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Gettysburg High School is seeking to move from the Mid-Penn Conference to the YAIAA.

Gettysburg School District superintendent Larry Redding submitted an application to the YAIAA on Thursday, and the Gettysburg board of education will vote Monday at 7 p.m. whether it would approve the move. The vote appears to be a formality.

"We've been briefed on it," Gettysburg school board president Todd Orner said. "There didn't seem to be any major questions. The board will support the administration's recommendation."

This would be the third time Gettysburg has attempted to leave the Mid-Penn for the YAIAA. The board last voted against a move in the late 1990s.

If the board approves the move, the YAIAA would vote as soon as Jan. 14 whether to extend Gettysburg an invitation. Redding, Gettysburg principal Mark Blanchard and Gettysburg athletic director Carlos Wampler have already spoken with YAIAA officials.

The last YAIAA expansion took place in 2004 with the addition of three Adams County schools -- Bermudian Springs, Biglerville and Fairfield.

Gettysburg is currently a member of the Mid-Penn conference, which it entered in 1993 after the Blue Mountain League disbanded.

Switching to the YAIAA would give Gettysburg an opportunity to compete against former Blue Mountain League foes, something the Gettysburg graduate Orner appreciated.

Gettysburg is a member of the same Intermediate Unit, or collection of school districts in Pennsylvania, as many in the YAIAA. However, it competed against schools in a different IU, a disparity that led Blanchard to consider moving.

The Warriors wouldn't be eligible for YAIAA competition until 2014-15. The YAIAA does realignment every two years, and this academic year is the first in a new cycle.

But the decision was necessary this early with the YAIAA already planning its schedules.

"After discussing it with the York-Adams league, they said, 'We'd like to have an answer sometime this month,'" Wampler said. "If we had waited until the fall, we would've had to wait for another two-year schedule."

The decision to switch leagues started in late November after examining ways to save money. Redding, Blanchard and Wampler asked the board in late November or early December its feelings, and they discussed the move with coaches in December.

Savings will come from reduced travel costs. Schools in the YAIAA are closer than those in the Mid-Penn. Gettysburg had to eliminate its seventh-grade football team in an effort to save money this fall.

"It's not a tremendous tens of thousands of savings," Wampler said, "but there are some."

He wasn't certain which division the Warriors would compete in but guessed Division II, adding it was unpredictable because of fluctuating enrollment figures. Blanchard said the savings could be negligible if the Warriors compete in a division with far-away schools.

The move has led to a mixed reaction among coaches.

Warriors volleyball coach Travis Meckley believes his team will face more challenging opponents, something he hoped would prepare his team for difficult opponents in the postseason.

"It'll be more consistent challenges," he said. "I know Delone is a big challenge every year, Hanover, West York, Central. I'd rather go 9-6 or 10-5 and have good challenging games than go 11-1 and not having a challenge for the girls. I think this will help them improve throughout the season."

However, there will be the challenge of adjusting to new opponents. The Warriors recently switched divisions within the Mid-Penn, giving girls' basketball coach Casey Thurston an idea of what could happen in 2014.

"You went into almost every game blind, which is something I don't enjoy doing," she said. "Coaches will go into a game blindly, not knowing much about an opponent. For some sports, it's not that big of a deal. Basketball, it could make a big difference, six or seven games.

"If we know what division we're in and we know who we're going to play, I'm going to go out and see what they're doing. We're going to play our game and make people play to us. Hopefully, that's how it works out."


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