Fries speaks out on GCS leaving GWOC

GREENVILLE – Greenville City Schools Superintendent Doug Fries has confirmed to The Early Bird the district is among a group of 10 schools to announce they are leaving the 20-member  Greater Western Ohio Conference (GWOC) to form a new conference.

The news broke Wednesday, Feb. 7, when conference superintendents, principals and athletic directors attended a scheduled GWOC winter session in Huber Heights.

Fries said Sunday he “had no idea how long this (leaving GWOC) had been in the works. I found out a week or so before Wednesday that there was some discussion among athletic directors.”

Fries issued this official statement to The Early Bird on Sunday:

“Upon board approval, Greenville, with several other schools, will look to withdraw from the GWOC by March 31, with the intention to become a new league. Greenville sincerely appreciates the affiliation and the relationships formed with all the GWOC schools. And likewise, if final board approval is given, we look forward to membership in a newly formed conference.”

Fries said each school withdrawing from the GWOC will “deal with it through their own appropriate ways.”

Greenville’s board of education will consider the move, Fries explained, most likely during their regular March meeting.

According to the GWOC bylaws, after schools notify conference officials of their decision to leave the conference, there is a two-year commitment to fulfill, which is negotiable.

Fries said there is agreement between the group of 10 schools to proceed with the negotiation process.

“I don’t know how that will all play out, I’m sure there will be discussions among the league. We’re trying to give everybody an opportunity to get further discussion among their leadership and their boards,” Fries said.

Along with Greenville, schools who announced they are leaving the 20-member GWOC include Vandalia-Butler, Piqua, Sidney, Troy, Tippecanoe, Fairborn, Stebbins, West Carrollton, and Xenia.

When asked why these particular schools had made the decision to leave GWOC, Fries cited “competitive balance and scheduling problems.”

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