For the moment, the Suburban League is sticking with being a 15-member conference.
Suburban League commissioner Keith Walker announced Tuesday that the league has decided not to expand.
"After much discussion and lengthy deliberation, the Suburban League has voted to remain at 15 schools and not expand its membership numbers," Walker said in a news release. "With questions of enrollment balance and geography (travel time) being the two most critical elements under consideration, it was felt that the ultimate interests of the current 15 schools would be best met by remaining at 15 member schools."
Walker noted the league had many schools apply to fill the 16th spot, but no consensus could be agreed upon by the members.
"Between 2016 and 2020, the league diligently tried to fill the 16th spot, but with no success," Walker said."In January 2020, the league publicly stated it was reopening the expansion door with the hope of adding one or more schools.
"While the response was gratifying (10 schools applied), no consensus could be reached on what school(s) should be added, and remaining at 15 schools was ultimately viewed as the best option for the league as a whole."
Walker noted that Brunswick, Medina, Strongsville, Solon, Massillon Washington, Lynhurst Brush, Wooster, Bedford, Akron Archbishop Hoban and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy all applied for Suburban League membership.
Per league bylaws, any new member for the league needs to be approved by a three-quarter vote from the league’s principals, meaning 12 of 15 league principals need to vote for a school to join.
"That’s one of our league bylaws," Walker said. "It sometimes proves difficult to get 12 votes for anything.
Walker also noted the league plans to continue with its decision to allow Cuyahoga Falls to move into the American Conference at the start of the 2021-22 school year.
Cuyahoga Falls will join Aurora, Barberton, Copley, Highland, Revere, Kent Roosevelt and Tallmadge in the American Conference. The National Conference at that point will consist of seven schools: Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Hudson, Nordonia, North Royalton, Stow, Twinsburg and Wadsworth.
Walker noted this will be the end of the league’s expansion discussions
"At this point, we’re going to try to keep the Suburban League as the best 15-team league in Ohio," Walker said. "We’re not going to touch the expansion issue for a while. We’re never going to close the door completely, but for the foreseeable future, I don’t think we’re going to revisit this."
Walker also confirmed the Suburban League will sanction league championships in boys and girls lacrosse this spring. Walker noted there will only be one division in lacrosse and the lacrosse titles will not count to the league’s all-sports trophy standings.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_GHO