Gettysburg's decision on potential exit from York-Adams League likely to come on Monday
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.