Northwest Conference (OHSAA)

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Northwest Conference
ClassificationOHSAA Division III-IV, Football Divisions V-VII
Sports fielded
  • 7 Boys, 5 Girls
Region Ohio

The Northwest Conference is an OHSAA athletic league located in northwest Ohio and includes schools in Allen, Hardin, Putnam, and Van Wert counties. The NWC originally formed in 1947. The Northwest Conference currently awards championships in 10 Varsity sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf (boys), softball, soccer (girls), track, volleyball, and wrestling.

Current members[edit]

School Nickname Location Colors Notes
Ada Bulldogs Ada Purple, Gold
Leaving for BVC
Allen East Mustangs Lafayette Royal Blue, White
Bluffton Pirates Bluffton Red, White
Columbus Grove Bulldogs Columbus Grove Scarlet, Gray
Crestview Knights Convoy Blue, Red
Jefferson Wildcats Delphos Red, White
Lincolnview Lancers Van Wert Blue, Gold
Leipsic Vikings Leipsic Purple, Gold
Leaving for BVC
Spencerville Bearcats Spencerville Black, White

Future members[edit]

School Nickname Location Colors Notes
Fort Loramie Redskins Fort Loramie Red, Black
Football-only member in 2024
Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds Lima Scarlet, Columbia
Full member in 2024

Former members[edit]

High School Location Joined NWC Tenure of Membership Charter Member Current League(s)
Bath High School Lima, Ohio 1964 1964-1966 No Western Buckeye League
Elida High School Lima, Ohio 1947 1947-1972 Yes Western Buckeye League
Forest High School Forest, Ohio 1947 1947-1962 Yes Blanchard Valley Conference (as part of Riverdale HS)
Lima Central Catholic High School Lima, Ohio 2006 2006-2013 No Independent
North Baltimore High School North Baltimore, Ohio 1967 1967-1969 No Northwest Central Conference
Ottawa-Glandorf High School Ottawa, Ohio 1964 1964-1967 No Western Buckeye League
Pandora-Gilboa High School Pandora, Ohio 1947 1947-1966 Yes Blanchard Valley Conference, Putnam County League
Paulding High School Paulding, Ohio 1967 1967-2021 No Green Meadows Conference
Perry High School Lima, Ohio 1966 1966-2004 No Northwest Central Conference
Shawnee High School Lima, Ohio 1947 1947-1953 Yes Western Buckeye League
Upper Scioto Valley High School McGuffey, Ohio 1966 1966-2001 No Northwest Central Conference

Membership Timeline[edit]



  • The Northwest Conference begins its inaugural season of competition in the fall of 1947 with the eight charter members: Columbus Grove, Delphos Jefferson, Elida, Forest, Lafayette-Jackson, Pandora-Gilboa, Lima Shawnee, and Spencerville.


  • 1953: Shawnee leaves after the 1952–53 school year.
  • 1953: Bluffton becomes a conference member beginning with the 1953–1954 school year.


  • 1962: Forest is consolidated into Riverdale Local Schools who maintains membership in a different conference.
  • 1962: Leipsic, in Putnam County, joins starting with the 1962–1963 school year.
  • 1963: Ada, Lima Bath, and Ottawa-Glandorf join the conference.
  • 1964: Leipsic leaves the conference in May.
  • 1965: Lafayette-Jackson consolidates with Harrod Auglaize Local to create Allen East.
  • 1966: Bath and Pandora-Gilboa leave at the conclusion of the 1965–1966 school year.
  • 1966: Lima Perry and Upper Scioto Valley join.
  • 1967: Ottawa-Glandorf leaves at the conclusion of 1966–1967. North Baltimore and Paulding enter the conference at the beginning of the 1967–1968 school year.
  • 1969: North Baltimore leaves in May. Lincolnview begins conference play in September.

Lincolnview entered conference for the 1965–66 season, basketball only. Lincolnview never fielded a football program.


  • 1970: Crestview joins at the beginning of the 1970–1971 school year.
  • 1972: Elida votes to leave the league. They subsequently begin play in the WBL in 1973.


  • 1981: Crestview votes to no longer sponsor football at the conclusion of the 1981 season. They remain a conference member in all other sports.



  • 2000: Crestview, having restarted their football program as an independent in 1999, officially starts play as a conference member again.
  • 2002: Upper Scioto Valley, facing possible removal because of their failure to reliably field a football team during the 2001 season, opts to leave the conference at the conclusion of the 2001–2002 school year. They join the Northwest Central Conference beginning in 2003–2004.
  • 2004: Lima Perry finishes its final year as a conference member after announcing their move to join USV in the NWCC in 2003.
  • 2006: Lima Central Catholic begins play as a conference member after several years of petitioning.


