Superconference Upcoming as Vote Makes it Official

logoBy Tyler Trumbauer

East Stroudsburg South is leading the Mountain Valley Conference in football. After this school year, no one can utter that sentence ever again.

This morning, by a unanimous 12-0 vote from the principals in the Lehigh Valley Conference, the LVC has officially agreed to accept six Mountain Valley Conference teams in a merger that will create an 18-team “Superconference” in the Lehigh Valley area.

The six MVC schools that are set to join the new league, which will still be called the Lehigh Valley Conference, are East Stroudsburg North, East Stroudsburg South, Pleasant Valley, Pocono Mountain East, Pocono Mountain West and Stroudsburg. Lehighton, which is currently a member of the MVC, will not be following the rest of the league to the LVC as they will be joining the Schuylkill League beginning in 2014-15 and the Anthracite League in football. The Indians did receive an offer from the Colonial League to merge as well earlier this year, but declined.

This league is set to begin in the 2014-15 school year with all new alignments as the current LVC uses a West, East and North format in certain sports such as soccer, field hockey and football. The alignment is still exactly unknown, as only preliminary discussions have been conducted and according to reports, agreement on alignment will be problematic.

According to a Morning Call source, an alignment for football would have two divisions with nine members apiece. The one division would include all six MVC schools with Allen and Dieruff joining them along with Bethlehem Catholic. The other division would host the rest of the LVC members such as Parkland and Northampton.

This has been an ongoing story that started way back in April when the MVC was looking to find a future for their struggling league and the LVC was willing to expand and help out the MVC. The initial merger didn’t include Bethlehem Catholic nor Central Catholic, as there were internal issues in the LVC regarding the catholic schools and the rumors of recruiting. Eventually, the problems were amended which now brings both BeCa and ACC back into the picture.

This was only made possible after the LVC changed its by-laws in the summer to allow expansion in the league.

A teleconference is being held this morning with the media and LVC President Chris Schiffert and MVC President Jeff Sodl to discuss this agreement in more detail.

UPDATE 10/3 – Superconference Forms for 2014-15 School Year

Although our federal government cannot come to any agreement, the Lehigh Valley Conference and the Mountain Valley Conference reached an agreement that equates to finalizing a government budget.

After months of discussion and speculation the new “superconference” has been officially approved as LVC principals unanimously voted 12-0 this morning to merge with six schools from the MVC to make an 18-team league.

The six MVC schools moving to the LVC are: East Stroudsburg North, East Stroudsburg South, Pleasant Valley, Pocono Mountain East, Pocono Mountain West and Stroudsburg. Lehighton, which is currently a member of the MVC, will not be following the rest of the league to the  LVC as they will be joining the Schuylkill League beginning in 2014-15 and the Anthracite League in football. The Indians did receive and offer from the Colonial League to merge as well earlier this year, but declined.

This league is set to begin in the 2014-15 school year with all new alignments as the current LVC uses a West, East and North format in certain sports such as soccer, field hockey and football. The alignment is still exactly unknown, as only preliminary discussions have been conducted and according to reports, agreement on alignment will be problematic.

According to a Morning Call source, an alignment for football would have two divisions with nine members apiece. The one division would include all six MVC schools with Allen and Dieruff joining them along with Bethlehem Catholic. The other division would host the rest of the LVC members such as Parkland and Northampton.

Another issue with this new league is the long travel times for certain schools as this league spans Lehigh, Northampton and Monroe counties. For example, Emmaus is nearly a 70-mile drive from East Stroudsburg North and Easton is roughly 40 miles away from Pocono Mountain West. It is possible that divisions and the alignment would make those types of travels few and far between.

This move had the approval of the principals as they all voted yes earlier this morning and it also has the support of Parkland’s head boys’ basketball coach Andy Stephens.

“We play most of those teams already during the year, so I see the expansion as being positive,” Stephens said on Wednesday.

This merger stemmed from spring when the MVC invited 10 LVC schools, excluding Bethlehem Catholic, Allentown Central Catholic, Bangor and Phillipsburg. The LVC declined the invites because the catholic schools were left behind.

After the LVC altered its by-laws to allow expansion to their league they invited the six MVC schools to join them. The MVC agreed and this morning’s vote made everything final.

Emmaus’s head football coach, Randy Cuthbert, likes the idea, but isn’t quite sure how everything will work.

“I don’t know how it will play out,” he said. “I know BeCa is in the other division, so our schedule won’t change much. I like the crossover games though. That gives you a full 10 game schedule.”

The new LVC will create an interesting atmosphere in Lehigh Valley interscholastic athletics that should foster growth of new rivalries. The plan is not finalized with all the details yet, but they have a better chance of agreeing before Congress.

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