TPS cuts could mean the end of City LeagueWritten by Chris Schmidbauer | | firstname.lastname@example.org
As children, my brother and I used to spend countless hours playing Domino Rally.
Domino Rally was basically an elaborate way of setting dominoes up in a series, knocking the first down, and starting the chain reaction of watching each successive domino fall. The more elaborate the setup, the better.
When it was announced in early May that the Toledo Public School’s levy had failed at the ballot box, I found it eerily similar to my days playing with the domino set.
What would this first proverbial domino mean to TPS schools, their athletic programs and the kids who participate in those programs?
News broke on May 25 that several current schools, who are a part of the Toledo City League but not part of TPS, met the night before Whitmer High School to discuss the creation of a new athletics league.
St. John’s Jesuit, Central Catholic, St. Francis, St. Ursula, Notre Dame, Whitmer, Clay, Fremont Ross, Lima Senior, and Findlay could possibly form an athletic league should the TPS schools cut the majority of its athletic programs, and leave non TPS schools without as many competitors in those sports.
It seemed that the second domino has fallen.
The third domino fell on May 26, after months of speculation, that Libbey High School would close its doors at the end of this school year.
And now this has many who follow prep sports in the Glass City wondering just what will be the next domino to fall?
It seems that the news has gotten worse as time has rolled along, and perhaps a chain reaction has been set in motion just like the ones I used to observe playing as a boy.
Once the situation is set into motion, there is nothing that can be done to stop it and there is very little that we can do but sit, wait, and observe until the dust settles and we can survey what has transpired.
If you were to ask any of the athletic directors who met at Whitmer last week, probably every one of them would tell you that they wished the circumstances were different. But sadly the reality is that the TPS board has forced its collective hand.
With TPS cuts looming to sports such as golf, cross country, and tennis, as well as all freshmen and junior varsity teams, non TPS schools have had to face the inevitable.
With an uncertain future, it is time for those not under the heading of Toledo Public Schools to jump ship before the barge known as the Toledo City League goes down completely.
It’s sad, really.
Many of us have grown up watching, participating, or supporting teams who competed in the City League.
The league has been the toughest to compete in.
Some of you might disagree with that notion, but one can’t deny that there was no league tougher in than the City League.
The league has been around since the 1920s, and it has not really changed since the 1960s.
It has stood as an athletic constant in this city, and the league has produced athletes like Jim Jackson, Steve Mix, Fred Davis, Dennis Hopson, Bryan Robinson and Will Buford, and that’s just a fraction of the people who competed in the league over the years.
It makes you wonder how we got here.
Sure, even if the non TPS schools were to form the new league, the Toledo City League will continue, but in what capacity. It’s sad to think of the league with just a smattering of sports to participate in and one less school to play for.
It’s hard to imagine it getting much better either. The City of Toledo continues to shrink, and with money leaving the city, it’s plausible to think that the situation is just going to worsen unless something unforeseen happens.
It just reminds me of those dominos, toppling each after the other.
The first three seem to have fallen, and it makes me wonder what will be the next thing to topple?
Chris Schmidbauer is sports editor for Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. E-mail him at email@example.com. He also can be heard every Tuesday at 11 a.m. on the Odd Couple Sports Show on Fox Sports Radio 1230 WCWA.