Kim Jakeway played in the Licking County League when he was a student-athlete at Johnstown-Monroe High School. Now as the school's principal, he has been part of a movement to bring the Johnnies back to the league as the conference looks to return for the 2013-14 school year.

Kim Jakeway played in the Licking County League when he was a student-athlete at Johnstown-Monroe High School. Now as the school's principal, he has been part of a movement to bring the Johnnies back to the league as the conference looks to return for the 2013-14 school year.

The Johnstown school board voted 4-1 on April 18 to authorize leaving the MBC for the LCL, which disbanded following the 1990-91 school year. That same evening, Utica's board voted 5-0 to leave the MBC for the LCL.

"Back in the 1960s when I was a kid, it was what everyone talked about at the barber shops and diners," said Jakeway, a 1972 Johnstown graduate. "Even today, our biggest gates are when we play old LCL opponents like Granville and Heath.

"I go way back, so it's going to be like deja vu all over again for me. We started playing Granville in 1915 and Utica a couple of years later in 1917."

On April 7, a district forum discussed the subject and chose to recommend that the Johnnies leave for the LCL. Those in attendance were Jakeway, athletics director Mike Carter, the school's coaching staff, athletic boosters president Jerry Cannon and six community members.

"When we talked about bringing (the LCL) back, the coaches supported it, the boosters were in favor of it and the community supported it," Jakeway said. "Some of the reasons for going to the LCL include less travel time to events, savings in fuel costs, larger gates at all sporting events and re-establishing old rivalries."

Utica and Johnstown likely will be joined in the LCL by Granville, Heath, Lakewood, Licking Valley, Newark Catholic and Watkins Memorial.

Licking Heights and Northridge have not decided whether to join. Licking Heights is a member of the MSL-Cardinal Division and the Vikings are in the MBC.

"On (Thursday,) April 28, we are going to have a public meeting with our final report and hear what the people in the community have to say about it," Northridge athletics director Wayne Howard said of the meeting, which will start at 7 p.m. in the high school media center. "We'll present them with the pros and cons of staying and going and go from there."

Jakeway said the league likely would consist of a big-school division and a small-school division, with the Johnnies competing in the latter.

Also, the LCL planned to complete its constitution by May 16. After that, bylaws can be established.

The next LCL meeting is scheduled for May 20.

"We weren't shopping for a league and we really enjoyed our relationship with the MBC," Jakeway said. "This is just a wonderful opportunity to get closer and reduce travel for our teams."

Without Johnstown and Utica, the MBC would consist of Northridge, Loudonville and four Knox County schools - Centerburg, East Knox, Fredericktown and Danville. MBC commissioner Ron Wintermute said schools have to submit their withdrawal in writing by June 30.

"I haven't received anything in writing yet, but there is still time for that," Wintermute said. "From what I understand, the Knox County schools (in the MBC) are interested in going to the (Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference)."

The MOAC is a Marion County league that formed in 1990. On April 14, its executive committee voted to accept applications for expansion.

"We have received applications from Centerburg and Fredericktown but those are the only (MBC schools)," said Jerry Widders, MOAC commissioner. "We are accepting applications until May 10 and I can't speculate on anyone else. We decided to put things in motion and see what happens, but I really can't speculate on anything until a decision is made."