Last week was historic for the Midwest Athletic Conference as the league won its 100th – and 101st – state championships since forming in 1973.
It is remarkable to think about the success the MAC has had in the past 40 past years.
The MAC’s 101 state championships only include team championships, so no individual or relay championships count to that number, and only include championships won by teams who were a member of the league at the time that they won, so state titles won by Delphos St. John’s, Fort Recovery and Versailles prior to joining the league also don’t count. So many of Versailles’ championships aren’t included in the 101, including the many individual titles won by Tammy Berger and Samuel Prakel in recent years or the Tigers’ many football championships in the 1990s.
Of the 10 MAC’s 10 members schools, nine of them have won state championships with only New Bremen still looking for its first. Minster has 27 state championships, St. Henry has 20, Coldwater has 16, Marion Local has 13, Delphos St. John’s has 10, Versailles has six, Fort Recovery has four, Parkway has four, and New Knoxville has one – once again not including the titles of teams before they joined the league.
The conference’s first state title came back in 1975 when the Marion Local boys basketball team won the Class A state championship. The Flyers collected the conference’s 100th championship when they won the Division VI state championship in football a week ago. One day later, Coldwater won the MAC’s 101st championship with a win in the Division V football championship.
Football is one of the most remarkable sports to look at the MAC’s success.
Delphos St. John’s, Marion Local, St. Henry and Versailles each have won six state championships in football (including the Tigers’ wins prior to joining the league in 2001), which is tied for fifth best in state history during the playoff era. Only Cleveland St. Ignatius (11), Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (8), Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (8) and Newark Catholic (8) have won more state titles than the MAC’s quartet. Marion Local, St. Henry and Versailles also share the distinction of having won the most football state championships among public schools in Ohio High School Athletic Association history.
And that’s not even taking into account Coldwater, who has three state championships and five runner up finishes in football, or Minster’s state title in football. That makes for more than half of the league owning state championships in football alone.
Current MAC teams have accounted for 28 state championships in football, the most of any league in the state. Even if you would take away Versailles’ five state championships prior to joining the league, the MAC would own 23 titles in football, still the best in the state. The MAC has at least twice as many football championships as every other league in the state with the exception of the Greater Catholic League, which has 19 state championships in football.
Also, when it comes to winning percentage in the state’s football playoffs, Delphos St. John’s leads the way at .845 (49-9), Marion Local is second at .842 (48-9), St. Henry is fourth at .827 (43-9), Versailles is fifth at .800, and Coldwater is sixth at .769 (50-15). That’s five of the six most successful playoff teams in state history all in the same conference (Cleveland St. Ignatius is third at .829). If the teams weren’t knocking each other out so often, they could have even better percentages.
The MAC has had at least one team play for a state championship in football every year since 2003. And 10 times since 1999 the MAC has had two teams play for state championships in football, bringing home two state titles in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2012.
And it isn’t just football in which the MAC excels. The conference has won championships in volleyball, boys golf, boys cross country, girls cross country, boys basketball, girls basketball, boys bowling, girls bowling, baseball and girls track and field.
Since the league was formed in 1973, the MAC has won a state championship in all but two school years – the 1973-74 debut season and in 1980-81. The league’s first season in 1973-74 also is the only year the conference hasn’t had a state final finalist in its history.
And looking back, the league really didn’t start to become really dominant until the 1990s. The conference had 20 championships prior to 1990 and 81 since then.
The MAC has 48 state titles since 2000, which is more than three a year. The last time the MAC failed to have at least three state champions was in 1998-99 when it had two. The last time the MAC failed to have at least two state champions was in 1993-94.
What the MAC has accomplished is amazing, and the conference seems to be getting stronger as time goes on.
Kyle Shaner is the sports editor for the Daily Advocate. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.