XENIA — Finally placed with schools its own size, Xenia High School athletic teams excelled during the 2016-‘17 school year.
With the addition of Tipp City Tippecanoe and Riverside Stebbins to its league numbers, the Greater Western Ohio Conference divided up its 20 member schools into four divisions for the 2016-‘17 school year.
In years past, Xenia had been in a GWOC South division with bigger schools Lebanon, Miamisburg and Springboro, along with the similarly sized schools of Fairborn and West Carrollton. The Buccaneers often finished as the dividing line between the big schools and the smaller ones in the division.
For the 2016-‘17 school year, Xenia, Fairborn, Trotwood-Madison, Stebbins and West Carrollton made up the American South, while former GWOC South big schools Miamisburg, Springboro and Lebanon joined Clayton Northmont to form the National West division.
Xenia Athletic Director Nathan Kopp said the switch made a world of difference to the Buccaneers athletic programs.
“It’s really given our kids some great opportunities,” Kopp said. “Of the 16 sports we compete in, we won 10 of the 16 American South titles. As a result, we won the All-Sports Trophy for the GWOC American South.”
Not only is Xenia the first school to win the American South title (since it was the first year of the division), but Kopp said it is Xenia’s first-ever GWOC All-Sports title since the school joined the conference in 2001.
The All-Sports Trophy is determined by scoring how each school finished the season in each sport. Six points go to the division winner, with four points going for second, three for third, two points for fourth and a single point for finishing last.
Xenia got off to a terrific start during the fall season. The Bucs were awarded division titles in boys golf, boys cross country, girls cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball.
In the winter, Xenia earned three more titles. Buccaneer teams in boys swimming, girls swimming and boys bowling each claimed GWOC American South crowns.
Finally in the spring season, the boys tennis team won the American South.
In all, Xenia racked up 94 total points among American South schools. Fairborn was second with 79.5 points, followed by Stebbins and Trotwood-Madison in a tie for third with 52 points each and then West Carrollton with 46.5.
Six Xenia student-athletes were named Players of the Year, while seven Buccaneer coaches received Coach of the Year honors.
“It was a really good year, and a great way to start our membership in the GWOC American South,” Kopp said. “It was a nice positive for our sports programs to be a part of.”
Kopp said the title winning teams were rewarded with a Champions Dinner, catered by Olive Garden Restaurant, as a way of thanking them for their hard work during their respective seasons.
“We had one dinner in the fall and another in the spring,” Kopp said. “And then all of the kids got a T-shirt that read ‘GWOC Champions.’ It was just a small token of appreciation from us for all of their hard work. … I don’t know if we’ll win 10 titles every school year, but if we can celebrate them, (an Olive Garden dinner) is one way that we’ll do that.”
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.