The Conference Countdown continues…with the Mid-State League
coming in at No. 4. Amanda-Clearcreek, Newark Catholic, Newark Licking Valley, West Jefferson, Columbus Academy…need more?
4. MID-STATE LEAGUE
THE GUTS: Amanda-Clearcreek. Head coach Ron Hinton has made it clear that he modeled his program after those at St. Henry and Versailles. Except for its Central Ohio location, Amanda-Clearcreek meets the requirements of a MAC team. The Aces, who have been to the playoffs 15 times, own two state championships (1999-2000) and have played in five state finals (runner-up in 1997, 2003-04).
HISTORY: Although it’s won one state title as a member of the MSL, Newark Catholic has eight state titles and a state-best 30 playoff appearances. In addition to NC and A-C, several other MSL teams have state finals experience too, including: Fisher Catholic (runner-up in 1998), West Jefferson (state champions in 1976 and 1982) and Licking Valley (runner-up in 2001 and 2007).
TURNING POINT: 2003. That’s when Newark Catholic and Licking Valley joined the MSL. Since then those two teams have produced six trips to the state semifinals, two trips to the state finals and one state championship. In addition, since 2003 the MSL has had at least one team reach the state semifinals. Three times (2003, 2007 and 2008) the league has had at least two teams in the state semis.
STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS (4): Amanda-Clearcreek (1999-2000), Columbus Academy (2003), Newark Catholic (2007)
CLOSING ARGUMENTS: Last year the MSL had FOUR teams in regional finals and two in state semifinals, including: Licking Valley, West Jefferson, Baltimore Liberty Union and Logan Elm.
LAST WORD: In 2003, Columbus Academy and Amanda-Clearcreek met in an all-MSL state final (in D-V). That’s impressive.
Best of the Rest