Let’s be fair, WGH, others need to be in the AAC
It’S now in the hands of the principals and superintendents.
The All-American Conference went to the two-tier system two years ago, going to American and National Divisions within the conference.
Warren G. Harding recently applied for admission into the AAC and Athletic Director Paul Trina said he’d even take admission with his football team remaining independent – similar to the set up Austintown Fitch has in the American Division.
The vote goes to the current AAC principals and superintendents this spring to see if WGH gets entrance in the AAC, which it deserves.
The Raiders have tried to enter the AAC before without success and didn’t get into the Federal League a couple of years ago.
Boardman, Brookfield, Ashtabula Edgewood, Conneaut and East also are looking for entrance into the AAC. While those are the schools that have formally applied – let’s not stop there.
First of all, John F. Kennedy needs to be in the AAC, National Division, which would mean the Eagles need to apply for membership. They already play teams around this area in non conference in other sports. Frankly, the Eagles need to be in a local conference. It’s something they haven’t had since the Steel Valley Conference faded away after the 2008-09 season.
The reason they aren’t is because of select National Division teams not wanting to compete against the Eagles for various reasons. If you’re still bellyaching about being able to compete with Kennedy, maybe you should look at your own program why kids are leaving. Kennedy needs to be in a local conference, not forced to travel northward in the North Coast League.
While on the subject, let’s get to Ursuline and Cardinal Mooney, which is a taboo topic in many circles. Reasons that stem to not allowing Ursuline and Cardinal Mooney is the classic argument of private schools and the unspoken word “recruitment.” Unfortunately, that’s outdated because now today’s world revolves around the new business of open enrollment.
Ursuline, Cardinal Mooney, Boardman, Fitch, East and Harding need to be the top of a three-tiered AAC. It’s like the old SVC getting back together and forms one of the best six-team divisions in the state. It happened before and it could certainly happen again.
It’s time for this area to put their bitterness and come together as Ashtabula, Trumbull and Mahoning Counties and unify as one, public and parochial.
AAC Commissioner Rick King, who has done a fantastic job in his short reign, wants to get back to three tiers, which would only make sense if all six schools that applied were granted membership.
“What we’d like to do is go back to a three-tier system,” King said in a recent article. “We’re trying to shoot for three equal groupings of those three denomination of sizes (large, medium and small schools).
“We’re not ruling out anything, we’re not guaranteeing anything. We’re just looking at size, we’re looking at facilities and we’re looking at travel times.”
If the schools I mentioned, along with the schools that are currently in or have applied for, were a part of the AAC it should be broken down like so: the top tier as Fitch, WGH, Boardman, East, Cardinal Mooney and Ursuline; middle tier as Canfield, Poland, Howland, Struthers, Hubbard, Niles and Ashtabula Edgewood; then the bottom tier as Campbell, Brookfield, Jefferson, Conneaut, Girard, Liberty, LaBrae, JFK, Newton Falls, Lakeview, Champion.
However, that’s all in a dream world.
When the vote comes this spring, current AAC principals and superintendents need to do the right thing and start with voting in the current applicants.
After that, a dialogue needs to happen to have JFK, Mooney and Ursuline in the AAC. Stop the bickering and make it happen. This would be best for the area, not just for a bitter few.