Lyndonville board member wants boys soccer back on the agenda

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 March 2019 at 9:26 am

LYNDONVILLE – A Lyndonville Board of Education member who voted last month for a merged boys soccer team with Medina now wants to have the vote back on the agenda because he said Medina misrepresented the issue, telling Lyndonville it couldn’t have its own boys soccer team without jeopardizing the other merged programs with Medina.

Steve Vann, a Lyndonville board member, last month said Medina presented the shared sports and extracurricular activities as an “all or nothing” proposition. That was based on individual conversations with Medina board members.

The districts first started sharing a boys soccer team about six years ago. That expanded to the school musical, football, girls soccer, volleyball, cross country, swimming and Medina’s marching band.

David Sevenski, Medina’s Board president, told the Orleans Hub the two districts have a great working relationship, and the shared programs have opened up opportunities for students in both districts, preserving programs and creating new ones.

“There was no edict from Medina that it had to be all or nothing,” he told the Orleans Hub on Feb. 27. “We went to great lengths to not twist anybody’s arm.”

Vann, at Lyndonville’s board meeting on Monday, said Sevenski’s comments to the Orleans Hub were contrary to their personal conversation.

Vann wants Lyndonville to have another vote on the boys soccer team at the April meeting. Lyndonville has about 20 boys interested in playing varsity soccer this fall, and Medina has a similar number, Lyndonville board members were told in January and February, when the board was considering whether to bring back Lyndonville’s own team.

Ultimately, the board voted 5-2 to keep the merged team with Medina because Lyndonville didn’t want to lose the opportunities for students in the other programs. Some board members also were concerned if it was sustainable long-term for Lyndonville to have its own team.

Vann said that vote was made with the wrong information. If having their own team doesn’t impact the other programs, Vann said there should be a revote in Lyndonville.

Vern Fonda, a district resident, also expressed his disappointment in the vote to keep the merged team. He said the full boards of the two school district, as well as the athletic directors, should have met to discuss the issue to make sure everyone knew the expectations and ramifications.

The districts should have been more transparent with the decision-making, instead of having “closed door” conversations, Fonda said.

Board member Harold Suhr responded that Lyndonville has been very transparent in the process.

Vann also pushed for Lyndonville to create a subcommittee to review its policy for student activities with athletics.

“I didn’t feel like we had a policy we could point to for this and why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Vann said.

He will serve on that subcommittee with Suhr and Board President Ted Lewis.

Lewis said the board and school officials will discuss Vann’s request to put boys varsity soccer back on the agenda. Lewis said it might be a “done deal.” The agreement approved last month by both districts was for four years.

“This is the first I’m hearing about it,” Lewis said at Monday’s meeting.

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