Ravenna City High School
Ravenna City joined the Trolley League in 1919 joining other founding members Cuyahoga Falls, Kenmore, Kent Roosevelt, and Kent State High Schools. During its time of existence Only Ravenna, Roosevelt were members the entire existence of the conference from 1919 to 1951. Cuyahoga Falls left the conference from 1929-1937, but was part of the conference until its demise. Orrville joined in 1920, but departed in 1924, rejoined in 1926, departed again in 1929, joined again in 1932 before finally leaving in 1938. Bedford joined the Trolley League in 1921, with Medina following not long after. Kenmore departed the conference in 1929 along with Bedford sometime in the 1920s. The Trolley League changed its name to the Western Reserve Conference in 1931. With the name change Ellet and Wadsworth both joined the conference and Medina departed. Ellet and Kent State departed the conference in 1937, both for the newly formed Metro League (of which Ravenna would become a member years in the future) and Kent State for the . St. Vincent High School joined in 1938. Wadsworth left in 1941 and St. Vincent High School left in 1948, leaving Ravenna, Roosevelt and Cuyahoga Falls in the Western Reserve Conference until 1951.
History does not tell us what our affiliation was from 1951-1952 – 1962-1963. We were however a member of the short-lived and small Tomahawk Conference from 1958-1961 in all sports but Football.
The history of the Metro League dates to 1937, but Ravenna’s history with the Metro begins in 1963. At the time Ravenna joined the Metro League the existing schools in the conference were: Coventry, Ellet, Springfield, Stow-Munroe Falls, Norton, Tallmadge and Roosevelt. Ravenna had replaced a departed Wadsworth as they left for the new Chippewa Conference, joining Cloverleaf, Brunswick and former Trolley League member Orrville. During Ravenna’s time in the Metro, you saw more departures than additions. Coventry left for the Suburban League in 1969. Ellet joined the City Series in 1971. Norton defected to the Suburban League in 1972. Nordonia joined the conference in 1973. The conference maintained a steady roster until 1988 when Barberton joined the conference. Tallmadge elected to join the Suburban League in 1990, and Springfield departed for the Northeastern Buckeye Conference three years later, and Nordonia the next year for the Greater Cleveland Conference. With only Stow-Munroe Falls, Roosevelt, Cuyahoga Falls, Barberton and Ravenna members of the Metro League, they looked for somewhere to go.
Five schools from the Chagrin Valley Conference – Kenston, Orange, Solon, Twinsburg and West Geauga – departed and merged with the Metro League forming the third iteration of the Western Reserve Conference. Immediately they divided some sports into divisions with the North Division being the five former members of the Chagrin Valley Conference and the South Division being the former Metro League. The league added two new schools in 1997 – Nordonia and Hudson. Nordonia was relegated to the North Division while Hudson was placed in the South. 1998 was a shakeup year for the Western Reserve Conference as both Orange and West Geauga opted to return to the Chagrin Valley Conference and the WRC added Brush and Mayfield to the North Division, replacing Orange and West Geauga. The conference was stable until 2005. It then saw 4 schools depart the conference – Barberton, Kenston, Roosevelt and Ravenna. Barberton went and joined the Suburban League. Kenston left for the Chagrin Valley Conference and our story will continue for Roosevelt and Ravenna.
Dwindling enrollment at Ravenna forced them to look for a new home at the same time the Portage County League was looking to expand to allow for more league sports for their larger schools. The ten members of the Portage County League added Coventry, Norton, Springfield, East Canton, Roosevelt and Ravenna and rebranded itself as the new 16-school Portage Trail Conference. The conference was then split by enrollment with the larger schools becoming part of the Metro Division, while the smaller schools would be part of the County Division. The conference maintained steady membership until 2013, when Windham and East Canton left the conference to the Northeastern Athletic Conference and Inter-Valley Conference respectively. It was then, in 2013, that the Portage Trail Conference would announce that Lake Center Christian would join the conference in 2015. However, also in 2013, Ravenna, Roosevelt and Norton were invited to a meeting about departing the Portage Trail Conference and joining a 16-school Suburban League. Athletic Director Dave McBee went to state – “I’ve been doing this a long time, and I know that you never want to be the smallest school in any conference. We’ve had to do that twice before, and it’s not a situation we want to be in again. For us, this is a perfect spot for us. We’re where we should have been a long time ago.” However, at the same time, Roosevelt AD Mark Pfaff echoed a similar sentiment, but in September of 2013, elected to depart the Portage Trail Conference for the Suburban League. The cards weren’t done being shuffled yet, as the Suburban League would lose Cloverleaf in December of 2013 to the Portage Trail Conference. The trade of Cloverleaf and Roosevelt took place in the summer of 2015. Yet another loss would take place in 2015 as Waterloo elected to depart the conference beginning with the 2017 school year. Waterloo would leave the Portage Trail Conference to join the new Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference. Scrambling to fill a void left by Waterloo, the Portage Trail Conference expands into the Mahoning Valley, with Youngstown Valley Christian joining the conference.
Ravenna Township High School
Ravenna Township was a member of the Portage County League from its inception in 1918, with Brimfield, Hiram, Mantua, Mantua Township and Palmyra. It was in the 1920s that the Portage County League saw major expansion with the additions of Atwater, Aurora, Charlestown, Deerfield, Edinburg, Freedom, Garrettsville, Mogadore, Nelson, Paris, Randolph, Rootstown, Shalersville, Streetsboro, Suffield and Windham. In 1930, Brimfield was converted to a junior high school, with kids going elsewhere for high school education. The conference maintained steady membership until mergers started happening, beginning with 1948 founding of James A. Garfield, by Garrettsville absorbing Nelson and Freedom and Mantua Township merging with Mantua. Then two more mergers hit Portage County in 1950 as Southeast High School was formed by combining Charlestown, Deerfield, Edinburg, Palmyra, and Paris, and the newly merged Mantua consolidated with Shalersville to become Mantua-Shalersville until 1955 when it adopted the Crestwood moniker. In 1953, Windham left the conference. Another shakeup would happen in 1958 when Crestwood and Southeast were excluded from the Portage Trail Conference, and would wind up joining with Windham and Ravenna City (except Football) in the Tomahawk Conference. The Tomahawk Conference was known as the smallest athletic conference in the history of Ohio High School Athletics. However, come 1961 the Tomahawk Conference was no longer needed as Windham, Crestwood and Southeast were welcomed back to the Portage County League. But our story ends here, because in 1960, Ravenna Township High School was merged with Ravenna City High School to become a unified Ravenna High School.