Wayne County Athletic League

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The member schools of the Wayne County Athletic League.

The Wayne County Athletic League is an OHSAA athletic conference whose eight members are from Wayne County and Ashland County, Ohio. The following are currently members:

School Nickname Location Colors Middle School
Chippewa Chipps Doylestown Blue, White
Chippewa MS
Dalton Bulldogs Dalton Orange, Black
Dalton MS
Hillsdale Falcons Jeromesville Columbia Blue, Gold
Hillsdale MS
Northwestern Huskies West Salem Blue, Gray
Northwestern MS
Norwayne Bobcats Creston Scarlet, Gray
Norwayne MS
Rittman Indians Rittman Red, White, Black
Rittman MS
Smithville Smithies Smithville Green, White, Black
Green MS
Waynedale Golden Bears Apple Creek Brown, Gold
John R. Lea MS

Former members

School Nickname Location Colors Left League
Apple Creek Aces[1] Apple Creek Black, Gold
cons. 1955
Big Prairie Bobcats Big Prairie Black, Gold
late 1930s
Burbank Bombers[1] Burbank Purple, White
cons. 1953
Chester Pups Chester Township Blue, ??
cons. 1951
Congress Senators[1] Congress Scarlet, Gray
cons. 1951
Creston Panthers[1] Creston Red, Black
cons. 1953
Fredericksburg Freddies[1] Fredericksburg Red, Black
cons. 1955
Marshallville Tigers[1] Marshallville Blue, Gold
cons. 1938
Mt. Eaton/Paint Township Pirates[1] Mount Eaton Green, White
cons. 1955
Shreve Trojans[1] Shreve Red, White
cons. 1963
Sterling/Milton Township Eagles[1] Sterling Blue, Gold
cons. 1953
Triway Titans Wooster Purple, White
West Salem Clippers[1] West Salem Orange, Black
cons. 1951

League history[1][edit]


  • The league began slowly in the 1920s as a "B" league (smaller schools run by the county) with baseball and basketball serving as the primary sports of competition between the schools. The first 16 teams to be members were Apple Creek, Big Prairie, Burbank, Chester, Congress, Creston, Dalton, Doylestown, Fredericksburg, Marshallville, Mount Eaton/Paint Township, Rittman, Shreve, Smithville, Sterling, and West Salem.
  • Apple Creek, Dalton, Doylestown and Rittman had the earliest (and at times, the only) football programs in the league. They competed in the Wayne County "B" Football League beginning in 1924.
  • Apple Creek dropped football after the 1928 season.


  • In the later 30s, Rittman left the league after becoming an exempted village school while Big Prairie became part of the Holmes County school system.
  • In the spring of 1938, a Wayne County Coaches Association was formed to help organize the league's athletic play.
  • Marshallville lost their high school in 1938 when the state told them they could no longer function as a three-year high school. They began sending their students to Dalton for the 1938-39 school year.


  • The former Marshallville High School was torn down in 1940 and replaced with an updated elementary school.


  • In 1951, Northwestern was created by merging Chester, Congress and West Salem with the northwestern areas of the county. They began calling themselves the 'Huskies' and borrowed Chester's blue and Congress' gray as their new colors.[2]
  • In 1953, Norwayne was created with the merger of Burbank, Creston, and Sterling. The original proposed name for the district was 'Burlington' (BURbank, SterLING, and CresTON), but residents preferred the acronym for "Northern Wayne" County. They chose the nickname 'Bobcats.'[2]
  • In 1954, the first official football season began for the Wayne County Athletic League with Dalton, Doylestown, and Rittman playing right away. Norwayne began playing the following year, while Shreve, Smithville, and Waynedale started up in 1956.[2]
  • In 1955, Apple Creek, Fredericksburg, and Mt. Eaton/Paint Township consolidated to make Waynedale (the dale area of Wayne County). They became the 'Golden Bears.'[2]
  • Also in 1955, to prevent Marshallville students from being bused across the Orrville school district territory into Dalton, Marshallville's district was merged with Smithville's. This move enabled the Smithies to start up a football team, but also caused a rivalry to start up with Dalton.
  • The league makeup was now at 8 schools: Dalton, Doylestown, Northwestern, Norwayne, Rittman, Shreve, Smithville, and Waynedale.


  • Rittman was invited back into the league in 1961 as a full-time member.[2]
  • Triway was created in 1963 when Shreve (Clinton Township) combined with Franklin and Wooster townships. They called themselves the 'Titans', after the new AFL team based in New York City.[2]
  • Northwestern began league football play in 1965.[2]


  • In 1970, Triway left the league for the Chippewa Conference and was replaced by Hillsdale, who had come over from the Firelands Conference.[2]
  • Upon opening a much-needed new high school in 1971, Doylestown changed their name to Chippewa High School to reflect the trend that most of the district's residents were living in Chippewa Township and not within Doylestown itself. They felt it redundant to call themselves the 'Chippewa Chippewas', so they shortened their nickname to the 'Chipps.' Despite these changes, many locals still refer to the school as "Doylestown."


