Northwestern Press

Monday, April 6, 2020

Colonial League to expand

Thursday, March 21, 2013 by ROD HECKMAN Special to the Press in HS Sports

Change is a way of life.

And if the Colonial League gets its wish, there will be some major changes in the near future.

At a meeting of athletic directors and principals Tuesday at Catasauqua, it was unanimously decided to invite two "bigger" schools to join their league.

The invitations went out Wednesday.

Bryan Geist, Northern Lehigh's AD and vice president of the Colonial League, wouldn't release the names of the schools, but it was reported Tuesday night that both schools were from the Mountain Valley Conference.

"When the league was formed we were AA and AAA schools that were close in size," said Geist during a phone interview Wednesday morning. "We knew there would have to be adjustments as needed and we feel they are needed at this time. We have a league where some of the smaller schools are getting smaller and some of the bigger schools are getting bigger.

"We would like to add two small schools and two big schools, and we finalized those plans [Tuesday]. With respect for the schools and the leagues they are in we don't want to announce those (two bigger) schools."

Since 1994, the Colonial League has been a 12-team league with a few associate members in specific sports.

Geist did say that the smaller schools joining will be Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg and Moravian Academy.

"The two smaller schools are in and done," he said. "They were associate members and have simply been elevated to fulltime members."

The schools that receive the invitations will have until early-to-mid April to decide whether they join the league or not.

Geist mentioned that due to the number of teams in their league and for scheduling purposes, two bigger schools would have to join at the same time.

"If one says yes and the other says no, there is a third school we might approach. If the two bigger schools accept, there will be a press conference in the future to announce all four schools. If the two bigger schools say no, we'll meet again and discuss our options. If the two schools say yes they will join the league starting in the 2014-15 school year."

Acceptance would increase the total number of schools to 16 and the logical thought is there would be at least two divisions determined by enrollment size and/or location.

It could also mean more sports for the league.

"Some schools this spring don't even have two levels of softball while some have three levels," said Geist. "We have a Middle School/Junior High model but that has proved not to be a perfect solution. With expansion it opens up more opportunities for more teams and players.

"There is also the possibility of adding more sports. One example is volleyball. Some schools in our league have volleyball and adding schools that play that sport will help teams close out their schedules."

Presently, the schools in the Mountain Valley Conference include: Lehighton, Pleasant Valley, Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg South, East Stroudsburg North, Pocono Mountain East and Pocono Mountain West.

Lehighton has accepted an offer to join the Schuylkill League while there have been some murmurs that East Stroudsburg North may leave the MVC to play teams more north in District 2.

No matter which schools are invited, Geist felt the offer wouldn't be a complete surprise.

"I hope it's not a shock (to the two big schools we're inviting). There are always discussions between people ... and at times feelers are put out there.

"It's been a long process. Within the league we've looked at subvarsity as well as varsity and we feel this is the way to go."