District says shared team with Medina provides best opportunity for Lyndonville boys soccer players

Posted 14 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Steve Anderson, a Lyndonville student, excelled on Medina’s boys soccer team this past year. He was named a Niagara-Orleans all star and helped the team capture the league title.

(Editor’s Note: The Lyndonville school district issued this statement following Monday’s vote by the Board of Education to extend an agreement for two more years where Lyndonville students play on Medina’s soccer team.)

Press Release, Lyndonville Central School

LYNDONVILLE – At its Feb. 9 meeting, the Lyndonville Board of Education approved a two-year agreement to continue the boys soccer merger with Medina.

“There is a strong tradition and history of Lyndonville soccer,” said Lyndonville Superintendent Jason Smith. “The challenge to honor the Lyndonville soccer tradition while being aware of the projected enrollment numbers and student opportunities was not taken lightly.”

Smith and Lyndonville board members had conversations with current student-athletes and parents regarding the merger and the future of the Medina-Lyndonville Mustangs. The district and the board also communicated with Medina administrators and coaches.

“Lyndonville monitors and adjusts shared services on a continuous basis,” said Lyndonville Board of Education President Ted Lewis. “Time was taken by many individuals to evaluate this specific merger and it was found that the merger provides the best opportunities for current LCSD students and those in the future.”

The Medina-Lyndonville Mustangs have worked hard over the past three years and the program has flourished. The transition has been successful and has led to a 2013 sectional title and a 2014 league title with a sectional semi-final appearance.

Lyndonville student-athlete Steven Anderson received individual accolades this year as part of the merged team. Anderson was named to the 2014 First Team All Western New York after a successful senior season.

Enrollment numbers are a concern when looking at a Lyndonville varsity team. There is an average of 20.5 boys per grade level in grades pre-K through 8. Estimates for the next three soccer seasons show that by the 2017 season, the varsity team would have approximately 14 student-athletes, assuming all interested students play soccer in lieu of football or cross country. These numbers would not be indicative of sustaining a successful and competitive team.

Lyndonville aims to continue hosting non-league soccer matches on its campus with the Medina-Lyndonville Mustangs donning the orange and black of the district.

Lyndonville intends to keep its modified and junior varsity boys soccer teams as it has over the past three years during the initial two agreements. Prior to the merger, Lyndonville went multiple years without a junior varsity team due to a limited number of interested students. The JV team has since grown, allowing Lyndonville student-athletes to hone their skills and prepare for participation at the most competitive level.

If Lyndonville were to end the merger with Medina, the district runs a risk of not having a sustainable soccer program in the future if Medina or another district were to not be interested in a future merger.

Soccer is not the only activity that Lyndonville merges with Medina. Lyndonville student-athletes currently participate with Medina student-athletes on shared football, boys soccer, cross country and track and field teams. Lyndonville and Medina students also come together on the stage for a combined musical each year.