History

The Northwest Hockey Conference was established in 1977 and was comprised of the following seven original member schools:

  • Findlay
  • Bowling Green
  • St. John’s
  • St. Francis
  • Sylvania Northview
  • Sylvania Southview
  • Centerville

The objective in establishing the new league was to upgrade the caliber of high school hockey in Northwest Ohio for member schools. The founding members of the league felt strongly that the best way to improve players’ abilities was to face better competition during regular season play. Four of the key founding members of the league included:

  • Joe Czernicki Athletic Director, St. John’s High School
  • Marv Dunn Teacher and faculty advisor for Bowling Green High School’s hockey program
  • Mike Root Coach, Findlay High School
  • Cosimo Figliomeni Coach, St. John’s High School

Unlike the Toledo city league, where four of the original schools’ programs began, the Northwest Hockey Conference is managed jointly by the administrators of each member school, rather than by the coaches. The responsibility of conference president is rotated among each member school and a commissioner is elected each year to coordinate all league administration and promotional responsibilities. By having the league managed by the member schools’ administrators and by improving the level of play, hockey has been elevated in these schools from “club” status to “varsity” status, the same as other sports, including basketball and football.

The new league evolved in the years following the original 1977-78 season. Member schools that later joined the league include Central Catholic and Ottawa Hills. Central and Centerville have since left the league. As of the 2002-2003 season, there are a total of eighteen teams in three separate divisions as follows:

RED DIVISION

  • Bowling Green
  • Findlay
  • Sylvania Northview
  • Sylvania Southview
  • St. John’s Jesuit
  • St. Francis De Sales

WHITE DIVISION

  • Central Catholic
  • Clay
  • Maumee
  • Ottawa Hills
  • Perrysburg
  • Whitmer

BLUE DIVISION

  • Anthony Wayne
  • Bowsher
  • Lake
  • Springfield
  • Start
  • Waite

Northwest Hockey Conference member schools have earned a spot in the finals of the state playoffs fifteen times in the league’s 25-year history and have earned a total of nine state titles. Member teams’ state playoff performance is as follows:

TEAM
STATE FINAL FOUR APPEARANCES
STATE TITLES
Bowling Green
17
6
St. John’s
12
1
Sylvania Northview
6
2
Findlay
5
2
St. Francis
4
2
Sylvania Southview
1
0
Central Catholic
1
0
Centerville
1
1

The league continues to be an active competitor in high school hockey in Ohio, with member teams competing in non-league games with teams from other states as well. For more information about the Northwest Hockey Conference, contact Markus Rasmus, Commissioner at (419)467-9952.