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 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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