For the past 100 years, two schools in the Portage County have battled in football, basketball, or just trying to walk down the street faster than the other. But after the Spring 2015 semester, the two schools will no longer play within the same conference.
After this season the Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders will be leaving the Portage Trails Conference to move into the Suburban League, opening the door for Cloverleaf to take their spot.
On the surface this move makes sense. In the OHSAA, conferences can carry multiple divisions, and in the PTC, divisions 2 through 6 are represented, with Kent being the lone school in division 2.
But where does this leave one of the most historic rivalries in Ohio? According to Ravenna’s Athletic Director Clint Fetty, it will still be around, and probably for the better.
For the foreseeable future, the two football teams will continue to play in week 3 every season, and the basketball teams, men’s and women’s, will play back to back during the winter. According to Fetty, the biggest change will occur off the field.
Fetty says he’s looking to gain positives from the hatred between the schools, using the teen’s competitiveness to help raise money. Ideas such as having the schools see who can beat the other in raising money for a charity or blood at a blood drive will be a new point of emphasis.
When the leaves start to turn brown, the two schools will continue to battle on the gridiron, the Ravenna Ravens will continue to burn the Rough Rider and Kent will subsequently burn the Raven. But the rivalry that has elicited the Kent Student Section to chant, “Food stamps” across the field at the 99th meeting of the football teams, will now look to build a more friendly positive meaning to the community.
ADDITIONAL PTC STORYLINES
Amongst all the competition in the Portage Trails conference, one that flies under the radar is bowling. Bowling gives students of all shapes and sizes to compete, and really gives an environment for friendlier competition.
Star Ravenna Runningback Warren Bradley has pulled himself off the basketball team midseason in order to focus more on lifting and conditioning for football.
Along Kent leaving the conference, other teams will be moved around. Most notably the Woodridge Bulldogs will go from the PTC County to the Metro, putting a hold on a game that has had conference championship stakes the last 4 years.