Bluffton and Columbus Grove tied for the Northwest Conference 2016-17 “Don Bachman Award of Excellence”.  The tie puts both schools at the top of the conference standings for the third time each.  This award recognizes the school in the conference that exhibits the highest level of consistent excellence in conference-sponsored sports and scholastic bowl competition each school year.

Both the Pirates and the Bulldogs compiled a total of 75.0 points with Lincolnview (65.5) and Spencerville (65.5) finishing tied for third.  Points are awarded and accumulated each year based on conference standings in all sports and the NWC scholastic bowl competition.

The award was started during the 2005-06 school year to honor longtime Northwest Conference commissioner/secretary, Don Bachman, who served in that position for more than thirty years before passing away late in 2005.

This year Bluffton earned three outright NWC titles in Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer and Boys Track.  Columbus Grove also earned three outright NWC titles in Girls Cross Country, Girls Basketball and Girls Track.  In addition to the conference championships, the Bulldogs had second place finishes in Volleyball and Boys Track.  Bluffton also had a second place finish in Girls Basketball.

Other NWC champions/co-champions were Ada (Volleyball), Allen East (Softball, Wrestling), Crestview (Baseball), Delphos Jefferson (Football, Academic Team), Lincolnview (Golf, Boys Cross Country), Spencerville (Boys Basketball),

The final order of finish for the 2016-17 school year is as follows:
1. Bluffton 75.0
1. Columbus Grove 75.0
3. Lincolnview 65.5
3. Spencerville 65.5
5. Crestview 62.5
6. Paulding 61.5
7. Delphos Jefferson 60.0
8. Allen East 59.0
9. Ada 53.0