School Committee Votes in Favor for Tri Valley League Move

by Christopher Tremblay Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
July, 2017
Article Body: 

The Norwood School Committee has given Mustang Athletic Director Jon Longley the go ahead for a possible move to the Tri-Valley League (TVL) and leave the Bay State Conference (BSC). The transfer, however, is only in its first step of the process. Norwood will now submit an application and wait Norwood’s application and await an invitation to the Mustangs athletic program. If accepted, Norwood would be allowed to enter the league early as the 2018-19 school year.
The Norwood AD firmly believes that the TVL class size is much closer than it is in the BSC. Longley held an open forum to discuss the options of why Norwood should make the jump earlier in the month and on June 21, the school committee discussed the movement to the TVL. Following a lengthy discussion, the School Committee voted 3-2 in favor of allowing Longley to apply for instatement into the league. Michele Eysie Mullen and Patrick McDonough voted against the motion.
With Norwood’s rival Dedham making the jump from the Bay State Conference (BSC) to the Tri Valley League (TVL) next year, Mustang Athletic Director Jon Longley decided to look into a move for his teams as well that would make more sense for the high school and its athletes.
“Back in 1990, Norwood was the largest school in the Herget Division of the Bay State Conference,” Longley pointed out. “With Dedham leaving we would now be the smallest (in school attendance) in the entire league.”
In 2106, Dedham was listed as the smallest school in regards to enrollment with 718 students, Norwood was right being them with 967. The average high school in the BSC currently has 1509 students that’s with Dedham, Norwood and Milton (985) included; remove Norwood and Dedham and the average enrollment jumps to 1715 students. While over in the Tri Valley League, where Dedham has already been accepted, the average enrollment is a mere 766, much in line with where Longley believes his athletes belong.
Playing against such larger schools the Mustangs are continuously finding themselves battling far superior teams in terms of numbers. During the 2013-14, 15 and 16 school years Norwood averaged 360 athletes playing fall sports while posting a 76-237-11 record. The Mustangs winter sports teams had the lowest participation with 240 athletes putting up a record of 94-177-11 and the spring sports averaged 315 athletes, but were able to put up the best record among the three seasons going 117-188.
With Dedham already departing and Norwood possibly following suit, the Bay State Conference is actively pursuing schools to join the league beginning the 2017-18 school year.