June 29, 2016

Intermittent clouds

High school football: Twinsburg, Aurora asked to join SL

SOLON — It took less than three days for the Suburban League to call an audible.

After being left out of the first round of invitations, Twinsburg and Aurora were asked to join the SL’s expansion plan late Thursday evening.

This once again leaves Medina hanging, but the Bees are already exploring another avenue.

“When we left Monday, one of the things we liked was the ability to grow,” said Dana Addis, Highland’s principal and SL president. “We never put a timetable on it and didn’t think it was going to be a few days later, but that’s what this boiled down to.

“In reaching out amongst ourselves and other feelings we were gathering, the eight-and-eight (division) format was better to understand. We decided to pull the trigger.”

Meanwhile, Twinsburg and Medina met at Solon on Thursday along with Brecksville, North Royalton, Hudson, Stow and Cuyahoga Falls for preliminary discussions about possibly forming their own league — and messing with the SL’s plans in the process.

The impromptu meeting was caused by the Tigers, who were in the SL from 1958-64, and Bees scrambling for potential options after they were nixed for invitations to the 64-year-old SL.

In essence, the five NOC schools invited to join the SL and Brecksville can choose between being in a league with Wadsworth and Nordonia or Medina and Solon.

“We actually made some decisions before that (meeting) took place,” Addis said.

“It wasn’t saying that these two schools were the ones we’re going after,” he added. “It was following a list from Monday in the same way the original seven were selected.”

Following the departure of Green for the Federal League, the SL invited Barberton, Brecksville, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Kent Roosevelt, North Royalton and Stow. They were asked to respond by next week.

Medina could be invited to the SL if one invitee declines — its only competition at this point is Kenston — but is now attempting to cover its bases due to the instability of the NOC.

The NOC is in a tough spot, as Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, North Royalton and now Twinsburg could leave a gaping hole in the 18-team league.

West Shore Conference members Bay, Rocky River and North Ridgeville have applied to join the NOC, which was hoping to expand alongside the SL.

Medina is concerned about further travel should current NOC schools leave for the SL. It also wants to maintain rivalries with Strongsville, Brunswick and Wadsworth, but the priority is ensuring league stability first, whether it’s in the SL, NOC or a new league.

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.