The PAC should be renamed the Snow Belt Conference
It isn't easy for a league to come up with a name when the members share few characteristics. Take the Northeast Ohio Conference. The two things all of the schools in the NOC have in common are 1) they're public and 2) they're in suburban Northeast Ohio. It's not much to go off.
So we have a lot of Lakes, Eries, Valleys, Rivers and compass points that don't necessarily identify who's in the conference unless you already know.
One league doesn't have to settle for that, though. The eight schools in the Premier Athletic Conference -- Chardon, Geneva, Lakeside, Madison, North, Riverside South and University -- should embrace the area they are in and rename themselves the Snow Belt Conference.
It's an opportunity for instant identification. When the first band of flurries fly in off Lake Erie each winter, do the television stations send their news trucks to North Olmsted, Westlake, Brecksville or Bedford? No, they go to Chardon, the heart of the Snow Belt.
Principals shouldn't need a calamity day to think this over. It's a perfect fit.
Changing the name would address another issue, too. Since the league was founded in 1998, the closest the PAC has come to winning a state championship in a team sport was Chardon's state runner-up football team in the PAC's first year, the Hilltoppers' final four appearance in 2003, and the South baseball team making it to a state semifinal this past spring (University is not a member in swimming). The PAC has had some success in individual sports, for sure. But the "premier" part of the name could still use some boosting.
In the PAC's defense, it hasn't had numbers on its side. It had five teams from 1998-99 until 2006-07. Lakeside joined in fall 2007. US and Geneva joined two years ago in everything except football, and they're both full-time in football as of this year.
Now the PAC is at full strength, and now is a great time to brand itself the Snow Belt Conference.
Nothing under the sun is original, so I might not be the first to call for this name change. But I'm at least the most recent, and it's something that should happen.
- Howard Primer