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In a somewhat surprising move, the YAIAA will not be expanding after all.
The Northern York County School Board vetoed a move from the larger but far-flung Mid-Penn to the York-Adams league with a 5-4 vote Thursday evening.
While Northern coaches and parents seemed a bit tentative about the possible shift during and after a public informational meeting this winter, there did not seem to be a decisive push against it.
Northern athletic director Gerry Schwille was not at Thursday's school board meeting but did receive news of the vote.
"I need to digest this for a while, to be honest with you," he said when asked to comment on the decision.
YAIAA executive director Chuck Abbott said he did not wish to discuss the decision yet, either.
"They made it in the best interest for what they thought for their school and their kids," he said. "It is what it is."
Northern officials were seeking support to change leagues in order to cut travel time to sporting events, to play more opponents of equal enrollment size and gain more stability in divisional play.
Some Northern coaches did express concerns over a move, citing the loss of long-standing rivals and the culture change of developing new relationships and traveling to new schools.
While a shift to the YAIAA would have forced the Polar Bears to face a stiff upgrade in competition in sports such as volleyball and even basketball, it would have been a potential downgrade in wrestling, field hockey and others.
Meanwhile, the YAIAA was hoping to even its 23-member league and smooth out its awkward Division II — making eight teams with Dover, Eastern, West York, Gettysburg, Kennard-Dale, Susquehannock and York Suburban. That move would eliminate scheduling conflicts, including dreaded byes.