BLANCHESTER — The Blanchester football “Cider Keg” rivalry with Clinton-Massie will take a two-year hiatus and then be re-evaluated, according to Blanchester school officials.
Both athletic director Bryan Pennix and superintendent Dean Lynch said the schools will not meet in football in 2017 and 2018. They are scheduled to play the season opener for the 2016 season.
“After that we’ll look at it again,” said Pennix. “Hopefully we’ll get our program back to where it (the game) benefits both schools.”
Clinton-Massie has won the last 12 regular season meetings, dating back to the 2001 season. Blanchester won that regular season game, 36-0.
But the last 12 regular season wins for Massie have been by an average margin of 43-2 and that includes a 10-7 CM win in 2007.
“Kudos to their program,” said Lynch. “We’re in the same boat as Waynesville, (Jonathan) Alder and other programs in the area. It’s tough to compete with a team that goes to the regionals all the time.
The Wildcats also won a regional semifinal playoff game, 41-7, in 2006. However, with Clinton-Massie entering the South Central Ohio League, the BHS-CM rivalry was put on hold in 2005 and 2006, before resuming for the 2007 regular season.
Clinton-Massie holds a 33-18 series edge over Blanchester. The rivalry has been one of streaks for both teams. The Falcons won nine straight games from 1965 to 1973 then the Wildcats won nine straight from 1974 to 1982.
The Extracurricular Committee of the Blanchester Board of Education met with Lynch and Pennix in October to discuss, not only football, but all programs. The topic of football came up and the future of playing the Falcons, who won state titles in 2012 and 2013.
“With Alder and Waynesville dropping them from the schedule, we wondered ‘Are they seeing something we’re not?’ We discussed it,” Lynch said. “We looked at the records over the last number of years. We discussed gate receipts, travel times and competitiveness of our programs.”
Clinton-Massie athletic director Cindy Running said she has attempted to contact several schools to fill the vacant position in the team’s schedule.
Lynch said playing Clinton-Massie sometime other than the first week of the season was considered but quickly squashed.
“With their league and our league, that was an impossible solution (right now),” said Lynch.
So following the 52nd meeting for the Cider Keg Aug. 26, 2016, the series will take a break.
“If we can get to their level of play, we’ll be happy to put them back on the schedule,” said Lynch. ”We’ve had a good relationship with Massie and I would expect us to continue to have a good relationship with Massie. I wish them continued success in football.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.