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Norristown Applies to Join PAC-10 Conference
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent
2015-02-05

                Steve Perlstein, Upper Perkiomen's athletic director, played a role in recruiting Norristown to join the Pioneer Athletic Conference.  Last month, as a member of PAC-10 Membership/Expansion Committee, Perlstein participated in two informational presentations.

                Initially, the members of the committee, designed to address league membership and expansion opportunities, met with a group of parents, coaches, school board members and district administrators from Norristown High School, according to Perlstein.

                He said one week later, the committee, which includes Judith Landis, the principal of Methacton High School, Gary Derenzo, the athletic director at Pottsgrove, Paul Speiwak, Methacton's athletic director and Pat Connors, Pottstown's athletic director, made a similar presentation at a Norristown School Board workshop meeting.

                On Jan. 29, Norristown's school board voted 9-0 in favor of making an application to the Pioneer Athletic Conference for membership.

                School officials mailed their application Monday, according to Anthony Palladino, Norristown's athletic director.  "I believe the application will be approved," Palladino said. "We are hoping the vote will come sooner than later."

                The membership/expansion committee will review the application and make a recommendation for a vote at an upcoming conference principal/athletic director meeting, according to Perlstein.   He said final acceptance into the conference will require a three-fourth majority, or eight affirmative votes, of the member schools.

                If the application is approved, Norristown's middle school athletes would begin competing against PAC-10 schools during the 2015-16 school year, according to Perlstein. He said the high school programs would debut in the conference in 2016-17. 

                Perlstein stated that the addition would allow Upper Perkiomen student-athletes and teams to "broaden their competition base and eventually allow our teams to play against schools of like size and competitiveness."

                According to Palladino, the Eagles would likely compete in the Liberty Division against Boyertown, Methacton, Owen J. Roberts, Perkiomen Valley and Spring-Ford, other schools with a similar AAAA classification. 

                "The goal of league expansion is to increase the number of schools within our league allowing for an increased number of league games against like size schools," Perlstein wrote. He added that it would help create "an equitable playing field and increased competition for our AAAA and AAA schools."

                The other division of the PAC-10, the Frontier, currently includes Pottstown, Phoenixville, Pottsgrove, Pope John Paul II and Upper Perk. 

                According to Palladino, school officials discussed the Norristown's potential shift "formally and informally" for the last three years.  "It had never gotten to the school board level before," he said.

                According to Perlstein, Pioneer Athletic Conference officials are hopeful that Norristown's move to join their ranks will open the door for additional schools to act similarly.

                In April, the committee invited principals and athletic directors from Quakertown, Pennridge, Souderton, Norristown, Upper Merion, Great Valley, Daniel Boone, Twin Valley and Radnor to attend a presentation on the Pioneer Athletic Conference, according to Perlstein.

                He declined to discuss any of the committee's conversations with officials from those schools.  "I understand the conference is in talks with some other schools," Palladino said. "Having 12 teams instead of 11 makes scheduling a whole lot easier."


 

 

 

 

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