The following is a brief history of the Fort Ancient Valley Conference which is beginning its thirty-ninth year of league competition. The league has undergone many changes over those thirty-nine years.
The Fort Ancient Valley Conference composed of seven high schools (five Warren County & two Clinton County) representing Clearcreek (Springboro), Kings Mills, Little Miami, Mason , Waynesville, Blanchester, and Clinton Massie was formed at a meeting held Tuesday, April 28, 1964 at the office of Raymond F. Hatfield, Warren County Superintendent of Schools. Temporary officers elected were Raymond Hatfield, Chairman and Charles W. Smith (Superintendent, Little Miami), Secretary-Treasurer. On May 14, 1964 Paul E. Landis, Commissioner of the Ohio High Athletic Association sent a letter acknowledging the formation of the new league and "wishing them a most successful Conference."
Members of the conference stated Fort Ancient Valley was an appropriate name for their new conference as world famous Fort Ancient is located within their topography. Fort Ancient is the largest prehistoric fortification in the United States containing three mounds located on a bluff overlooking the scenic Little Miami River Valley. The name of the conference was selected from more than 20 submitted for consideration.
Member schools began varsity play in 1965-66 in football, basketball, baseball, track and field, and 1966-67 in golf, tennis and cross country. Only one high school had participated in football for more than two years and four of the schools fielded their first varsity football squad in 1964. Champions that first year of league play were Mason in football, Springboro in basketball, Springboro and Clinton Massie in baseball, and Springboro in track. Champions the first year in golf was Little Miami, Mason in tennis and Little Miami in cross country. The league stayed at seven teams for nine years.
Time of Change
In 1974 East Clinton entered the league making eight teams. In 1977 began a period of change with smaller schools leaving and schools of similar size joining. In 1977 Clinton Massie, East Clinton and Wayesville left the league. That same year Lockland in Hamilton County joined and then Ross from Butler County joined in 1978 to make seven teams again. In 1979 Madison of Butler County joined to make it eight teams but Lockland left in 1980 and back to seven we went. In 1984 Madison left, leaving six teams until 1986 when Goshen from Clermont County joined, getting the league back to seven teams.
In 1992 Blanchester left because they were the smallest school and the other schools were growing at a much faster rate. Then began the expansion of the FAVC looking to the future. To find bigger schools that were mainly Division II in football as many of the present schools were growing to that size. In 1992 the league added Norwood and Wilmington, schools larger than any of the other FAVC schools. This brought the league to eight teams again and made it one of the best division II/III leagues in Southwest Ohio. In 1997 Lebanon and Loveland began play in the league. Both schools were larger than the other schools except Mason and brought the league to its' largest size ever to this point at ten teams and made the league even stronger. Springboro a charter member, announced that they would be leaving the league beginning in 1998.
The league then began to look at expansion again, seeing if something could be done that would strengthen the league and give it flexibility for the future. The league wanted to help both the larger schools that were growing very rapidly and the smaller schools that were growing at a slower pace. For that reason the league actively went out looking for larger schools, primarily division I, with complete athletic programs from junior high through varsity. The goal was to reach sixteen teams and go to two divisions, based mainly on size and location. Seven schools were accepted into the league between December, 1997 and February, 1998 to begin play in 1999-2000. They were Amelia and Glen Este in Clermont County; Anderson, Turpin, Harrison, Northwest and Winton Woods in Hamilton County. All of these schools except Turpin are larger than any of the present FAVC schools and will make the FAVC the largest league in Southwest Ohio as far as number of teams.
Adjustment & Realignment
In January of 2000, Lebanon notified the league they would be leaving to go back to the MML. The league made the decision to take time to look at realignment before deciding on adding another school to get back to 16 teams. After a year of study, the league made the decision to realign. Turpin and Northwest would move to the Cardinal Division and Loveland would move to the Buckeye Division. The FAVC accepted the application of Walnut Hills. The realignment and the joining of Walnut Hills would be effective in the fall of 2003. The league established a Realignment Committee that will look at enrollment and competition every two years to see if adjustments are needed. In the fall of 2003, Buckeye Division will be comprised of Amelia, Anderson, Glen Este, Harrison, Loveland, Mason, Walnut Hills, and Winton Woods. The Cardinal Division will be comprised of Goshen, Kings, Little Miami, Northwest, Norwood, Ross, Turpin, and Wilmington.
In the fall of 2003, Goshen notified the FAVC they would be leaving the league to join the Southwest Buckeye Conference. During the winter and spring of 2004 the FAVC had many discussions on what the league should do. In the fall of 2004 the FAVC decided to expand further to 18 schools and go to three divisions of six schools in each division. Edgewood and Talawanda were accepted in September 2004 and in February 2005 Mt. Healthy was accepted to bring the total number of schools to eighteen. The league decided to name the third division the Scarlet Division. The league feels this will create better balance and competition within each of the divisions and the schools in the divisions will be better geographically aligned. Then in the summer of 2006 Milford accepted the invitation of the FAVC to join and Mason whose enrollment had made it a great deal larger than any other FAVC school applied to the GMC and was accepted.
Starting in the fall of 2007 the new FAVC league alignment will be:
Buckeye Division - Anderson, Glen Este, Harrison, Loveland, Milford, and Winton Woods
Cardinal Division - Amelia, Kings, Little Miami, Turpin, Walnut Hills, Wilmington
Scarlet Division - Edgewood, Mount Healthy, Northwest, Norwood, Ross, Talawanda