On December 3, 2011, the WCAL had its first-ever state football champion when Norwayne defeated Kenton 48-42 in the Division IV championship at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon.[3]

On April 10th 2017, a Northwestern middle school student set the county record for the discus at 174.9ft

Boys league championships[edit]

Year Football Boys Basketball
1924-25 Doylestown
1925-26 Doylestown
1926-27 Doylestown
1927-28 Dalton
1928-29 Rittman
1929-30 Dalton
1930-31 Doylestown
1931-32 Dalton, Rittman
1932-33 Doylestown
1933-34 Rittman
1934-35 Doylestown
1935-36 Rittman
1936-37 Dalton
1937-38 Rittman
1938-39 Dalton
1939-40 Rittman
1940-41 Dalton
1941-42 Rittman
1942-43 Doylestown
1943-44 None
1944-45 None
1945-46 None
1946-47 None
1947-48 None
1948-49 None
1949-50 None
1950-51 None
1951-52 Rittman
1952-53 Rittman
1953-54 Doylestown
1954-55 Dalton, Doylestown
1955-56 Doylestown
1956-57 Doylestown
1957-58 Doylestown
1958-59 Rittman
1959-60 Dalton, Waynedale
1960-61 Waynedale
1961-62 Dalton
1962-63 Smithville
1963-64 Dalton
1964-65 Rittman
1965-66 Norwayne
1966-67 Dalton
1967-68 Dalton, Northwestern
1968-69 Dalton
1969-70 Doylestown
1970-71 Doylestown
1971-72 Dalton
1972-73 Waynedale
1973-74 Waynedale
1974-75 Dalton
1975-76 Rittman
1976-77 Dalton
1977-78 Dalton
1978-79 Waynedale
1979-80 Rittman
1980-81 Rittman, Smithville
1981-82 Waynedale
1982-83 Waynedale
1983-84 Smithville
1984-85 Smithville
1985-86 Waynedale
1986-87 Rittman
1987-88 Smithville
1988-89 Smithville
1989-90 Waynedale Northwestern
1990-91 Smithville
1991-92 Dalton Waynedale
1992-93 Dalton, Waynedale Waynedale
1993-94 Dalton, Smithville, Waynedale Norwayne
1994-95 Smithville Norwayne
1995-96 Waynedale Dalton
1996-97 Dalton Smithville
1997-98 Waynedale Smithville
1998-99 Waynedale Dalton
1999-00 Chippewa Waynedale
2000-01 Smithville Hillsdale
2001-02 Northwestern, Smithville Dalton, Norwayne
2002-03 Smithville Northwestern
2003-04 Dalton, Smithville, Waynedale Northwestern
2004-05 Smithville Northwestern
2005-06 Dalton, Smithville Waynedale
2006-07 Northwestern Northwestern
2007-08 Northwestern, Waynedale Smithville, Norwayne
2008-09 Norwayne, Waynedale Smithville
2009-10 Dalton Dalton
2010-11 Hillsdale Hillsdale, Northwestern
2011-12 Hillsdale, Norwayne, Smithville Dalton
2012-13 Norwayne Dalton
2013-14 Northwestern Norwayne
2014-15 Chippewa, Hillsdale Dalton
2015-16 Norwayne Waynedale
2016-17 Norwayne Northwestern
2017-18 Dalton Rittman
2018-19 Norwayne Northwestern
2019-20 Dalton Dalton, Northwestern

! 2020-21 | Norwayne |}| Dalton

Girls league championships[edit]

Ohio High School Athletic Association State championships[edit]

  • Baseball
    • 1933: West Salem
    • 1959: Northwestern
    • 1966: Northwestern
  • Boys Basketball
    • 1957-58: Northwestern
    • 1964-65: Northwestern
  • Football
    • 2011: Norwayne (D-IV)
  • Softball
    • 1979: Hillsdale
    • 1994: Hillsdale
    • 1996: Hillsdale
    • 1999: Hillsdale
    • 2000: Hillsdale
    • 2006: Dalton (D-IV)
    • 2007: Dalton (D-IV)
    • 2010: Hillsdale (D-III)
  • Girls Track & Field
    • 1975: Chippewa
  • Wrestling
    • 2011-12: Waynedale (D-III)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "History of the Wayne County Athletic League" (website). Wayne County Athletic League. 1973-06-12. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Vasas, Michale Paul (1989). A History of Wayne County Football 1899 to 1988. Collier Printing Company of Wooster, Ohio.
  3. ^ Dorksen, Aaron (December 4, 2011). "STATE CHAMPIONS! Norwayne pulls out all-time thriller for Div. IV title". Wooster Daily Record. Retrieved December 4, 2011.

Further reading[edit]

  • Vasas, Michale Paul, A History of Wayne County Football 1899 to 1988, Collier Printing Company of Wooster, Ohio. 1989.
  • History of Wayne County, Ohio, "Wayne County History Book Committee." Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas. 1987.

External links[edit]