Lyndonville votes to keep sharing some programs with Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Some want Lyndonville to field own soccer team

Photos by Tom Rivers – Lyndonville Board of Education President Ted Lewis said the cooperation with Medina Central School has been a positive for both districts.

LYNDONVILLE – Some Lyndonville students and parents want the school to bring back its own varsity boys’ soccer program.

For the past three seasons, Lyndonville students have played with Medina’s team. Lyndonville was down on soccer players, but now there are enough to field a competitive varsity team, Board of Education members were told tonight.

“We could have our own Sectional banner from our own kids hanging up in the gym,” parent Kristen Nicholson told the board.

She believes the school district could build a strong soccer program, starting with elementary “house” programs and working up to JV and varsity.

“You got to give it a chance now for the kids who are here and have the numbers to form a team,” Nicholson said.

One Lyndonville senior said he tried out for the team in Medina and was cut after a week. Another parent said her son, who had played JV, didn’t want to play varsity with Medina so he didn’t try out.

The issue was brought up because Medina and Lyndonville have been talking about extending the inter-municipal agreement for some extracurricular activities. The Board of Education voted tonight to extend a partnership with Medina Central School, where Lyndonville students can play soccer and football at Medina and can also be in Medina’s marching band.

Harold Suhr, a member of the Lyndonville Board of Education, speaks in favor of continuing an agreement with Medina Central School where Medina and Lyndonville share some sports teams and other extracurricular activities, including marching band and the high school musical.

Medina students perform in Lyndonville’s school musicals. Districts also share professional development programs for staff.

“Right now it’s a very positive relationship with Medina,” said Jason Smith, the Lyndonville district superintendent. “They’ve been great working with us.”

Lyndonville faces a declining enrollment, and that reality is forcing the district to be creative to offer opportunities for students. Jim Moody, a board member, said the shared programming may just be in the early stages for the school districts if the enrollments continue to fall.

“The same kinds of issues will be dealt with in the future,” Moody said. “There has been a demographics change in the community.”

Board members Harold Suhr and Michelle Dillenbeck said the student body, even in its declining numbers, needs to be part of more activities at the school to make those programs more viable. They both said boys are spending too much time on video games when they could be part of sports and other programs at school.

The board vote was unanimous to continue the boys soccer program with Medina. Dillenbeck worried if Lyndonville pulled out of soccer, the other opportunities for Lyndonville with Medina would be lost.

Michelle Dillenbeck, a Board of Education member, said it currently isn’t sustainable for Lyndonville to have enough athletes for some sports. She voted to continue partnering with Medina for some sports and activities.

She also doesn’t think Lyndonville would be able to field a competitive boys soccer team long-term, given the school’s declining enrollment.

Board President Ted Lewis said the partnership with Medina has gone well and he wants it to continue.

“The essence is how can we do more sustainable opportunities for our students given the demographics of our county,” Lewis said.

Suhr, a Lyndonville board member, says the cooperation has helped both districts. The new agreement is for two more years and both districts can opt out with 30 days notice.

Suhr said the agreement has allowed Lyndonville kids to play football, be in the marching band and play soccer. Suhr said the Medina soccer coach has cut some Medina students to make room for good Lyndonville players.

He remembers when he was a senior at Lyndonville and the school eliminated football. He transferred to Albion for his senior year and played for the Purple Eagles.

“When one door closes another opens,” Suhr said.

He is thankful for the year in Albion, saying he made many new friends.