Glen Este and Milford High Schools are among the seven founders of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference, which will begin competition in the fall of the 2012-2013 school year.
Previously members of the Fort Ancient Valley Conference, both schools felt the need athletically as well as financially to move on from the FAVC in hopes of beginning a new league.
In October 2010, the seven schools that now make up the ECC decided to put the wheels in motion to begin to create a new conference and they have seen that plan come to fruition as they gear up for the upcoming school year.
“The FAVC split up and we formed some geographical relationships and the schools that are in the ECC came together and made it work,” Milford athletic director Mark Trout said.
For Milford, this will be the schools third conference in the last seven years after coming on board with FAVC in 2007 before their stint in the Greater Miami Conference.
Trout explained that the decision to move from the FAVC to the ECC was one predicated on some common sense factors such as geographical location, financial responsibility and an opportunity to continue natural rivalries.
“Obviously, (the move is better) for drive time and transportation, but it’s not only cost. We don’t want the kids to being out that late so far away, so if you can limit that, then that’s great,” Trout explained. “We have similar programming with the other schools and we will have built in natural rivalries like Milford and Loveland and Anderson and Turpin.”
Glen Este athletic director Dan Simmons echoed many of Trout’s feelings concerning the move.
“The direction of the schools (forming the ECC) and where they are and where they want to go, we all have a similar purpose it seems,” Simmons said. “All the A.D.s and principals of the schools are excited.”
Joining Glen Este and Milford in the new ECC next year will be Anderson, Kings, Loveland, Turpin and Walnut Hills. The conference also recently announced the addition of Withrow University High School, which will begin competition in the 2014-2015 season.
With geographical location being a big selling point for the schools, all seven members are located east of Interstate-71. Both Simmons and Trout believe this factor to be advantageous to what the schools are trying to do to be athletic and financially responsible.
“We will save money on our trips because they’re not as far,” Simmons said. “If we want to go to Wilmington, we can agree with them, same thing with Harrison. Now, we have the choice if we want to travel there.”
Trout reaffirmed Simmons’ thoughts by pointing to a rise in revenue that could come with the new conference alignment.
“With the natural rivalries, we hope to bring in more attendance since fans won’t have to drive very far to come out to games,” he said.
Simmons also said that Glen Este is expecting a pick-up at the gates and believes that the move will be easier on both the players’ families and fans in general of high school sports.