I wanted to share Sean T. McMann’s story from today’s Poughkeepsie Journal, which details Arlington’s decision to stay in Section 1 for at least one more year. The Arlington Board of Ed met last night and had a close vote on whether or not the school should move to Section 9 for the 2014-15 school year. With most of the Arlington coaches supporting the move to Section 9, many thought that the vote would have played out differently, but one of the strongest athletic programs in the area will remain in Section 1. An interesting part of Sean’s story is the opinions of some Arlington officials on the “glaring lack” of big-picture thinking on the part of Section 1:
FREEDOM PLAINS — The Admirals are still docked in Section 1.
And the ship that would have taken them to Section 9 for the 2014-15 school year has sailed.
After almost two hours of debate and discussion Tuesday, members of the Arlington Central School District’s board of education defeated a resolution that would have moved the district’s teams from Section 1 to Section 9 by a 4-4 vote; five affirmative votes were needed for passage.
“Well, it’s very disappointing … very disappointing,” Dominick DeMatteo, the head coach of Arlington’s varsity football team, told the Poughkeepsie Journal after the board rejected the proposal during a meeting at LaGrange Middle School. “I believe in our superintendent. I believe in our athletic director. And I believe in the district that I work for. I just think we missed a huge opportunity here to improve the experience here for our student-athletes.
“But, we’ll get behind it.”
Following a failed attempt Tuesday to table the issue until the board’s next meeting on Nov. 26, four days before the deadline to file for application to Section 9, and having heard three speakers opposed to the switch and comments from the Dr. Brendan Lyons, the district’s superintendent, and Athletic Director Dave Goddard, the eight members present voted.
Kelly Lappan, Christine Baxter, Jim Shuttleworth and Charles McLeod voted to approve the resolution, while Sean Johnston, Edward McCormick, Steven Rossi and Jennifer Eraca opposed it. A tie goes to the runner in baseball, but this deadlock went to Section 1, where Arlington will remain for at least the next school year.
One of 11 geographic regions that govern interscholastic athletics as part of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Section 1 is comprised of schools in Dutchess, Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties. Section 9 has member schools in Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan and Orange counties.