Ottawa-Kent Conference

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The Ottawa-Kent Conference is an athletic league located in West Michigan. It has member schools from Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, and Ottawa Counties. It has 48 member schools that partake in athletics. According to the MHSAA they have the main offices located at Grandville High School. The current commissioner is Jim Haskins. Dave Bos is an assistant commissioner of the conference.

Members[edit]

School Mascot Affiliation Class Enrollment County Year Admitted Division
Allendale Falcons Public B 689 Ottawa 1994 Blue
Belding Redskins Public B 641 Ionia 1995 Blue
Byron Center Bulldogs Public A 1085 Kent 1958# Green
Caledonia Fighting Scots Public A 1417 Kent 1970 White
Calvin Christian Squires Private C 360 Kent 1984 Silver
Cedar Springs Red Hawks Public A 910 Kent 1984 Bronze
Comstock Park Panthers Public B 703 Kent 1970 Blue
Coopersville Broncos Public B 781 Ottawa 1984 Blue
East Grand Rapids Pioneers Public A 986 Kent 1970 White
East Kentwood Falcons Public A 2592 Kent 1961 Red
Forest Hills Central Rangers Public A 1288 Kent 1960 White
Forest Hills Eastern Hawks Public B 808 Kent 2005 Bronze
Forest Hills Northern Huskies Public A 1113 Kent 1972 Bronze
Grand Rapids Catholic Central Cougars Private B 655 Kent 2008 Gold
Grand Rapids Christian Eagles Private A 895 Kent 2008 White
Grand Rapids Northpointe Christian Mustang Private C 347 Kent 2012 Silver
Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills Bengals Public A 1275 Kent 2008 Gold
Grand Rapids Union Red Hawks Public A 1688 Kent 2008 Black
Grand Rapids West Catholic Falcons Private B 438 Kent 2008 Bronze
Godfrey-Lee Rebels Public B 476 Kent 1958# Silver
Godwin Heights Wolverines Public B 609 Kent 1967 Silver
Grand Haven Buccaneers Public A 1960 Ottawa 1985 Red
Grandville Bulldogs Public A 1820 Kent 1970 Red
Greenville Yellow Jackets Public A 1130 Montcalm 2003 Bronze
Hamilton Hawkeyes Public B 790 Allegan 1970 Green
Hastings Saxons Public B 803 Barry 1995 Gold
Holland Dutch Public A 1109 Ottawa 1985 Green
Holland Christian Maroons Private B 800 Ottawa 2003 Green
Holland West Ottawa Panthers Public A 2293 Ottawa 1965 Red
Hopkins Vikings Public B 522 Allegan 1994 Silver
Hudsonville Eagles Public A 1759 Ottawa 1958# Red
Hudsonville Unity Christian Crusaders Private B 693 Ottawa 1995 Green
Jenison Wildcats Public A 1386 Ottawa 1970 White
Kelloggsville Rockets Public B 610 Kent 1958# Silver
Kenowa Hills Knights Public A 1125 Kent 1965 Black
Lowell Red Arrows Public A 1145 Kent 1984 White
Middleville Trojans Public A 914 Barry 1970 Gold
Muskegon Big Reds Public A 1157 Muskegon 2003 Black
Muskegon Mona Shores Sailors Public A 1274 Muskegon 1985 Black
Muskegon Reeths-Puffer Rockets Public A 1183 Muskegon 2003 Black
Northview Wildcats Public A 1177 Kent 1965 Bronze
Rockford Rams Public A 2555 Kent 1970 Red
South Christian Sailors Private B 623 Kent 1967 Gold
Sparta Spartans Public B 858 Kent 1984 Blue
Wayland Wildcats Public B 876 Allegan 1970 Gold
Wyoming Wolves Public A 1277 Kent 2012 Blue
Zeeland East Chix Public A 1017 Ottawa 1965 Black
Zeeland West Dux Public B 850 Ottawa 2005 Green
  • Note: The class and population size are from the 2014 MHSAA listings. The # next to the year admitted is for founding members.

Classifications[edit]

As of the 2006-07 school year the conference has put a requirement in writing for which sports they want all schools to have a varsity level program in. Those include Baseball, Basketball (boys & girls), Football, Softball (girls), Track & Field (boys & girls), Volleyball (girls), and Wrestling

They also listed a second group of sports which they want a minimal of two more sports in varsity level. Those include Bowling (boys & girls), Competitive Cheer (girls), Cross Country (boys & girls), Golf (boys & girls), Gymnastics (girls), Ice Hockey, Soccer (boys & girls), Swimming (boys & girls), Tennis (boys & girls), and Water Polo (boys & girls)

Furthermore for expansion purposes they must have a JV program in the mandatory programs along with adding freshman programs. This has been a change when in 2004 they wanted freshman programs in all of the required programs instead they want to see improvement in the schools to have them form one when participation is high enough to warrant it.

Sports not listed as ones they will offer varsity status for include Lacrosse (boys & girls) and Skiing (boys & girls).

