs Wheelersburg
Division IV- Grandview Hts vs New Boston

Good Luck to both Mid State League teams. Worthington Christian has a good chance to advance and win the Regional. Grandview Hts will have its hands full with New Boston. I have seen last 2 tourney games via streamline of New Boston. New Boston is not Worthington Christian but do have some nice players but nothing Grandview Hts has not seen during league play. I think Grandview Hts does create some issues for New Boston. This game could be a close game.
Just realized, too, that the Mid-State League owns at least one District Title for D4 boys since 2013-2014.

Without looking, I am pretty sure the total of District Titles in boys' across D3 and D4 since 2013-2014 is 12 for the MSL.
 

bsee54321

Active member
New Boston has one very good player in 6'5" Kyle Sexton. I watched them two years ago at the Convocation Center in Athens and he absolutely tore up as a sophomore. He has a very decent supporting cast around him -- none are nearly as flashy or scoring-threat like him, but some decent skill.

NB plays a really weak conference schedule. Saw them vs Portsmouth Notre Dame on a stream where NB would have lost if not for the kid from Notre Dame completely biffing the outlet pass off the rebound while up 1 with :04 left.

NB is also a very peculiar situation because their Competitive Balance number (52) is actually higher than their boys count (48.)

NB would not win a game in the MSL-Ohio. Just my opinion, of course. But that does not really matter in the context of GH vs NB. From what I remember watching of GH at ODU last March (although its a little hazy because...) and trying to consider who GH would have on this year's team (not Collier, not Lachey) GH should be considered the favorite in this game.
Grandview Hts graduated 7 of their top 8 players from last year. One starter returned this year and is a a junior this year. They have 2 seniors on the team and both have seen playing time- but the Grandview Hts usually starts 2 or 3 sophomores. Grandview Hts goes about 8 deep. The Bobcats are young and have improved as the year as gone- the Ohio Division made them better without producing wins in the league. Not to discount this year but its just an accomplishment to Coach Corbett and his coaches and players for being able to return to Regional Play while going thru 3 or 4 shut downs due to Convid.
As for the game I have watched the last 2 NB games via streamlined- NB kids play well together and they know who their "stud" player is and get him the ball. They seem to have some problems with being pressured- but also can get the ball and play half court and run 2 minutes off the clock. You do not want to get behind by to many (10 or more) because they appear that they will go to a 'stall ball' kinda game. Grandview can score the outside (if the shots are falling) but can also get under the basket. Hopefully the Bobcats will play well and we will see how it plays out.
Its kinda interesting that is may be possible for Grandview and Berlin Hiland to match up in the Regional Final a year later- nobody in Grandview Nation would have thought that would be possible. Unfortunately, last years game that did not happen was a game that may have decided who was going to play for a State Championship.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Central District D4 honors, from the ‘papers. Brock Unger from BU is Player of the Year


First team: Joe Benvie (Granville Christian) 6-3, jr., 22.2; Trey Brininger (Cardington) 6-4, sr., 18.5; Josh Burke (Fisher Catholic) 6-5, sr., 18.6; Cole Canter (Newark Catholic) 6-3, jr., 15.6; Darius Ogburn (Patriot Prep) 6-4, sr., 15.0; Mason Purvis (Millersport) 5-10, sr., 22.8; Brock Unger (Berne Union) 6-4, sr., 18.8.

Second team: Alex Bronder (Fisher Catholic) 6-0, sr., 12.9; Micah Fisher (Tree of Life) 6-1, so., 13.8; Aiden Leslie (Grandview) 6-0, jr., 12.5; Weston Melick (East Knox) 6-1, sr., 13.3; Caleb Ransom (Grove City Christian) 6-0, fr.,14.1; Connor Slabaugh (Shekinah Christian) 6-3, sr., 17.7; Nathan Stewart (Delaware Christian) 5-7, sr.; 18.1.

Third team: Danny Claypool (Grandview) 5-8, so., 10.1; David Crow (Tree of Life) 6-2, jr., 13.9; Dwayne Gilmore (Patriot Prep) 5-10, sr., 10.0; Avery Harper (Cardington) 6-0, sr., 11.0;Shane Knepp (East Knox) 5-11, jr., 13.0; Andrew Peeler (Northside Christian) 6-3, jr., 13.9; Xavier Smith-Lindsey (Patriot Prep) 6-2, sr., 10.0.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Alex Eversole just stepped down from a very successful 7-year stint at Fairfield Union.

Would love to see Shawn Brown from FC get this gig, if he is interested.
 

