Letter to the Editor: School Board Member Defends Move to NVL

Gerard Carbonaro says the NVL is a better for Oxford.


Lots of misinformation on this issue. First, the BOE is not considering making this move, we made it. If the NVL accepts us, we're in. The Board formed a committee to study this issue in May. We decided to look at several criteria. Competitiveness, Safety, Cost and Public Interest. We did not consider factors like demographics or socioeconomics. The move was part of long-term planning for the future of Oxford. We gathered opinions from many sources. Administrators, ADs, Selectmen, Coaches (2 to 1 supported NVL, several wrote letters) and townspeople. This was an open process, sorry some of you missed it.

Competitiveness: K-12 enrollment is DOWN not up. OHS will have 500 to 570 students for the forseeable future. We should compete with local schools of similar size. Competition against schools with 2 to 3 times as many kids as OHS is not fair to our kids over the long run. It should be avoided. There are four small NVL high schools within a long walk from OHS that we should play against, Ansonia, Derby, Seymour and Woodland. These are our natural, Class S rivals. NVL may form three divisions of 5 teams. We would rarely have to compete with the larger, more distant NVL schools. Sadly, it has been a practice of larger SWC schools to pad their schedules with easy wins against the tiny SWC teams. Masuk didn't play Newtown a year or two ago, but they played Oxford and Immaculate. It has happened a lot over the years. Safety: When Class S plays Class LL in football, for example, our kids get hurt. In winter, the back roads of Fairfield County re-freeze at night, making travel dangerous. Our kids get back to OHS at 10:30 or 11:00 with no time to eat or do homework. Our smaller squads play against larger, fresh squads, causing injury. Cost: Mapquest doesn't tell the story. Its a 1.5 hour bus trip to Joel Barlow or Weston because buses cant use the Merritt. NVL is the Route 8 corridor, nice. Cost: I sit on the Finance Sub-committee. The Athletic Travel Budget line item WILL BE reduced next year due to this move. Revenue: Our football gate at $5.00 per person will be significant. We project 2000 to even 3000 fans at our home night games at our new field. 5 home games might conservatively bring in $50,000 or more. Now add boys and girls soccer. Couple this with travel savings and MAYBE the BOE could end Pay to Play, which would amount to a tax cut for all of the families of sports and extra-curricular kids. So, please stop trashing football. Three times as many kids play football than most other sports at OHS and it will bring in revenue. Public Interest: Does anyone in the community get excited when Joel Barlow comes to town? We are a divided community. Sports in the NVL will be more exciting due to the local rivalries that will grow. It can bring us all closer together. Look at Ansonia. The only thing that unites that town is Ansonia football.

Common Misconceptions: Moving to the NVL WILL NOT prohibit teams from competing against SWC schools. The move WILL NOT hurt sports other than football. Use wrestling as an example. We could have virtually the same schedule in 2013-2014 as we have for 2012-2013. We would just have to add Derby, Seymour and Holy Cross into the mix. Maybe we eliminate matches against New Milford, Masuk and Newtown. Long term, how is that a bad thing? It sure hasn't hurt Derby wrestling. If Swimming wants a meet with Pomperaug, go for it! It is not prohibited at all. The upside outweighs the downside here, so that is why the Committee and the Board both voted unanimously to make this move. NVL is a better fit for Oxford.

