LV Conference picture becoming clearer
The new-look, 18-team Lehigh Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference got some clarity last week when initial reports of potential scheduling and divisional alignment surfaced.
Athletic directors from all schools met recently to hash out what the future of the LVC would look like and the rumored talks of Bethlehem Catholic moving up north for football appear to be in order.
Football will feature two divisions of nine teams, as Bethlehem Catholic, Dieruff and Allen will join the former MVC contingent of East Stroudsburg South, East Stroudsburg North, Stroudsburg, Pleasant Valley, Pocono Mountain East and Pocono Mountain West.
The other division would be comprised of Whitehall, Emmaus, Parkland, Easton, Liberty, Nazareth, Northampton, Freedom and Central Catholic.
Each team would play eight games within their division, plus two other cross divisional games, which would rotate on a two-year cycle.
In the case of Becahi, they would play their eight division opponents every year, along with a rotating member from the current LVC, as well as Central Catholic every year as the final contest to keep their rivalry in tact.
This gives teams a total of 10 regular season games and will likely not allow any room for non-conference opponents.
As far as other sports are concerned, soccer, field hockey, basketball, volleyball, softball and tennis, a three division alignment of six teams is in place.
The divisions don't appear to have names as of yet, but they will look like this:
* Division1 - East Stroudsburg South, East Stroudsburg North, Stroudsburg, Pleasant Valley, Pocono Mountain East and Pocono Mountain West.
* Division 2 - Easton, Bethlehem Catholic, Liberty, Freedom, Allen and Dieruff.
* Division 3 - Whitehall, Emmaus, Parkland, Nazareth, Northampton and Central Catholic.
In baseball, softball, soccer and field hockey, teams will play a total of 10 divisional games and six cross-divisional games against three opponents each from the other two divisions, giving teams a total of 16 contests within the league itself. Teams would then have two non-league dates for a total of 18 games.
The LVC playoffs would then expand to an eight team tournament, featuring three division winners and five wildcard teams featuring the best records.
For volleyball and basketball, the only difference would be in the crossover games, which would be eight instead of six. For example, in basketball, teams would still play each divisional opponent twice, giving them 10 games, as well as playing eight crossover games between the two remaining divisions to give teams 18 total league games.
Teams would then have four non-league dates open on their schedule for a total of 22 games.
Tennis would feature the same three division setup, but teams would have eight league contests, five from within their division, followed by three crossover meetings. Their LVC playoff would be a four-team tournament, pitting the three division winners and a wildcard.
Wrestling will also follow a three division structure, but the divisions will be ranked in accordance to this year's District 11 ranking. The following year, divisions would be aligned by rankings according to league records.
Teams will have nine dual meets within the league, with five within the division and four total (two each) from the other two divisions.
None of this information has been confirmed, as it's still pending approval from principals across the league. Official news of that agreement should come in November, but this is what the league will most likely move forward with unless there's complete disagreement by principals of each respective school.
It appears that cross country, golf and track will follow a single table format. They are likely to see seven league meets, including tri, quad and head-to-head meets.
Swimming has 16 teams in the league and will appear to have a one table setup with every school competing against each other for a 15 meet schedule.
Lacrosse will have nine teams for boys and eight teams for girls. Each team would play each other twice in this alignment, giving the boys 16 league contest and girls 14 league dates.