The Green Board of Education voted unanimously Aug. 26 to approve the schools' move to the Federal League.
After more than six decades in the Suburban League, Green will move to Federal League beginning in 2015.
The Green Board of Education voted unanimously Aug. 26 to approve the move.
Board Vice President Bob Campbell, noted after the vote that he heard from many residents who feel the district is chasing larger revenues and sacrificing tradition by heading to the Federal League.
“If this was a greedy move and we were chasing dollars at the gates,” Campbell said, “I’d be adamantly against it.”
Board member Connie Leonard cited academic impact due to distances traveled to Suburban League schools a key factor in her vote. Mark Herdlick agreed, saying that safety concerns with such travel weighed into his decision.
Board member Lynn Wiggins, however, said she was excited for the challenges that face Green athletes in Federal League competition.
“We never run from that kind of thing,” Wiggins said, “we thrive on it.”
Green High School principal Cindy Brown discussed the nearly year-long analysis that led to Green to the Federal League.
A number of criteria including travel, safety, academic impact and team rivalries were part of the discussion.
“Specifically, we looked at the sizes of the schools (in both leagues),” Brown said, citing Green’s new Division 1 status.
Several Suburban League schools including Tallmadge and Revere dropped to Division III recently. Brown pointed this as an example of the growing disparity between the Suburban League schools.
Green’s legacy in the Suburban League was also considered.
By June, both Federal League and Suburban League officials had presented Green with “two-tiered” plans for league redesign.
“The Suburban League presented a two-tiered, eight-team league with Green, Nordonia and Wadsworth in the ‘big league’,” Brown said. “The Federal League presented a two-tiered, six-team league where geography was considered – a south portion and a north portion.”
In July, the Federal League had abandoned the two-tier idea and simply asked Green to join the league which includes Canton McKinley, GlenOak, Jackson, Lake, North Canton and Perry.
Boardman, which is also a Federal League member, will leave the league after this school year.
Teachers, coaches and team booster clubs weighed in on the move before the proposed move to the Federal League went before the board for approval.
“The general consensus was ‘go for it,’” Brown said, “ … There is a lot of thought going into how we are going to make the Federal League work for Green. We want to provide the ultimate experience to students and the Federal League is a great avenue to do that.”
Board President Steve Foster noted that the league move will benefit all sports and that the ties with the Suburban League will not be severed completely.
The move isn’t “just about football,” Foster said, noting that “it would be silly not to play (a team like) Wadsworth occasionally.”