Current Alignment[edit]

This new alignment was enacted starting in the 2012-2013 school year. A new division, the OK Bronze was created and alignments were adjusted. Grand Rapids Creston closed following the 2012-2013 school year, thus leaving the OK Blue with one less member, until the addition of Allendale to the OK Blue, in the 2012-2013 school year, and NorthPointe Christian's addition to the OK Silver filling the Allendale Falcons former position. In 2014-15 West Catholic returned to the Blue and Wyoming took their place in the Bronze.[1]

O.K. Red[edit]

  • East Kentwood
  • Rockford
  • West Ottawa
  • Grandville
  • Grand Haven
  • Hudsonville

O.K. Black[edit]

  • GR Union
  • Mona Shores
  • Muskegon Reeths-Puffer
  • Kenowa Hills
  • Zeeland East
  • Muskegon
  • Fruitport beginning 2016-17

O.K. White[edit]

  • Jenison
  • Lowell
  • Caledonia
  • East Grand Rapids
  • Grand Rapids Christian
  • Forest Hills Central

O.K. Gold[edit]

  • Ottawa Hills
  • Wayland
  • Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg
  • Hastings
  • GR Catholic Central
  • South Christian

O.K. Green[edit]

  • Holland
  • Byron Center
  • Holland Christian
  • Hamilton
  • Zeeland West
  • Unity Christian

O.K. Bronze[edit]

  • Greenville
  • Northview
  • FH Northern
  • Cedar Springs
  • FH Eastern
  • Wyoming

O.K. Blue[edit]

  • Allendale
  • Belding
  • Comstock Park
  • Coopersville
  • Sparta
  • West Catholic

O.K. Silver[edit]

  • Godwin Heights
  • Kelloggsville
  • Hopkins
  • Calvin Christian
  • Lee
  • NorthPointe Christian

2008-2012 Alignment[edit]

This alignment was enacted starting in the 2008-09 school year after the Grand Rapids City League was officially absorbed into the conference. This alignment continued until the conclusion of the 2011-2012 school year when another major re-alignment occurred.

Red Division[edit]

  • East Kentwood
  • Grand Haven
  • Grandville
  • Hudsonville
  • Jenison
  • Muskegon
  • Rockford
  • West Ottawa

Black Division[edit]

  • Forest Hills Central
  • Grand Rapids Union
  • Holland
  • Kenowa Hills
  • Muskegon Mona Shores
  • Muskegon Reeths-Puffer

White Division[edit]

  • East Grand Rapids
  • Grand Rapids Creston
  • Grand Rapids Christian
  • Greenville
  • Lowell
  • Northview

Gold Division[edit]

  • Caledonia
  • Forest Hills Eastern
  • Grand Rapids Catholic Central
  • Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills
  • Hastings
  • Middleville
  • South Christian
  • Wayland

Blue Division[edit]

  • Belding
  • Cedar Springs
  • Comstock Park
  • Coopersville
  • Forest Hills Northern
  • Sparta
  • West Catholic

Green Division[edit]

  • Byron Center
  • Hamilton
  • Holland Christian
  • Hudsonville Unity Christian
  • Wyoming Park
  • Wyoming Rogers
  • Zeeland East
  • Zeeland West

Silver Division[edit]

  • Northpointe Christian
  • Calvin Christian
  • Godfrey-Lee
  • Godwin Heights
  • Hopkins
  • Kelloggsville

Past realignments[edit]

Every two years, the conference realigns itself due to changes in school sizes as some school districts increase at a large rate while others may stay constant or decline. Along with the changes in school populations, they also hear requests to join the conference. The process is a lengthy one and requires a 75% majority of the member schools to allow any new school in the conference. The Grand Rapids City League will be joining the conference for the 2008–2009 season.[needs update] According to the Grand Rapids Press, the principals passed the league with a 43 to 1 vote. The future alignment for the expansion is still on the table but the one currently being discussed will have seven divisions (one more than present) and has been passed by the committee of athletic directors 34 to 10. It is in line with what the conference has done in the past. The executive board is made up of at least one principal from each division would have to pass the alignment on April 18. After that the Executive Council made up all of the principals will ratify it by May 9. The thought process is only do minor alignment change in two years followed by a possible major realignment in fours depending on different factors. The difference would be actual schools added to the conference or change in the number of divisions versus just flip flopping schools around.

According to the GR Press, seven schools voted no for several different reasons. Two schools, Lowell and Zeeland West did not show up for the meeting and as such no votes were given to them. The other schools include Lee, East Kentwood, Hudsonville, Jenison, and Middleville. The reasons given by the press for their no votes were because of concerns about the possibility that the four Grand Rapids Public Schools might drop their athletic programs, because of the enrollment differential in some divisions and because of the size of some of the divisions. According to past policies of the those schools and previous article quotes from those schools it is assumed what schools felt which way. For Jenison, Hudsonville, and Lee it was the enrollment differences along with the size of their division. East Kentwood and probably Middleville were upset with the Athletic Director of the Grand Rapids Public Schools discussing saving money by eliminating two high school ADs after the first two votes of the conference to let them into the conference.

All seven City League schools officially became full members of the OK Conference beginning with the 2008–09 school year.

The Swimming Conferences were realigned for the 2011–2012 school year and consist of only four levels.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable Alumni who have participated athletically in the OK Conference

State championships[edit]

Schools that have won MHSAA (unless otherwise noted) state championships while being members of OK Conference.

  • Note: The Comstock Park Championship was determined by Individual Format versus the Team Duel Format.
  • Note: Water polo is not recognized by the MHSAA but the OK Conference allows it full varsity status. The teams compete for the Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA) State Championship.

External links[edit]

References[edit]