Lackawanna League may get overhaul

BY JOBY FAWCETT

Times-Shamrock Writer

In the fall, the Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association may look very different.

Athletic directors met Wednesday atMountain ViewHigh Schooland took a straw vote, 22-2, in support of a realignment that would feature four divisions and would be uniform for eight sports.

Representatives fromMountain ViewandWestern Waynevoted against the proposal.North Poconoand Susquehanna did not have anyone present at the meeting.

A formal vote of the LIAA will be held Jan. 18 at the group’s regular winter meeting.

“There was a lot of talk in regard to fairness in competition with some of the schools not matching up with big schools, and a financial concern with budget constraints, where we wanted to be fair to all schools with regard to transportation,” said Montrose athletic director Joe Gilhool, who is also the secretary of the LIAA.

The proposal would create a four-division format for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball and boys and girls track and field.

Cross country would remain one league with a schedule that has cluster meets, and boys and girls tennis would have one 15-team division.

The divisions are aligned based on geography with some consideration for competitive standing.

- Division I schools would beAbingtonHeights,Scranton,West Scranton, Scranton Prep and Valley View.

- Division II would beDelawareValley, Honesdale,North Pocono, Wallenpaupack andWestern Wayne.

- Division III includesCarbondale,Dunmore, Holy Cross,Lakeland, Mid Valley, Old Forge andRiverside.

- Division IV would beBlue Ridge,ElkLake,ForestCity, Lackawanna Trail, Montrose,Mountain Viewand Susquehanna.

“We have started to get that mindset of uniformity,” LIAA president Jim Tallarico said. “We are getting a lot of support from the administrations and the athletic directors have worked really hard to meet the needs and request of every school. We are all working together.

“Everybody is on board and that has been really good for the league.”

Several items remain to be ironed out, but scheduling, in particular with basketball, would include competing against teams within your division twice with crossovers.

Division I and Division II have Class AAAA and Class AAA teams. They would have eight division games and a crossover with each team from the other division for a total of 13 games.

Division III and Division IV, the Class AA and Class A schools, would play each team in the division twice for 12 games with a home-and-home game against one team each from the other division for 14 total games.

Whether the season for basketball will be played with two separate halves remains undetermined. There is a motion to eliminate the halves and play a straight schedule.

The format also allows for the basketball league schedule to begin after Jan. 1. This season, the Lackawanna League had one division game before Christmas.