KVAC Class B schools to endure less travel next yearSpruce Mountain to join the now 16-team conference, will split to two divisions
There will be subtle changes to Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B beginning in the fall, a shakeup which will result in financial relief for high school athletic departments in the soon-to-be 16-team conference.
With Spruce Mountain of Jay/Livermore Falls set to join the conference in the fall, the KVAC will have an even number of schools in Class B and will have two divisions within the conference.
The Southern Division will consist of Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston, Camden Hills of Rockport, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, Belfast, Mount View of Thorndike, Erksine Academy of South China and Morse of Bath.
The Northern Division will consist of Winslow, Waterville, Gardiner Area, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield, Leavitt of Turner, Maranacook of Readfield, Nokomis of Newport and Spruce Mountain of Jay.
Plans for the realignment began last fall when Spruce Mountain officials informed the KVAC of their desire to join the league, while the final touches were put on during a recent meeting among the KVAC athletic directors at the Rockland Golf Club.
“We brought it up and it made sense,” said Medomak Valley athletic director Matt Lash. “Most every school district with budget troubles is looking at ways to save money. We've got a good conference with a lot of good programs and there's kind of a natural division there geographically.”
“I'm happy [about it],” said Mount View athletic director Chuck Karter. “I thought it was in the best interest of the conference and we look forward to having Spruce Mountain as part of the league.”
The changes will largely affect the sports where all schools have teams, namely boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.
The schedules for boys and girls soccer in the fall, along with boys and girls basketball for next winter, have been voted on, while the baseball and softball schedules for the 2015-16 season have yet to be determined.
In those sports, a team will play all opponents within their respective division twice, with the remaining regula- season games, where applicable, to be made up in crossover games, namely of schools from the other division.
Soccer has 14 regular-season games and thus will not require crossover games, however, basketball has an 18-game regular-season schedule and will feature four crossover games per school.
Baseball and softball have 16-game schedules and likely will feature two crossover games per school, though that has not yet been voted on.
“School districts need to trim the budgets any way they can,” said Oceanside athletic director Jim Leonard. “And if we have a regional schedule, that limits the amount of transportation we have to make in all of our sports. We still get to play a lot of really solid opponents [and] it emphasizes local rivalries. Kids get out of class later, they get home earlier. It's a win-win.”
The new schedule also could affect other Heal Point sports such as tennis and field hockey in the future, though not all KVAC schools offer those sports. Tennis has 12 regular-season matches per year, while field hockey offers 14.
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. Haskell has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School. He has won multiple Maine Press Association awards for writing and photography.
Mark loves the Boston Red Sox, iced coffee, cargo shorts, Foo Fighters and time with friends and loved ones.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn, his sons Beckett and Austin and daughter Lila.
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