Coaches press on regardless of OHSAA referendum vote

Todd Porter
Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2013
McKinley High School head football coach Todd Filtz.<br /><div id="dfp-300x250" style="float:right;"><script type="text/javascript">googletag.display("dfp-300x250");</script></div>
McKinley High School head football coach Todd Filtz.


CANTON  Regardless of how today’s referendum vote on competitive balance goes, McKinley High School head football coach Todd Filtz isn’t going to lose sleep either way.

The way Filtz figures, he has a schedule to play in 2013 regardless. If it passes, McKinley’s goal stays the same. If it fails, it stays the same.

“I’m pretty well aware of the wording in the proposal. I don’t know how much of an impact it will have on us football-wise,” said Filtz, who will be in his second year with the Bulldogs. “That’s all I’m paying attention to. I know it will affect all sports in all divisions. As I look at it, I don’t see it having a dramatic impact on McKinley football.”

High school principals from across Ohio have cast a vote on the proposal. The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s referendum calls for public and nonpublic schools to both draw their students from a defined geographic area. Students coming from outside those defined areas will add enrollment to the school’s various sports teams and perhaps be placed in a higher division classification.

Nonpublic high schools traditionally draw students from outside the school district in which the nonpublic school sits. If the competitive balance referendum

passes, those students-athletes likely will count twice as much toward enrollment than student-athletes who reside within the district in football. In basketball, it could be as much as four or five times.

Two previous competitive balance issues were narrowly defeated the last two years. The current referendum replaced a proposal to hold separate state tournaments in all sports for public and nonpublic schools. OHSAA Commissioner Dan Ross has said if this year’s proposal fails, the next proposal is likely to be separate tournaments and the elimination of state championship tournaments in various sports such as ice hockey.

The vote for this proposal is likely to be as close as the previous two.

“All along I have felt that the vote on this issue would be very close, and my hunch is it will probably come down to a few votes either way like the other two competitive balance proposals,” Ross said. “Some folks have embraced the proposal and also realize that it is better than separation of public and nonpublic schools in the tournament, but some others have expressed concern over items within the proposal that have not yet been finalized or tested.

“We have said that we don’t think this proposal is the final answer, but we feel this is a step in the right direction toward a more balanced tournament landscape. We certainly hope it passes. One thing is for sure, and that is that if this doesn’t pass, this issue is not going away.”

OHSAA staff and some school administrators will count the votes this morning. A result is expected to be announced around 1:30 this afternoon.

Regardless, the OHSAA will go to a seven-division format in 2013 for football. That means it is likely that McKinley will be a Division II team, instead of the traditional big-school Division I. Massillon likely is to fall to Division II as well, and Hoover will either be a small Division I or a large Division II team.

“That’s out of our control,” Filtz said. “Our numbers aren’t going to lie. They’re in place for a reason. We’re going to play our first and every game after that, no matter if we’re in Division I or Division II, the same way.”

A new revamped Division II could become more competitive than Division I.

“It comes back to regardless of who is in what division, it’s difficult in the state of Ohio to win a state championship,” Filtz said. “That’s the ultimate goal at McKinley. It doesn’t matter what division we’re in. In order to win it all, it’s a long road. Everybody’s celebration from Division I through Division VI is exactly the same. It’s everybody’s goal at the beginning of the season, and only six experience it.”

BULLDOGS RECEIVE OFFERS

McKinley quarterback Eric Glover-Williams, who will be just a junior this upcoming season, has more than a dozen scholarship offers. Glover-Williams was offered by West Virginia on Wednesday. He has been offered by Ohio State, Arkansas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan State, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Cincinnati and Toledo.

Linebacker Jamal Davis picked up his first Big Ten offer this week when Indiana offered him. He has received offers from Toledo, Kent State, Bowling Green, Louisville, Western Michigan, Buffalo and Marshall.