The Conference Countdown continues…with the Greater Miami Conference
coming in at No. 3. Nationally-ranked teams and players headline this Cincinnati-based juggernaut. Did we mention the GMC is made up entirely of public schools?
3. GREATER MIAMI CONFERENCE
THE GUTS: Princeton. The Vikings have a football tradition few programs in the state can compete with. Princeton played for the big school state championship the very first year of the playoff system in 1972 (lost to Warren Western Reserve). Since that time the Vikings have won three state titles (1978, 1983, 1987), been runner-up three times (1972, 1988, 1990) and been to the playoffs a GMC-best 14 times. Former head coach Pat Mancuso ranks No. 3 on Ohio’s all-time list for coaching wins (323).
HISTORY: In 1966-67, the GMC was founded with six charter member schools: Fairfield, Hamilton Garfield, Hamilton Taft, Miamisburg, Middletown and Princeton. Beginning that year championships were contested in six sports: wrestling, baseball, swimming, cross country, basketball and gymnastics with competition for boys only. The first football champion was crowned during the 1968-69 season.
TURNING POINT: 1997. That’s the year Colerain was added to the conference. Since then the Cardinals have established themselves as one of the country’s best programs. They’ve also made 10 of their 12 playoff appearances since joining the GMC. Colerain has been to the postseason nine straight times.
STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS (6): Colerain (2004), Fairfield (1986), Princeton (1987, 1983, 1978), Lima Senior (1997)
CLOSING ARGUMENTS: If it wasn’t for the Greater Catholic League, the GMC would be the top big school conference in state history. How many other titles would Princeton and Colerain have had they not had to match wits with Moeller, Elder and St. Xavier in the postseason? The answer is quite a few more. This year watch out for Lakota West, which has the firepower to make its own run at a state title. The Firebirds have Ohio’s No. 1 college prospect in linebacker Jordan Hicks who has visits scheduled to Ohio State, Texas, Florida, USC and Alabama. Hicks is rated the No. 2 overall prospect in the nation by ESPN.
LAST WORD: Three of Ohio’s Top 8 college prospects, according to Ohio High Magazine, play in the GMC (Hicks, Lakota West TE Alex Smith and Princeton QB Spencer Ware). No other conference can match that.
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