LINESVILLE — Softball and baseball will soon be coming to the Conneaut School District high schools, after a unanimous vote by members of the Conneaut School Board on Wednesday.
The council-approved pilot program will establish combined high school teams of students in both Conneaut Valley and Conneaut Lake high schools. Fifth through eighth grade students are eligible to participate in high school teams.
The expansion of high school sports programs in Conneaut had received public support. When the matter was first discussed in December, board chairman Dorothy Luckock said community members had discussed creating more high school sports programs at a then-recent meeting of the athletics committee.
During the board working session on Jan. 5, two parents and two students spoke publicly about expanding the pilot program beyond baseball and softball.
Athletic Committee chairman GW Hall said in an interview with the Tribune on Thursday that the intent of the pilot program is to not only continue baseball and softball, but eventually include other sports.
“You have to walk before you run, before you expand,” he said.
Hall said he had to “figure out a lot of things to make sure we’re doing things right” before expanding into other sports.
The new teams will operate under the rules of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA).
Hall said the “full intention” is for the teams to be operational by the coming spring season.
“Both clubs came up with proposals at the time,” he said. “They’ve brought lists of who wants to play, so they’re 100 percent ready for spring.”
Wednesday’s vote took place without debate or further discussion among board members. Initially, the pilot program was not on the draft meeting agenda available at the January 5 meeting, but Luckock said Thursday it was due to some details that needed to be finalized.
All board members were in attendance for the vote at Wednesday’s meeting, although Hall and Adam Horne were virtually in attendance.
The Conneaut School Board will meet on February 2 at the Alice Shafer Annex.
In addition, as Hall recalled during the meeting, the athletics committee will hold a meeting Tuesday called the “State of Athletics,” where the committee will hear from the district’s athletic directors and answer questions from the public. The meeting will be held at 7:00 PM in the Conneaut Area Senior High School auditorium
Sean P. Ray can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.