Green has sought and received an extension to let the Federal League know whether it will apply for membership to the Stark County-centric league.
They asked for time. Now Green High School may be looking for company to come to the Federal League with it.
Monday’s deadline to apply for membership to the Federal League came, and Green sought and received an extension to decide whether the Summit County school will apply for membership.
Green is one of seven schools invited to a Federal League meeting on expanding north into Summit County. It, along with Barberton, are the only schools to formally express an interest.
Green will meet with Federal League commissioner Joe Eaton, and Lake Principal Kevin Tobin, chair of the league’s strategic planning committee, July 29. However, Green isn’t coming alone.
“Stow and Green want to meet with Kevin and myself,” Eaton said. “Green has a lot of questions. This is a big decision for them.”
But if Green is coming to the Federal League, it may do so by itself. That would give the league seven teams after the 2013-14 school year. A seven-team league is less than ideal for scheduling purposes.
“I don’t know the hows, and whens and whys of any of that,” Stow Principal Chris Dimauro said. “We’re still in a visionary stage at this point. We did turn in an official letter of interest to the Suburban League. We did not send an official letter of interest to the Federal League. We think the Suburban League model presented to us was appropriate to study further. We have not done that with the Federal League. They contacted us with further information. We will listen to that, but at this point it’s nothing further than that.”
Dimauro said it was accurate to summarize Stow’s interest in the Suburban League as greater than that of the Federal League.
Green, meanwhile, said it needs time to study the impact of going into the Federal League, or remaining in an expanding Suburban League with two divisions.
“The deadlines are artificial,” Green High School Principal Cindy Brown said. “There’s no timeline for making a good decision for your kids. We will take the time we need.”
Brown said the district is in the process of putting together a comprehensive report for new Superintendent Jeffrey Miller II. It will include a side-by-side comparison between the Federal League and the Suburban League, in which Green is a 64-year charter member.
The Suburban League is in the process of expansion as well, but it will not know until the beginning of August how many, if any, high schools want to come into the league. Ideally, commissioner Keith Walker said, the Suburban League would be a two-division league with a large school and a small school division.
“I think that will be part of the consideration,” Brown said. “The same goes for the Federal League as well. We’re interested in what’s the best possible decision for our kids.”
Page 2 of 2 - Initially, the Federal League invited teams along the I-77 corridor with the hopes of having a North and a South division. The southern divisions would be made up the six current member schools — Lake, Jackson, McKinley, Perry, Hoover and GlenOak. That idea seems to be fizzling.
The Suburban League is trying to entice Stow, Hudson and Cuyahoga Falls, among others, to leave the Northeast Ohio Conference and move into a two-divisional Suburban League. One division would be made up of large schools, the other of small schools. There would likely be cross-over games in non-revenue sports as well.
“I think that absolutely makes sense for us,” Dimauro said. “Some of the southern Summit County schools, such as Green, would love to partner with, as well as Wadsworth in Medina County. To get all those partners in the same unit is very attractive to us.”
Wadsworth, a rival of Green in the Suburban League, was invited to an informational meeting by the Federal League. However, Wadsworth has said it will stay in the Suburban League.
Eaton had expressed optimism that Green and Wadsworth would both apply for Federal League membership.
“I can’t say (Wadsworth’s decision) impacts us,” Brown said. “Obviously Wadsworth has been a great competitor of ours. We see them as an ally. But we have to make a decision that’s best for Green.”
The Federal League will be down to six teams after the 2013 football season. Boardman has followed Fitch out of the league beginning in the 2014-15 school year.
Massillon, the only Stark County school with similar enrollment to Federal League schools not in the league, has expressed interest in joining the league. However, league superintendents did not invite Massillon to an informational meeting on expansion. Perhaps that was because the league initially wanted to expand north.
Reach Todd at 330-580-8340 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @tporterREP