The Suburban One League will have a new alignment for most sports beginning in 2008-09. The league, currently separated into three conferences based on enrollment, will have a "hybrid" setup based largely on geographic location.
Also this week, Catholic League athletic directors voted to switch from two to three divisions for football.
On Tuesday, administrators of 24 Suburban One League schools gathered at Williamson Restaurant in Horsham and voted, with 18 in favor and six opposed, for a switch in alignment. The proposal, first introduced in October, needed a two-thirds majority (at least 16 votes) to be approved.
"Every school had at least two months to consider the change from an enrollment-only alignment to a hybrid format - which is mostly based on geography and somewhat on enrollment," said J. Kevin Munnelly, principal at Central Bucks West and president of the Suburban One League.
The six schools that voted against the switch were Abington, Central Bucks West, Hatboro-Horsham, Quakertown, Springfield (Montco) and William Tennent.
"I wouldn't say we were adamantly opposed to it," Hatboro-Horsham athletic director Lou James said. "There are some positives to it. It does save schools on travel time, which means the kids will have more class time. Also, it saves the [school] district man hours and money."
North Penn, a perennial powerhouse in football, will move from the National to the Continental Conference. Neshaminy stays in the National Conference, welcoming newcomers Council Rock North, Council Rock South and William Tennent.
"It's kind of interesting," Neshaminy coach Mark Schmidt said. "For us, we're going to be renewing some old rivalries."
In the Catholic League, the switch to a three-division football alignment (Red and Blue Divisions have existed since 1999) was initiated because of next year's official participation in the PIAA. With a nine-week regular season, teams in the four-team Blue AA and Blue AAA Divisions will still be able to schedule nonleague contests.
"It's the best for everybody," said Brian Fluck, head coach at West Catholic and president of the Catholic League football coaches' association. "This way, in nonleague play, teams in different divisions get a chance to continue existing rivalries."
Here is how the Suburban One League and Catholic League football have been realigned:
Council Rock North
Council Rock South
Harry S Truman
Central Bucks East
Central Bucks South
Central Bucks West
St. Joseph's Prep
* new member
- Rick O'Brien