Leechburg Area School District sports teams will stay in WPIAL
Leechburg Area School District sports teams will stay in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League.
The decision will please district parents and students who had opposed the school board's decision to move the district's teams from District 7 of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, which is the WPIAL, to District 6 and the Heritage Conference.
Etta Berry said her daughter, who will be in eighth grade in the fall, was frantic about the move. Her daughter plays volleyball, softball and basketball, and Berry said she was worried about keeping up her grades while dealing with having to leave classes earlier to travel farther for games.
“I think she'll find some relief this evening,” Berry said.
The school board voted 4-3 Wednesday, with two members absent, to rescind its May decision to move teams to the Heritage Conference starting in the 2014-15 school year.
Voting in favor of staying in the WPIAL were members Julie Batiz, Carlotta Del Vecchio, Danielle Reinke and Jean Stull.
Voting for continuing with the move to Heritage were Brian Ravotti, Anthony Shea and Terry Knepshield; Knepshield participated in the meeting by telephone.
Members Neill Brady and David Matuscin were absent.
Stull said the move to Heritage is effectively dead, with no further consideration or discussion expected.
The issue broiled into a community controversy, with residents charging the board made the decision without resident or student involvement. Parents said they were blindsided.
The board did not take any public comment before voting to stay in the WPIAL.
In a prepared statement, Reinke bemoaned that more opinions than facts circulated about the issue. While seeing advantages in the move to Heritage, she said she favored staying in WPIAL because the district's student-athletes had not been asked where they stood.
The PIAA, the governing body of scholastic athletics statewide, was set to give final approval for Leechburg Area's move when it meets in two weeks. Superintendent Jim Budzilek said the district will notify the organization of Leechburg Area's change of heart.
Budzilek said he had received assurance from WPIAL Executive Director Tim O'Malley that it would bring Leechburg Area back.
Contacted after the meeting, O'Malley said that although WPIAL approved releasing Leechburg Area in 2014, the district has “never been out as far as the WPIAL is concerned.
“What they need to do is make sure PIAA knows so they don't act on it,” he said.
Resident Melanie Knight was outspoken in her opposition to the move to Heritage.
“It's been a long road,” she said. “I'm ecstatic with the outcome.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Arnold, New Kensington drug busts net 2 arrests, heroin, cocaine, cash
- Man found dead in Lower Burrell
- New Kensington-Arnold to revisit superintendent’s fate
- Springdale library rejects utility agreement
- Springdale family lifted ‘from embers to embrace’
- Allegheny Valley board candidates hold Colfax Elementary fate
- Leechburg man held for trial in fatal wreck
- Long-awaited bridge expected to be completed in June
- Drainage problems believed root of Ridge Road collapse in Harmar
- Filming for Cinemax TV series to divert traffic in Allegheny Township
- Freeport High School students rise to the challenge