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MATHEWS HIGH Little input from public on move from ICL



Published: Mon, February 10, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



School officials are deciding whether to join the Northeastern Athletic Conference.

By BRIAN RICHESSON

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

VIENNA -- The Mathews Local Board of Education sought public input. Only two members of the community attended a special meeting Thursday to discuss league affiliation.

Mathews officials are trying to decide whether its athletic teams should leave the Inter-County League and join two other leagues in some capacity.

"Maybe people are not as concerned as we thought they were," said Roy Pratt, board president, Thursday night. "We felt it was important to provide a forum for the public.

"In the past, the board has been accused of making decisions without soliciting public input."

Seeking level playing field

Because Mathews has struggled to compete in the eight-school ICL, it has been weighing offers to join the Northeastern Athletic Conference in every sport but football.

The football team would compete in the East Suburban Conference.

The two community members who did attend were in favor of Mathews remaining in the ICL, Pratt said.

"They found no benefits in our programs changing to other leagues and preferred for them to stay with the group they were familiar with," Pratt added.

Board members encouraged the two people in attendance to solicit more public opinion.

Football coach Jim Parry and members of the coaching staff also attended, Pratt said, to support change.

What's next?

Board members will hold a phone conference Monday to discuss the issue for a final time, Pratt said, and the final decision will be made Wednesday.

"The board members seem pretty evenly split," Pratt said, "but we haven't received all the public input that we're looking for yet."

richesson@vindy.com




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