Snowman8

Active member
Any idea where Eversole is headed? Or why he stepped down after doing such a terrific job?

And I agree that Brown would be a nice fit.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Any idea where Eversole is headed? Or why he stepped down after doing such a terrific job?

And I agree that Brown would be a nice fit.
Not sure on all the details with FU. I know he's a Bloom-Carroll alum, so perhaps he sees himself as wanting his next coaching stop to be BC whenever that opportunity presents itself down the road.

Love Brown. Also would like to see him get an opportunity at a bigger school, if he wants.
 

Snowman8

Active member
Yep. That’s what I’ve heard. They’ve had some good middle school teams recently. Not sure if that’ll translate. They picked the wrong year to re-join though. MOCAL should be as good as it’s ever been top to bottom, at least in recent years.

Genoa Christian up in northern Westerville got a huge donation and is going to build a state of the art facility in a couple years. Wouldn't surprise me if they also seek to join OHSAA and the MOCAL in a couple years too. They seem to play all of those schools anyway. Not sure if the conference has ever held 8 teams before though.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Yep. That’s what I’ve heard. They’ve had some good middle school teams recently. Not sure if that’ll translate. They picked the wrong year to re-join though.
When were they last in the MOCAL?

Not sure if the conference has ever held 8 teams before though.
Taking a guess... let’s say 2004...

GCC
Tree
Delaware Christian
Gilead Christian
Madison Christian
Granville Christian
Maranatha Christian
uh....?
 

Snowman8

Active member
I believe they were it from 1998-2005.

I have a friend who played in 2004 actually. Your guess wasn’t far off from what he said! He responded right away when I just asked and thought:

- Tree of Life
- Evangel (Gahanna Christian)
- Delaware Christian
- GCC
- Maranatha
- Liberty
- Northside???

He followed Tree since when he played. Said he thought Maranatha’s final year was 04, Liberty dropped in 05. Fairfield came around 07, Northside dropped around 09 and came back in 15.

Gave me a little history lesson. I’m copying his text here and cleaning up a little on the punctuation:

The first few years were a mess. Northside popped in and out. Maranatha shut down, Liberty dropped a year after Maranatha, Tree and GCC joined around 2002. I believe Tree’s current girls coach led Delaware Christian boys to a title the first year (1998) and put up like 100 points per game before leaving for Marion Catholic to coach McCantz. Madison Christian was mid 00s. Grace Haven was there for a couple years as essentially a homeschool team, then dropped, changed their name to Granville Christian, tried to rejoin but couldn’t because the conference then required ohsaa membership, then rejoined in like 2011. Gilead Christian was a probationary member at the same time as Granville but never joined for some reason. There were some terrible teams that got dominated by Tree for a decade straight. Tree went something like 110-1 over a decade. Fairfield Christian joined solely as a stepping stone to a bigger conference and left the first chance they got. Shekinah joined in 2015-16, Gahanna shut down a couple years after that.

Lots I didnt know haha. Can’t seem to find any other standings or anything about the conference from the early days. Seems like it was very disorganized and didn’t track things well.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
I believe they were it from 1998-2005.

I have a friend who played in 2004 actually. Your guess wasn’t far off from what he said! He responded right away when I just asked and thought:

- Tree of Life
- Evangel (Gahanna Christian)
- Delaware Christian
- GCC
- Maranatha
- Liberty
- Northside???

He followed Tree since when he played. Said he thought Maranatha’s final year was 04, Liberty dropped in 05. Fairfield came around 07, Northside dropped around 09 and came back in 15.

Gave me a little history lesson. I’m copying his text here and cleaning up a little on the punctuation:

The first few years were a mess. Northside popped in and out. Maranatha shut down, Liberty dropped a year after Maranatha, Tree and GCC joined around 2002. I believe Tree’s current girls coach led Delaware Christian boys to a title the first year (1998) and put up like 100 points per game before leaving for Marion Catholic to coach McCantz. Madison Christian was mid 00s. Grace Haven was there for a couple years as essentially a homeschool team, then dropped, changed their name to Granville Christian, tried to rejoin but couldn’t because the conference then required ohsaa membership, then rejoined in like 2011. Gilead Christian was a probationary member at the same time as Granville but never joined for some reason. There were some terrible teams that got dominated by Tree for a decade straight. Tree went something like 110-1 over a decade. Fairfield Christian joined solely as a stepping stone to a bigger conference and left the first chance they got. Shekinah joined in 2015-16, Gahanna shut down a couple years after that.

