After years of trying to join the Colonial League, Lehighton has finally been invited.
The question now is, Will they?
On Wednesday, the Colonial League delivered invitations to both Lehighton and Pleasant Valley to become fulltime members of their organization.
If both schools (current members of the Mountain Valley Conference) would accept, they would join the league for the start of the 2014-15 school year.
The problem for the Indians is they have already committed to the Schuylkill League and Anthracite Football League. In fact, just recently, the AFL released its proposed football schedule for the 2014 season with Lehighton included.
In a statement issued yesterday by Lehighton Athletic Director Kyle Spotts, the school confirmed the invitation, acknowledged its connection to the Schuylkill League, but also admitted to lookng into the matter before making a decision.
"Lehighton Area School District was approached by representative members of the Colonial League (Wednesday) morning and was presented with a formal invitation to join their league beginning with the 2014-15 school year in all sports.
"At this time, we are committed to our current Mountain Valley Conference membership for the 2013-14 school year. As you are aware, we accepted an invitation to join the Schuylkill League and Anthracite Football League beginning with the 2014-15 school year.
"At this time, we have all intentions of honoring our commitment to the Schuylkill/Anthracite League. In light of this opportunity, we would be remiss in our responsibility if we did not present this invitation to our Athletic Committee and appropriate district representatives.
"Lehighton Area School District will weigh the financial aspects as well as positive/negative impact on our student-athletes and our long-term commitment to a league. A decision will be made in a timely fashion in consideration for the leagues involved."
Currently, the Colonial League consists of 12 schools. The league will be elevating associate members Moravian Academy and Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg to fulltime status for the 2014-15 season.
The addition of these two Class A schools is one of the reasons invitations were offered to Lehighton and Pleasant Valley. The Indians, who are Class AAA in most sports, and the Bears, who are Class AAAA, would help balance out the league between smaller schools and bigger ones.
If they both accept Pleasant Valley would be the largest school, by far, in the league. Current PIAA enrollments show PV with 850 boys and 826 girls. The next closest to that is Bangor at 494 and 457. Lehighton, meanwhile, has 302 boys and 284 girls. Those figures (with Pleasant Valley included) would place them fifth highest among the 16 schools.
Pleasant Valley Athletic Director Jake Percey directed media requests to superintendant Dr. Doug Arnold. As of press time, Arnold had not returned a phone call.