  • 2011: On December 1, the Lima Central Catholic administration announced that due to the results of being voted out of the NWC, they would leave the conference at the conclusion of 2012–2013. The move is made in part due to concerns from other conference members over fairness and competitive balance. A scheduling agreement agreed to before the announcement keeps LCC on NWC members' athletic schedules through the 2014–2015 school year unless there is a mutual decision between a conference member and LCC to break the agreement. As of September, 2013, Lima Central Catholic will remain an independent after unsuccessful negotiations with many other area conferences to become a member.[1]
  • 2012: Ada and Bluffton are asked to apply for membership in the expanding (and neighboring) Blanchard Valley Conference in March. Both schools decline the BVC's invitation and remain members of the NWC. The BVC also invites North Baltimore and Hopewell-Loudon, who both accept.
  • 2020: In response to Holgate leaving the Green Meadows Conference, the GMC invited former member Paulding to rejoin their league. Paulding would accept their invitation and is expected to join after the 2020–21 school year.[2] With Paulding leaving, the NWC invited Blanchard Valley Conference/Putnam County League member Leipsic to join as a replacement, which is expected to join during the 2022–23 school year.[3] Leipsic will completely leave the BVC while maintaining their dual-membership with the PCL.
  • 2023: On April 26, 2023, the school board at Ada voted to accept the BVC's invitation to join their league.[4] No timeframe has been set for when the Bulldogs will switch conferences.[5]
During a special board meeting held on Sunday, May 21, 2023, the Leipsic school board voted to rejoin the BVC. Similar to Ada, a timeframe for returning to their old league has not yet been established.[6]
  • In response to Ada and Leipsic leaving the NWC, Fort Loramie was invited to join the league as a football-only member while Lima Central Catholic was invited to rejoin the league as a full-time member. Both schools accepted shortly after and will begin league competition in 2024.[7]

Notable Conference Rivalries[edit]

  • Ada & Allen East (Battle of Route 81)
  • Bluffton & Columbus Grove (Battle of 696)
  • Crestview & Lincolnview (Battle of Van Wert County)
  • Delphos Jefferson & Spencerville (Battle of Route 66)

Out of Conference Rivalries[edit]

  • Ada & Dola Hardin Northern (former)
  • Allen East & Lima Bath
  • Bluffton & Cory-Rawson
  • Columbus Grove & Pandora-Gilboa
  • Crestview & Rockford Parkway
  • Delphos Jefferson & Delphos St. John's

per ohsaa schedules: Ada and Hardin Northern no longer play.


Football Championships[8][edit]

By Year[edit]

Year Champions
1947 Jefferson
1948 Forest
1949 Shawnee
1950 Shawnee
1951 Columbus Grove
1952 Columbus Grove
1953 Jefferson
1954 Forest
1955 Elida
1956 Bluffton
1957 Elida
1958 Bluffton
1959 Columbus Grove
1960 Elida
1961 Pandora-Gilboa
1962 Elida
1963 Spencerville
1964 Bath
1965 Bath
1966 Bluffton
1967 Allen East
1968 Allen East
Columbus Grove
1969 Bluffton
1970 Elida
1971 Ada
1972 Ada
Allen East
1973 Ada
1974 Bluffton
1975 Bluffton
1976 Bluffton
1977 Paulding
1978 Paulding
1979 Ada
1980 Jefferson
1981 Jefferson
1982 Allen East
1983 Paulding
1984 Jefferson
1985 Jefferson
1986 Jefferson
1987 Jefferson
1988 Paulding
1989 Allen East
1990 Allen East
1991 Bluffton
1992 Columbus Grove
1993 Jefferson
1994 Ada
1995 Allen East
1996 Bluffton
1997 Columbus Grove
1998 Columbus Grove
1999 Columbus Grove
2000 Bluffton
2001 Jefferson
2002 Columbus Grove
2003 Columbus Grove
2004 Bluffton
2005 Columbus Grove
2006 Lima Central Catholic
2007 Lima Central Catholic
2008 Ada
2009 Ada
2010 Lima Central Catholic
2011 Lima Central Catholic
2012 Lima Central Catholic
2013 Jefferson
2014 Jefferson
2015 Jefferson
2016 Jefferson
2017 Spencerville
2018 Crestview
Columbus Grove
2019 Allen East
Columbus Grove
2020 Columbus Grove

Boys' Soccer [9][edit]

Championships, by year (Boys' Soccer was introduced to the NWC in 2015)

Year Champions
2015 Bluffton
2016 Bluffton
2017 Bluffton
2018 Bluffton
2019 Bluffton

Additional Information (as of 2019)

  • Bluffton has never lost a game within the NWC.[10]
  • Ada and Allen East have frequently finished in 2nd and 3rd place.
    • Across the previous 3 seasons, Ada has finished 2nd twice and 3rd once; Allen East has finished 2nd once and 3rd twice.
  • Bluffton has earned NWC Boys' soccer Coach of the Year 5 out of 5 seasons, and Player of the Year 4 out of 5 seasons. (The remaining Player of the Year award, 2018, was awarded to Ada.)

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "NWC-LCC press conference | Video - West Ohio Sports Network". Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
  2. ^ "Paulding announces their intent to leave the NWC and join the Green Meadows Conference". February 28, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  3. ^ "Leipsic to Leave Blanchard Valley Conference After 2021-2022 School Year". May 14, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  4. ^ Staff artcile (April 27, 2023). "It's official: Ada Schools join Blanchard Valley Conference". Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  5. ^ Nogueras, Joe (April 29, 2023). "Ada latest Lima area school to switch conferences". The Lima News. Retrieved May 1, 2023.
  6. ^ Hanneman, Dave (May 22, 2023). "Reports: Leipsic votes to return to BVC". Findlay Courier. Retrieved May 23, 2023.
  7. ^ Nogueras, Jose (September 15, 2023). "LCC to become NWC member". Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  8. ^ "NWC Football".
  9. ^ admin. "NWC Boys Soccer". | The Official Site of the Northwest Conference for nwc news, nwc scores and more. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  10. ^ admin. "Historical NWC Boys Soccer Standings (2015-present)". | The Official Site of the Northwest Conference for nwc news, nwc scores and more. Retrieved 2019-11-23.