July 24, 2016

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High school football: Suburban League is expanding

GRANGER TWP. — It’s official: The Suburban League is expanding.

The 64-year-old league unanimously agreed to add new members Monday at a scheduled meeting with principals and athletic directors from the seven remaining schools.

Green left for the Federal League a week ago.

According to Highland High principal and outgoing SL President Dana Addis, formal invitations will be extended via email today. There will be an initial round, with others to follow if schools decline.

“There’s really no team that we have eliminated, but there are teams that we consider to have productive dialogue with,” Addis said. “We do have a group of teams that deserve the first chance to join the league.”

Addis refused to name any schools.

The meeting took more than 3½ hours and, once expansion was quickly agreed upon, had a main goal of gaining a consensus on how to present the invitations.

The plan is to lay out multiple division scenarios for each school. Addis said there are “swing schools” that could be moved to the big-school division — or vice versa — depending on what other schools accept invitations.

Based on enrollment figures, swing schools could include Twinsburg, Barberton, Kent Roosevelt and current SL members Highland and Nordonia, though Addis declined to confirm.

The scenarios include divisions of six, seven and eight teams. It was believed the athletic directors were leaning toward six-team divisions earlier in the month.

Medina could receive an invite to join the big-school division that preliminarily has Wadsworth and Nordonia. Hudson, Stow, Cuyahoga Falls, Brecksville, Twinsburg and North Royalton are the other contenders.

The small-school division, which will involve Cloverleaf and possibly Highland, is a little more complex. Aurora, Kenston, Barberton and Kent Roosevelt are in competition for what could be only one spot, depending on scenarios, while Norton and Ravenna are assumed to be out of the running.

“We had pretty serious voting procedures,” Addis said. “With everyone there, we were going to be incredibly thorough in our voting. It was legitimately how the entire league felt.”

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.

Albert Grindle About Albert Grindle

Albert Grindle is a sportswriter for the Gazette. He can be reached at 330-721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.