Lots I didnt know haha. Can’t seem to find any other standings or anything about the conference from the early days. Seems like it was very disorganized and didn’t track things well.
I am 99% sure the school that is today known as Patriot Prep is the former Liberty Christian in Whitehall. Not that it is directly a successor or otherwise affiliated, but the building is the former LCA. The current Liberty Christian is the one in Pataskala, of course.

Your friend is correct re: Ben Patrick. Ed McCants was really good and played at Northwestern; his younger brother played at an HBCU in the MEAC (I want to say it was South Carolina State.) Those Marion Catholic teams... put up points, gave up a lot of points as well. The legend has it that Dad McCants put them into MC because he was upset Harding didn't hire him as coach. LMAOOO -- that's the most ironically petty thing I've ever heard, if indeed true.

Northside being in the MOCAL back then? A-ha! I believe it. Wasn't too sure on the dates and the entire school history, but makes sense.

Gilead Christian, in that general time, had an actually decent girls' athletic program. When I say decent, I mean making the district tournament in volleyball and girls' hoops (I believe.) Madison Christian, as well, had some good girls' programs (namely volleyball... Mike Rahe, the AD at Bishop Hartley, his oldest daughter attended MCS all the way through and was stellar. Had good teammates, too.)

The one where I politely disagree with your friend on is FCA -- I think the idea of them joining in the MOCAL in the pursuit of something larger is somewhat of a revisionist account. Not that there is any ill intent or motive by your friend! FCA did have the general idea of growing larger than they were in the mid-00's, with the belief that athletics were the pathway, but there wasn't at all any inkling then that they would eventually join the Mid-State League. The bedrock sport of that school was the football program, which was the brainchild of Dave Daubenmire (yes, the same Dave Daubenmire you have probably heard of at some point or another) and some well-heeled dads that wanted their kids to play football. Had big participation rates top-to-bottom in the mid-late 00's. But, the school literally didn't build a single athletic facility beyond the conversion of their already-existing multi-purpose gymnasium into a basketball court. No baseball or softball fields, no football fields, not even a soccer field in case they ever wanted the sport. (And that has come around to haunt them, big time, these last five years and today.) Their basketball ascent, beginning with boys c. 2011, I presume was partly fueled by an overarching idea and philosophy that it was becoming imperative to join a league where promoting wins and success wasn't seen as directly incompatible with the general concept of athletics.

Tree was dominant in that run. They made the 'Elite 8' (Regional Finals) in 2009-10. That 2010-11 season, Tree's first game was supposed to be us but we cancelled. We ended up upsetting #1 seed Tree that year at Westerville North (Tree really was not, hands down, the best team in the district that year. They were probably the 2nd best, though. Harvest Prep was the best team, bar-none, but then-coach Mike Thornton didn't submit his team record -- so everyone basically pretended "well we don't know how good Harvest Prep is" even though they won the Cardinal 14-0 and didn't vote them.)

Trivia: can you name the north central Ohio private school that did not participate in the MOCAL, but did compete in OHSAA and in the Central District, during the 00's and early '10s?
 

Snowman8

Active member
That's some really good stuff!

Good call on Liberty initially being at the Patriot site. A quick check of their website shows that the new LCA Pataskala location opened in 2008 and was pre-school - 10th grade. By 2010, the original Columbus site was broken off and Patriot would have been their own school. So in that sense, I do suppose this would be the first time that the Pataskala LCA joined the MOCAL. I wonder what that would mean for historic record keeping purposes? Would they start over or continue any old championships that they won (I know they didn't win boys bball at least)?

I for some reason have really gotten interested in these small schools since moving to Columbus, so most of that history is all new to me. Pretty funny about HP too. They've certainly done nothing to endear themselves to other schools over the last 20 years. I think Tree of Life's dominance has helped them in recent years too. Probably seeded higher than they should have been. I remember they were state ranked a couple years ago for awhile and then got pounded by a couple MOCAL teams. Reputation can go a long way.

For your trivia question, is it a current team in the conference? What little I do know, Shekinah was in OHSAA but stayed independent until that 2016-17 season I believe. They didn't usually participate in the postseason tournament either but instead went to a national Christian tournament down south (at least that's what one of their fans said when I asked about the banners). I know their volleyball team is traditionally really good and even made a Final 4 once.

