The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


May 11, 2013

A Don McCormack column: A Spartan existence

Conneaut’s plight as it desperately searches for a league to call home branches in many directions


Looking back

A quick brush up on the not-too-distant past:

At one point, the Northeastern Conference was a 10-strong collective, through 1997.

Then, in 1998, the Premier Athletic Conference got off the ground and NEC members Madison and Riverside jumped ship and headed west.

When ancient rivals Ashtabula and Harbor consolidated to form Lakeside in the fall of 2001, the skids were immediately greased for the eventual demise of the NEC.

Wanting no part of matching up against two schools the size of Lakeside and Geneva on an every-sport basis, Pymatuning Valley, on its second tour of duty in the NEC, asked for and was granted its release to exit.

Still, the NEC stood at six — Lakeside, Geneva, Conneaut, Edgewood, Jefferson and Harvey.

On Thursday, Feb. 14, 2002 a merger of the six NEC schools and the five from the PAC — Chardon, Madison, Riverside, North and South — to form the Premier Northeastern Conference was announced.

Nonetheless, no one actually totally bought it was ever going to happen, the then-leaders of North and South, especially, leading the charge for it not to happen.

And, it didn’t as PAC schools Chardon, Madison, North, Riverside and South bailed on their NEC brethren on Monday, Dec. 6, 2004, roughly 34 months after the merger was announced.

Harvey — which the NEC had stepped up and accepted starting in the spring of 1987 (along with Jefferson, which was joining the loop for a second time) after the Painesville district threatened pretty much every conference across Northeast Ohio with a court case, claiming racial discrimination — defected to the Chagrin Valley Conference on Thursday, March 20, 2008.

When Geneva and Lakeside announced they were exiting, stage west, to join fellow former NEC members Madison and Riverside in the PAC, the fate of the NEC — one of the longest-running athletic conferences in Ohio — was sealed.

By the time Jefferson found its new home in the AAC two years ago, the plug had all but been pulled. The deed was done.

Text Only
  • Kaydee Vaulting to The Rock

    When Jefferson’s Kaydee DeVivo first started pole vaulting as a freshman for the Falcons, she knew it was the event for her.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • run VanHoy racing on

    Geneva track star Hailey VanHoy had a near unbelievable run of success during her final months running for the Eagles.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

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