The possibility that Aurora will form rivalries with new schools appears to be moving closer to reality, and those schools probably will be located in the Akron area rather than in the Geauga-Lake counties / Cleveland region.
With 10 schools having announced this spring that they will pull out of the 18-member Chagrin Valley Conference, Aurora was forced to start looking elsewhere for a league to join after the 2014-15 school year.
Last week, Aurora Superintendent Russ Bennett revealed that Aurora has received an invitation from the Suburban League, which consists of schools to the east, north and west of Akron, and district officials are discussing whether to accept.
"We are gathering input from many entities," Bennett said, noting that district officials are hoping to make a decision by the end of September.
Over the weekend, officials of the Kent schools announced that, pending final approval from the Board of Education, Roosevelt will accept an invitation to join the Suburban League. Other invitees are discussing whether to do so, and nothing is official yet.
The 64-year-old Suburban League recently lost longtime member Green, which will move to the mostly Canton area Federal League. Green is in the southern portion of Summit County, just across the Stark County line.
That leaves Tallmadge, Wadsworth, Cloverleaf, Copley, Revere, Medina Highland and Nordonia as the remaining members.
According to information that's been circulating, the league will either have two seven-school divisions or two eight-school divisions -- one with larger schools and one with smaller schools. Aurora would be in the smaller school division.
DEPENDING on how the situation plays out, the small school division also could include Kent Roosevelt, Cloverleaf, Tallmadge, Copley, Barberton, Revere, Medina HIghland and possibly Kenston.
In the big school division could be Wadsworth, Nordonia, Stow-Munroe Falls, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Brecksville, North Royalton and Twinsburg.
Medina also has been mentioned as a bigger school division member, but some league officials are concerned about its size (its enrollment is 35 percent larger than Stow, the next biggest school). Kenston would be the furthest away from the Medina County smaller schools Cloverleaf and Highland).
Bennett said driving distance between Aurora and Cloverleaf -- the furthest school from AHS in the proposed division setup -- is similar to that between AHS and Perry and AHS and Painesville Harvey.
Driving distance between Aurora and Cloverleaf is about 43 miles, compared to 49 miles between Aurora and Perry and 43 miles between Aurora and Harvey.
Most of the proposed smaller schools in the SL are new to the Greenmen, although AHS has played Revere in football in recent years and Tallmadge and Kent Roosevelt in the playoffs.
The AHS cross country team has gone to the Cloverleaf Invitational the last few years. Aurora also has played Tallmadge and Kent Roosevelt in some sports during the regular season. Although they are much bigger, Hudson and Nordonia have been AHS opponents in some sports.
Some of Aurora's CVC rivals, of course, still could remain on the schedule as non-league opponents. It certainly would be sad to see the Aurora-Chagrin Falls football rivalry go down the tubes.
It appears a new day is dawning for the Suburban League, and I would not be opposed to Aurora being part of it.
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