The future of the Suburban League and Federal League remains unsettled.
That thought was obvious following a Monday in which area schools said no to possible options and none have yet said yes.
Green High School Principal Cindy Brown said that no decision has been made on whether to stay in the Suburban League or move to the Federal League.
The Federal League had set a deadline of Monday [July 15] for interested schools to apply to join the league.
“We have not made a decision,” Brown said. “Hopefully toward the beginning of August we will make a decision. We are trying our best to take this very seriously. Our new superintendent [Jeff Miller] just came on [June 18] and we are putting together information for the superintendent and the board. We just want to make the best decision for Green. We are kind of on our own timeline.”
Miller formerly served as Green’s middle school principal.
Green is on the southern edge of Summit County and is relatively close to the Stark County schools in the Federal League: Canton McKinley, GlenOak, Jackson, Lake, North Canton Hoover and Perry.
“The Federal League knows we need more time for consideration and they are willing to give us that time,” Brown said. “This is a really important decision for the athletic future of our kids. … It really has nothing to do with any other school or district.”
Brown said Green has been “mulling over the decision” for awhile and analyzing whether or not to leave the Suburban League.
Federal League Commissioner Joe Eaton said Monday he heard Green was still taking its time to come to a conclusion on what it will do.
“Wadsworth said no, and Aurora and Twinsburg have said no,” Eaton said. “Barberton has sent a letter of interest that they are interested. We are going to meet with Green’s administration the week of July 29 to see where they are. They do have some questions. Also, that meeting will possibly include Stow. We have not heard from Cuyahoga Falls.”
Wadsworth Athletic Director Rich Berlin confirmed that Wadsworth has decided to stay in the Suburban League.
“We were considering our options and we think we should always consider our options,” Berlin said. “We determined that the Federal League is not a good fit for Wadsworth, at least not at this time. We are very happy with the Suburban League and we have always been happy in the Suburban League.”
When asked if the Federal League would look at other schools which league officials had previously not contacted about joining the league, Eaton said: “We don’t know. We are looking at possibly an eight-team league. Obviously we do not have enough interest for expansion as far as divisional play with a North and South division.”
The Suburban League currently has eight members from either Summit or Medina County: Cloverleaf, Copley, Green, Highland, Nordonia, Revere, Tallmadge and Wadsworth.
Stow, Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls and Twinsburg are current members of the Northeast Ohio Conference that are considering their options.
Cuyahoga Falls Athletic Director Tom DiFrancesco said Monday his school has not ruled out any of its options, but is more interested in playing Summit County schools.
“We want to be a part of the Suburban League,” DiFrancesco said. “We sent in our information sheet and are highly interested. We are glad we got invited there and we would like to be a part of it if it works out.”
Stow Athletic Director Cyle Feldman said Monday he respects Eaton, Lake Principal Kevin Tobin and everyone in the Federal League, but the Suburban League makes more sense for Stow because of geography, revenue and rivalries.
“We put our letter of interest in to the Suburban League,” Feldman said. “We did not send anything to the Federal League. We are waiting to see what Green does. We like our association with Green and would like to see them stay in the Suburban League.”
Hudson Principal Brian Wilch acknowledged Monday he and his staff have been busy.
“We are in a similar position as a couple of other area schools,” Wilch said. “We have been involved in three meetings, the Suburban League, a meeting with Kenston, Aurora and Solon [at Kenston], and I am currently the president with the NOC, based on the rotation, and we held a meeting.”
Wilch said non-NOC members Bay Village, Rocky River, North Ridgeville, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and Painesville Riverside also attended the NOC meeting.
“We like where we are in the NOC, but if something better came along, I think we owe it to our community, our coaches and our athletes to check it out,” Wilch said.
“We have an interest in the Suburban League. Stow is interested and that is our rival. Cuyahoga Falls and Twinsburg are also interested.”
Aurora Athletic Director Paul Powers said Monday his school is looking for a new league because the Chagrin Valley Conference will be defunct in two years with a mass exodus of schools.
“Aurora has an application of interest into the Suburban League,” Powers said. “We did not do anything with the PTC [Portage Trail Conference].”
Barberton Athletic Director Rob Culbertson declined to comment Monday and Superintendent Patti Cleary was not available for comment.
Phone messages for Suburban League Commissioner Keith Walker and Athletic Directors Mark Maslona (Twinsburg), Mark Pfaff (Kent Roosevelt), Dave McBee (Ravenna) and Jeff Harrison (Medina) were not returned.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.