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Published: Friday, 5/22/2009

5 from SLL join Rossford for new league

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Five Suburban Lakes League schools have decided to join with current Northern Lakes League member Rossford to form a new six-team league beginning with the 2011-12 school year.

That decision was confirmed to The Blade yesterday by Genoa superintendent Dennis Mock, who is the designated spokesman for the five departing SLL schools. Genoa, along with Eastwood, Lake, Otsego and Woodmore will be a part of the new league.

The decision comes after an earlier SLL plan to seek five new members to form a 12-school, two-tiered league did not materialize.

"Unfortunately we weren't able to agree on who those teams would be in either division," Mock said. "So the five SLL schools who supported the addition of Rossford decided to meet to discuss the possibility of a six-team league.

"We did that, we met with Rossford, and they took it to their board of education to formalize and approve that decision. Rossford did so at their board meeting on May 11."

The next step for the five departing schools is to officially break ties with the SLL.

"To make this come together," Mock said, "the five schools, by our constitution, will draft a letter and officially withdraw from the SLL. The effective date will be May 31, 2011. This will allow each of us to fulfill our current contracts and the obligations we have to meet for the next two years."

Lakota announced its decision to leave the SLL and join the Midland Athletic League toward the end of the 2007-08 school year and will begin competing in the MAL in 2009-10.

Since Lakota's departure was announced, the SLL's seven remaining schools - Gibsonburg and Elmwood are the other schools - have voted multiple times on the possible addition of Rossford as well as Fostoria as a new eighth member.

The last vote on Rossford was 5-2 in favor. Fostoria's was 4-3 against. But SLL bylaws require a 75 percent majority, and the 5-2 positive vote was not enough for Rossford to gain approval. Elmwood and Gibsonburg voted against Rossford joining.

At that point, the 12-team plan - which was to include the six schools with larger enrollment together in one division and the smaller ones in another - was considered but ultimately fell through.

Elmwood and Gibsonburg could possibly rejoin their former SLL rivals, or other schools may be added to this new league, which does not yet have a name.

"It would be our hope, that once we form our six-team league, we would make it effective for the 2011-12 school year," Mock said. "In the meantime, we hope to entice two more schools to join us in forming an eight-team league. That would be our ultimate goal."

Contact Steve Junga at:

sjunga@theblade.com

or 419-724-6461.



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