Friday, October 25, 2013

Western Reserve Conference? How about Snow Belt Conference?

Kudos to the soon-to-be Western Reserve Conference for going with something different and not considering their new league an expansion of the Premier Athletic Conference.

The PAC acronym was fine, but the full name? Generic, and with three state final-four appearances in team sports in nearly 15 years, premier isn't the best descriptor.

The WRC has a little history behind it. It was the name of a conference spawned out of all the shuffling that occurred in the mid-to-late 1990s.

New WRC members Mayfield and Brush were in the old version from 1998 to 2006. They helped replace West Geauga, which joined in 1996 and was back in the CVC two years later. Kenston also joined in 1996 and returned to the CVC in 2005.

But is Western Reserve Conference the best name? Maybe. It's safe and agreeable, like wheat bread.

Here are two alternatives, one that has probably crossed many minds, and one I'm offering up.

1) Greater Cleveland Conference. It has plenty of history with four of the new WRC schools - Brush, Mayfield, North and South. Unfortunately, it's not available. As my colleague John Kampf found out while reporting the story, Mentor owns the rights to the name from back when the original GCC parted ways with the Cardinals in the early 1990s. With the turnover rate in the Northeast Ohio Conference, the Cardinals might need it.

2) Snow Belt Conference. I pitched this as a new name for the PAC a couple years ago. Here goes another try. Exhibit A: What you saw outside your window Thursday morning. It's a great name for a conference on the East Side. Plus, SBC is easy to chant after your team clinches the conference championship.

It sounds as if the name Western Reserve Conference is wrapped up and ready to go. But I hope for the WRC or other future conferences, the name doesn't always have to be a compass point or something generic. It can be a specific region, like Chagrin Valley Conference, or something unique to the area, like Lake Effect Conference.

- Howard Primer


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