The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020

Paulding leaving the Northwest Conference

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

PAULDING — The Northwest Conference is losing one of its nine members, as Paulding has accepted an invitation to join the Green Meadows Conference.

The Panthers will replace Holgate, who was removed from the conference last month. Holgate has since agreed to join the Buckeye Border Conference and the Northern 8 Conference for eight-man football.

Holgate was the smallest school in the Green Meadows Conference and Paulding will become the largest GMC school.

A press release from the GMC said the conference’s Executive Board met last Thursday to discuss potential options for membership recruitment that would be in the best interest for all sports and schools across the conference.

“After much discussion the GMC Executive Board extended
an invitation to the Paulding Exempted Village Schools to join the Green Meadows Conference,” the release stated.

Paulding quickly accepted the invitation via a formal written response and a meeting was scheduled for Friday, February 28, between Paulding’s athletic representatives and the GMC Executive Board Recruitment Committee. The move still needs official approval by the Paulding Board of Education.

“We are excited for the future of the GMC and look forward to discussing this opportunity further with Paulding,” the release said. “Our goal is be transparent and supportive of Paulding while discussing timelines and expectations prior to finalizing their decision to officially join the Green Meadows Conference.”

Paulding High School Athletic Director Tyler Arend did not respond to a request for comment.

The decision by Paulding will leave the NWC with eight members – Ada, Allen East, Bluffton, Columbus Grove, Crestview, Delphos Jefferson, Lincolnview and Spencerville.

Paulding was a charter member of the GMC, which was formed in 1962, along with Ayersville, Fairview, Hicksville and Jewel (now Tinora). The school left for the NWC in 1974 and was replaced by Edgerton the following year. The Green Meadows Conference is currently made up of Antwerp, Ayersville, Edgerton, Fairview, Hicksville, Tinora and Wayne Trace.

It’s currently unknown what, if any move will be made by NWC officials to add another team, which would bring the conference back to nine teams, including eight for football. Lincolnview is the only conference school that doesn’t field a football team.

“At this point there is nothing that I can respond to as the conference has received no official word on any changes with respect to Paulding’s status in the league,” NWC Commissioner Jim Raabe said.

The NWC hasn’t had a membership change since the end of the 2012-2013 school year, when Lima Central Catholic left the conference.

POSTED: 02/25/20 at 7:52 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports