Louisville To Compete as Independent During 2018-19
In December, the seven other member schools of the Northeastern Buckeye Conference voted to leave the league to isolate Louisville. On February 4, NBC spokesperson Joe Knoll officially released a statement finalizing the league’s disbandment.
In the months following, Leopards administration has looked into joining several leagues including the local Federal League, the Suburban League, and the All-American Conference. Each option presented some challenges and Louisville has elected to remain independent for the time being.
Forming a new league altogether is still an option the Leopards are looking into. The current decision allows Louisville to sit back and see how the shifting parts fall into place before making a more permanent decision.
This will be just the second year in a span of 87 years that Louisville will be an Independent. The only other year was 1967 when the Leopards were transitioning from the Tri-County League that they were a part of from 1932-1966 and the Federal League which they were a member of from 1968-1989.
That year was not kind to Louisville on the gridiron as they went 3-7 in football. The next season in 1968, they joined the Federal League and finished 7-3. Just two years later in 1970 they won their first of 6 Federal League Titles in a span of 11 years.
A year as an Independent could create some interesting match-ups in football. With most teams playing their league games weeks 4-10, the availability of opponents will be limited. With an odd number of teams currently in the Federal League, we could see Louisville schedule the remaining team that has a league bye. Local Independents such as Massillon and Canton Central Catholic could be an option as well.
As of now, the Leopards will have two more years (2016-17 and 2017-18) in the current Northeastern Buckeye Conference.
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