Cardinal Conference (Ohio)

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Cardinal Conference
Classification OHSAA
Region  Ohio
Sports fielded 13
Founded 1960
Ceased 1987
No. of members 7 (at peak)

The Cardinal Conference was a high school athletic conference in north central Ohio that existed from 1960 to 1987. With its dissolution, several teams joined the Ohio Heartland Conference. In 2003, a new conference, the Ohio Cardinal Conference, was formed with the expressed intention of preserving the legacy of the original Cardinal Conference.


Conference Commissioners
  • Don Welsh
  • O.J. Thompson
  • Joe Romano
  • Jim Roman

Attempts to form the Cardinal Conference began as early as 1949; by 1955, discussions began in earnest and on April 8, 1959, the new conference was officially formed.[1] The conference remained stable throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In 1981, Mansfield Malabar became the first school to leave the conference; in 1983, Coshocton High School followed suit.[1] The remaining conference members discussed adding several schools, including readmitting Malabar, adding Mansfield Senior High School or Mt. Vernon High School, but travel considerations prevented any agreement from being reached.[1]

By the mid-1980s, the conference began to disintegrate. Madison and Ashland left the conference for the newly formed Ohio Heartland Conference.[2] Dover High School joined the Senate League.[3] Wooster and New Philadelphia both joined the Federal League.[4] The Cardinal Conference officially disbanded following the 1986-87 school year.

Over the conference's history, the conference had four separate commissioners. The first commissioner, Don Welsh, was associated with Wooster. Welsh was succeeded by O.J. Thompson, and he by Joe Romano. New Philadelphia's Jim Roman was the final conference commissioner in the 1980s.[1]



The following schools were members of the Cardinal Conference during its duration.[1]

Conference rivalries[edit]

  • Wooster vs. Madison[5]
  • Dover vs. New Philadelphia [6]

State championships[edit]

Fall sports[edit]

This only includes state championships won while schools were members of the Cardinal Conference:

School Sport Year(s)
Ashland Boys' Golf 1962[7]
Coshocton Boys' Golf 1970[7]


Dover none
Madison none
Malabar none
New Philadelphia none
Wooster Boys' Golf 1980[7]

Notable athletes[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Dienstberger, Paul. "A History of the Cardinal Conference". Lincoln Highway Leagues. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  2. ^ Associated Press (1985-11-07). "New league formed for Mansfield area". Akron Beacon Journal. 
  3. ^ Lilley, Bill (1987-09-01). "Strong nucleus could keep Lions on top of Senate". Akron Beacon Journal. 
  4. ^ Zban, Milan (1986-04-19). "Federal league takes a leap forward". Akron Beacon Journal. 
  5. ^ Paulk, Ralph (1985-10-31). "Must-win arch-rival in Wooster's playoff path". Akron Beacon Journal. 
  6. ^ "2009 Great American Rivalry Series-Dover vs. New Philadelphia". 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association Web site". Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  8. ^ "James Black." Football Database. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]