By Keaton J. MacBeth
FOXBURG – Allegheny-Clarion Valley and Union school districts will team up in the true sense of the word next school year as the two districts will merge their football, cross-country and golf programs.
The ACV board approved the plan at its Jan. 18 meeting. The move helps both districts deal with declining participation in the three sports.
The co-op for the three sports will be a 50/50 split between the two schools.
Union will be the host school for football, and ACV will be the host school for golf and cross country.
A-C Valley High School Principal Bill Jordan who has been active in working on the agreement, said because Union only has a few students on the golf and cross country teams, A-C Valley would be the host school for those two events.
ACV schools also are next door to the Foxburg golf course.
The two schools might be host schools for their respective sports but the games and practices will be split between the two schools.
In a typical campaign there are 10 regular season football games. Union and A-C Valley will then have to do a three-two home game split.
“With the odd number of home games, we will flip each year what school gets three games and which school gets two,” Jordan said.
The teams’ uniforms will also be split. The helmets will be painted half for Union and half for A-C Valley.
“We are still working on a color scheme for the jerseys. Union bought new uniforms two years ago so we have been working with them on what to do concerning uniforms,” Jordan said.
The schools marching bands will now have to split their performances when a game is at Union the Union band will play, and vice-versa for A-C Valley.
“If the bands wish to travel together and play together at the home games that will be up to the band directors as to what they want to do,” Jordan said.
The band directors will have to work together if they want the bands to perform together at all games.
Cheerleaders are also affected by the co-op. The cheerleaders will all cheer at the games whether the games are at A-C Valley or Union or at another school for away games.
There was no mention if the cheerleading squads would remain combined for other events outside of football, for instance the competitions the squads travel to.
When it comes where the games are the school that has the home game will sell the tickets and receive the proceeds from the tickets sales, and the home teams boosters will set up and run the concession stand.
“We are working together with Union’s administrators and school board about hosting the games,” Jordan said.
The coaching duties will also be split between the schools. Each school will have three coaches for a total of six.
While it is not official who the coaches are yet it was said Union will have the head coach as they are the host school, and A-C Valley will have an assistant head coach. Each school will then have two other assistant coaches.
For golf and cross county, since A-C Valley is the host school, the team’s head coach will be selected by A-C Valley and Union will provide an assistant coach for those teams.
A concern brought up by Jordan when he was giving his report on the high school was admission to events for senior citizens.
“I have had a lot of comments from people asking if senior citizens can get a discount on admission or get free admission to an event,” Jordan said.
The concern over seniors getting free admission ties directly into the cooperative agreement between A-C Valley and Union.
Jordan said he has contacted several school districts in the area about what they do when it comes to seniors coming to an event, and how those schools charge a senior.
“It seems every school does it differently, some give a senior discount, others charge full admission price, others let seniors in for free,” Jordan said.
Union does not charge seniors who are with the home team, however they do charge seniors who are with the visiting team.
Jordan said what they do offer is a senior card that can be obtained at the high school office that will give seniors a free pass to event whether they are with the home team or with the away team.
Jordan said if A- C Valley did the same, the two schools would recognize each other’s passes for seniors.
For a playoff game though, the passes would not be accepted because the PIAA sells tickets and collects money from ticket sales at those events.
“A D-9 pass will not get you into a playoff game so the seniors passes would not be accepted either,” Jordan said.
A-C Valley Superintendent David McDeavitt said there is time to work out the details of a senior pass for events, and if the district were to implement such a pass it would not be until July 1 when the new school year starts.
In other business the board voted to accept two letters of resignation.
The first was from David Sherman who is resigning as the elementary girls’ basketball coach.
The other was from Samantha Kerlin who resigned as the assistant junior high volleyball coach.
The board voted to begin posting the positions for the football coaches, golf coach, cross, country coach, as well as elementary girl’s basketball coach and junior high assistant volleyball coach.
The board also voted to appoint Debbie Matthews as the long-term substitute English teacher. Matthews is filling in for Valerie DePope who recently retired.
McDeavitt said Matthews did a job shadow with DePope to get acquainted with the students and the class. Matthews also participated in an Act 80 in-service day on Monday Jan. 8
McDeavitt said she will began her new role as English teacher on Tuesday Jan. 19.
The board unanimously approved Matthews’ appointment and wished her the best with the rest of the school year.