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Gettysburg's decision on potential exit from York-Adams League likely to come on Monday

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
Eastern vs Gettysburg during field hockey action at Eastern York Senior High School in Lower Windsor Township, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. Eastern would win the game 2-1. Dawn J. Sagert photo
  • Gettysburg is exploring a move from the York-Adams League to the Mid-Penn Conference.
  • A vote on whether to leave the Y-A League is expected to come Monday.
  • Gettysburg joined the Y-A League in 2014. Before that, Gettysburg was a Mid-Penn member.

The York-Adams League might be down a member come Monday night.

An official vote on whether or not Gettysburg will choose to leave the Y-A League and pursue a return to the Mid-Penn Conference is likely to happen during the Dec. 7 school board meeting, according to Gettysburg athletic director Casey Thurston. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m.

According to board meeting minutes on the district’s website, Thurston presented the differences between the Mid-Penn and Y-A League on Nov. 2. The topics covered early last month included: mileage cost for traveling to other league schools, the loss of instructional time for students due to early dismissal for road games, nondivision games and junior varsity contests.

Gettysburg vs York Suburban during boys' basketball action at York Suburban Senior High School in Spring Garden Township, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Gettysburg would win the game 67-61. Dawn J. Sagert photo

For example, a drive from Gettysburg to Eastern York takes more than an hour. A game at Kennard-Dale High requires a 100-mile round trip. A road contest at each Y-A D-II team besides New Oxford is a minimum 40-minute drive for the Warriors. It is uncertain what the potential road trips in the Mid-Penn Conference may entail for the Warriors, although trips to Northern York, Shippensburg, Big Spring, Waynesboro, James Buchanan and Greencastle-Antrim would appear probable. 

Gettysburg mulls move from York-Adams League to Mid-Penn

When the potential move was first discussed in October, Thurston said that the Y-A League’s process for aligning schools in divisions was also an issue. The league organizes schools by enrollment size, which puts Gettysburg in Y-A Division II in most sports.

Thurston and several of the school’s coaches would prefer the format she believes the Mid-Penn would offer, which is based on a combination of enrollment, geographic location and competitiveness.

YAIAA Boys' Cross Country Championships at Gettysburg Area High School in Gettysburg, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

In wrestling, for example, a change in enrollment numbers will force Gettysburg to move down to Y-A D-II this season after winning the D-I championship a year ago. It's a move that was strongly opposed by the Warriors' coaching staff.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Gettysburg also won baseball, girls' basketball, boys' basketball, girls' cross country and girls' soccer titles, all in D-II.

At the time of the school’s move from the Mid-Penn to the Y-A League in 2014, Thurston was the girls’ basketball coach. She said that a number of coaches never agreed with the change. The Nov. 2 meeting minutes show that the move has the support of most of the coaches, but Monday’s vote will show if the school board feels the same as the coaches do.

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“When we first moved to York-Adams, I was a coach in this district at the time and there were numerous coaches who were not happy about the decision to go to York-Adams,” Thurston said in October. “For most of us, we have accepted the fact that we’re in York-Adams, but there are still several (coaches) that want to return to Mid-Penn.”

At the Oct. 20 meeting, a motion to explore changing conferences was made by school board vice president Al Moyer.

“I believe the rigidity of (the Y-A League's) rules and regulations sometimes limits us and our programs, and I would really like to see at least an investigation and a study of the pros and cons of such a move,” Moyer said during the meeting.

Northern York votes against joining York-Adams League

Thurston earlier said she anticipates that Gettysburg would remain in the Y-A League until the 2022-2023 academic year, even if the board approves the move. If Gettysburg opts to leave the Y-A League, the conference change would then need to be approved by the Mid-Penn and Thurston was not sure of a timeline for that decision.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.