If it's not a current team, I'm not really sure who it could be. North Central Ohio I think of up around Mansfield, but Mansfield Christian is too far away and wouldn't be Central District. I know Gilead Christian was in OHSAA and the tournament for several years, so that would be my guess. I found an article researching your question that said Gilead was a probationary member with Granville Christian (because that's what I do with my spare time haha), but something must have happened because I don't think they ever joined. Village Academy would be another guess as a northernish Central District private.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
@Snowman8 – ah, I thought this could get tough.

The answer is the former Mt. Vernon Academy — a boarding school in Mt Vernon that specifically was in the national education network of Seventh-Day Adventist.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
How will this league be next year?

Who is the favorite in both divisions?
Buckeye Division (one/two D1, primarily D2 with two D3's, generally rural/exurban... rarely talked about on this thread) -- Typically competitive!! Bloom-Carroll should be the favorites to win it all next year.

Ohio Division (primarily D2, D3 but also has two D4's, Metro Columbus... has been discussed a few times on this thread) -- Very competitive! Arguably a top-level mid-size school league in hoops for the state. Worthington Christian could be the favorites to win the league again next year.

Cardinal Division (1 D3, the rest D4... primarily privates within the exurbs/rural publics) -- Generally competitive, well-coached in the 2-6 spots even with spare amounts of talent. Literally will be Harvest Prep's to lose. Again.
 

LetsGoBig

Active member
Buckeye Division (one/two D1, primarily D2 with two D3's, generally rural/exurban... rarely talked about on this thread) -- Typically competitive!! Bloom-Carroll should be the favorites to win it all next year.

Ohio Division (primarily D2, D3 but also has two D4's, Metro Columbus... has been discussed a few times on this thread) -- Very competitive! Arguably a top-level mid-size school league in hoops for the state. Worthington Christian could be the favorites to win the league again next year.

Cardinal Division (1 D3, the rest D4... primarily privates within the exurbs/rural publics) -- Generally competitive, well-coached in the 2-6 spots even with spare amounts of talent. Literally will be Harvest Prep's to lose. Again.
That is interesting about the Ohio Division. I would like to put them up against the SCAL or the MAC in west central ohio
 

The Dock

Well-known member
That is interesting about the Ohio Division. I would like to put them up against the SCAL or the MAC in west central ohio
I'd be interested, too, to see how it plays out.

The Ohio has a lot of parity, and it typically does well out-of-conference. Whitehall beat Trotwood last year, Worthington Christian reached D3 state title game this year...

Wellington did beat Ft. Loramie two seasons ago (Spring, 2020) in the tournament (38-35) -- how they would've done against Jackson Center... heads or tails?

Not too many leagues spanning across the D2-D4 classifications, that compete at the level the MSL-Ohio does. SCAL is arguably the best primarily-D4 league in the state. Put them against the MSL-Ohio... would have it as a 4-3 split either direction.

If there were an SCAL vs MSL-O challenge, based off the 20-21' league finishes

Botkins vs WC

Anna vs Whitehall

FL vs Buckeye Valley

Jackson Center vs Bexley

Russia vs Cols Academy

Fairlawn vs Wellington

Houston vs Grandview

I would take WC, Whitehall, Wellington and Grandview. WC for sure. Houston seemed pretty down just by looking at the scores, so I would think Grandview is better than them.
 
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LetsGoBig

Active member
I'd be interested, too, to see how it plays out.

The Ohio has a lot of parity, and it typically does well out-of-conference. Whitehall beat Trotwood last year, Worthington Christian reached D3 state title game this year...

Wellington did beat Ft. Loramie two seasons ago (Spring, 2020) in the tournament (38-35) -- how they would've done against Jackson Center... heads or tails?

Not too many leagues spanning across the D2-D4 classifications, that compete at the level the MSL-Ohio does. SCAL is arguably the best primarily-D4 league in the state. Put them against the MSL-Ohio... would have it as a 4-3 split either direction.

If there were an SCAL vs MSL-O challenge, based off the 20-21' league finishes

Botkins vs WC

Anna vs Whitehall

FL vs Buckeye Valley

Jackson Center vs Bexley

Russia vs Cols Academy

Fairlawn vs Wellington

Houston vs Grandview

I would take WC, Whitehall, Wellington and Grandview. WC for sure. Houston seemed pretty down just by looking at the scores, so I would think Grandview is better than them.

This is very interesting. thanks for doing that. I forgot FL played Wellington...
 

The Dock

Well-known member
D.J. Moore from Worthington Christian just reclassified into the Class of 2021 (was going to be a senior in high school next year) and will enroll into Liberty U this fall, where he is on basketball scholarship. Oh, man!
 
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