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High school sports: 10 area schools to form new league – News

A new conference was born on Wednesday in Mayfield.
All that remains is superintendent and board approval by 10 member schools to solidify the formation of the Western Reserve Conference.
As a result of a meeting held at Mayfield High School today, an invitation was extended by Mayfield High School to nine additional schools to become part of a new athletic conference commencing in the fall of 2015, Riverside Athletic Director George Bellios said.
The 10-team league is set up to consist of six Premier Athletic Conference schools North, South, Madison, Riverside, Chardon and Geneva as well as Mayfield, Brush, West Geauga and Kenston.
The new conference will begin play in the 2015-16 school year and include all sports.
Im happy with the way it worked out, said Mayfield AD Keith Leffler.
Conference flux has been on the table since May. The first step was the secession of 10 schools from the current Chagrin Valley Conference, a group that includes West Geauga, on May 23.
Three weeks ago, the PAC invited Brush, West Geauga, Mayfield and Kenston to join its eight-team conference.
Leffler said the combination of five Northeast Ohio Conference schools departing for the Suburban League, combined with the PACs offer, enticed him and his school.
We decided after the PAC invitation this was something we were interested in pursuing, Leffler said.
Hence the meeting on Wednesday, which sources confirm was the second such meeting among the group.
Bellios said other details have to be addressed, but the conferences wishes are for each of the 10 member schools to attain board approval by their November meetings.
Were looking to be up and running by 2015-16, Leffler said. So the sooner we get all this (board approval) solidified, the sooner we can work on our constitution, bylaws and begin hashing out how its all going to work.
The members of the new WRC bring together six PAC schools, along with Brush and Mayfield from the NOC and West Geauga and Kenston, both members of the Chagrin Valley Conference.
West Geauga was expected to be part of the CVC secession group that is ironing out details of the new league it is trying to form. Wednesdays news could put a crimp in the plans of that group, which includes Beachwood, Chagrin Falls, Hawken, Independence, Kirtland, Orange, Harvey, Perry and Wickliffe.
West Geauga superintendent Geoff Palmer said he will meet with principal Jay Bishop and AD John Cardiero on Thursday for final decision on which way their school district will go with the former CVC group or the WRC group.
Palmer said, There is no definite commitment either way.
That was news to South athletic director Steve Nedlik and Leffler.
I think theyre committed, Nedlik said. Weve met twice. Everybody was given the opportunity to opt out if it wasnt in their best interests. Unless their board of education changes their mind. I think were moving on with our 10 schools.
Added Leffler, Theyve been very up front and both their principal and AD want to be part of this. Theyve been at the meetings.
Absent from the WRC are current PAC members Lakeside and University. Its just a matter of, when you head out to Lakeside, travel is an issue, Nedlik said. The proximity of the others is much closer. On the University side, theyre great people. It was just a matter of what fits best for us all.
Madison AD John Dragas is excited about the formation of the new league.
He noted the strong local ties, the proximity of the schools, and the balance that will be prevalent in many sports, particularly football.
He regretted the absence of Lakeside and University from the equation.
We had a very productive meeting (Wednesday), Dragas said. On a personal level, I feel bad we dont have all eight (PAC) teams. You dont want to leave anyone out, but this is whats best for everyone.
The PAC had a good run. Now were on to Phase 2, the next step.

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