concerned November 19, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Judging from the article "By the numbers" the only rationale for the switch to NVL is political. Carobonaro accuses the Dr. Samuelson of favoring SWC because he was from Southbury, so now by implication, the BOE wants to switch to NVL because they're biased toward the Valley. Playing politics rather than putting our students first is shameful.
concerned November 19, 2012 at 03:24 PM
....An incredibly arrogant letter from Mr. Carbonaro
Angela November 19, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Love it!!! Good move Oxford!!!!
Coach Carb November 19, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I never said a word about Frank Samuelson... I like and respect Frank.
movingsale November 19, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I would encourage to look at the other post by Mr. Singley and specifically its comments by Tanya. They very clearly state that cost and travel considerations are not even close to be being a big deal, and that this issue is far from having been "researched" since May. The closer reality was that it was brought up once, then pursued on the hush hush by those who want to further this, and then re-brought up as a done deal. To say that this is being done for "safety" and "travel" reasons is as ludicrous as saying it worked for Derby and should therefore work for us. These projections for 2000-3000 people coming to the game and all this money being saved, as well as the promise that no other sports will be affected, is mere propaganda. All very easy to say, but sadly, not based in reality nor with any guarantee.
OldOx November 19, 2012 at 09:09 PM
What, are we reading the same thing? If you're going to be judgmental and label something as arrogant, then you should at least defend your stance with something factual. Otherwise, it comes across as very personal. I think the letter written by Mr. Carbonaro (whom I don't even know) was concise and to the point. Everything he wrote made absolute sense and I agree with him 110%.
concerned November 19, 2012 at 11:07 PM
BOE has a responsibility to communicate with the residents of Oxford. Not just those who agree with them, but ALL residents. BOE totally failed in this very basic task. (as evident by the current uproar as a result of the Patch article) The Mr Carbonaro owes the residents of Oxford an apology for this gross communication failure. I have a son at Oxford High School, who participates in a sport. Neither he, nor us as parents, have ever been informed about this. We have spoken to several coaches and they claim they were never asked to render their opnion. In his letter to the Patch, Mr Carbonaro said that assuming NVL accepts Oxford's application, the deal is done. This is what I call arrogant and there is no other word for it. I have lived in Oxford for 30 years and I understand the politics. However in this case, Mr. Carbonaro totally ignored his responsibility to the public in favor of his personal agenda.
concerned November 19, 2012 at 11:09 PM
To OldOx- Yes of course this is very personal to me, my son, and everyone in Oxford High School that participates in sports and does not wish to leave SCW
movingsale November 20, 2012 at 12:34 AM
You agree with this 110% OldOx? You think this is motivated by roads that are slippier in Fairfield County than the Valley in the winter? You think that we are going to get 2000-3000 for our football games?? They don't even get that amount for state finals. You also think $50k is somehow going to find its way into our coffers? Come on people. The question was asked about us getting excited about Joel Barlow coming in to town. Convenient question. Why not ask about Southbury? Newtown? Masuk? You are right, we are a town divided. My family spent time living in each of these towns, played sports there as well. Our decision to come to Oxford was one based on familiarity-- the fact that they were in the same conference as these schools made it feel more familiar and more comfortable. I look (ed) forward to being rivals with my previous towns, and having my kids become a part of that. I understand many of you have those same feelings with valley towns, but that should have made you fight for Oxford being in the NVL from the get-go. You can't just change course a few years in, for personal reasons clearly, and then say it's for the abovementioned bogus reasons and that "it's already a done deal." This town has suffered many black eyes-- between the tax collector, the letting go of Judith Palmer with no explanation (another BOE disaster), and now this. This does not make this town desireable-- you will all regret this decision in a few short years.
wrestling parent 1 November 20, 2012 at 01:03 AM
If the swim team wants to have a meet with Pomperaug, how can they go for it?? Pomperaug will have a full schedule with SWC teams. If you speak with some of the Derby teams, take wrestling for example, this has been a huge problem. When trying to set up Wednesday matches, all of the teams outside of the NVL have full schedules within their own leagues. Yeah, they can go for it but will most likely end up at home without a meet or match.
wrestling parent 1 November 20, 2012 at 01:06 AM
This season, Oxford wrestling has a dual meet scheduled every available Wednesday. If Derby came to us to try and fill their empty schedule, we would have to decline.
laz November 20, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Not arrogant but informative. Mr. Carbonaro stated what he believes is possible and what makes the most sense for ALL concerned. I haven't heard a mention of Mr. Samuelson.
laz November 20, 2012 at 02:29 PM
obviously "hopefull optimistic" projections...and WHAT is guaranteed in sports and reality ?
concerned November 20, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Comment about Mr. Samuelson came from me. Mr Carbonaro espouses respect for Mr. Samuelson, yet works hard to undo all that Mr Samuelson did to get Oxford High School sports programs started and established in SWC. A bit disingenuous to say the least, and the tactics are reprehensible.
laz November 20, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.
Coach B November 20, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Coach Carb are you saying that if we remain in the SWC we wouldn't draw close to the same amount of people for night games against Pomperaug, Masuk and Newtown. Bottom line is fans go to night games no matter who they are against. By using your logic we would have less total fans at the NVL games because the schools and towns are smaller. If the committee wanted to get a true feel for the number of fans that would attend games, then get a total home attendance from all the teams in both leagues.
Angela November 22, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I tend to see a LOT more home fans at the games closer to "home" the further we get away, the smaller our fan crowd becomes. And I haven't missed a Varsity game all season. So, I disagree, fans do not go to the night games no matter who they are against. Fans go to the night games depending on how long they have to drive to get there. My grandparents do not want to drive in the night for an hour for a game and then have to drive back, for an hour, at the end of the game. Location is a HUGE deal to our home fan base.
Coach B November 27, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Now according to the CT Post, the 3 Bridgeport schools Harding, Bassick and Central have had discussions with the NVL about joining. This just keeps getting better and better.


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