Mergers: Leave The Agendas At The Door

To the Readers’ Forum:

I believe it was Shakespeare who first pondered that question; or maybe it was Ambrose Bierce. Anyway, it’s an excellent question. And these days many are asking it.

Some say the merger train is leaving the station. And you, my friend, better get on board. Others are desperately trying to hand on to a name and a tradition. To those schools, I say good for you, the cool kids aren’t always right.

Engine #9 has once again made a stop at good ol’ MG. And just to ”put it on the board” early, most of us want what’s best for the kids. My wife and I moved back to the area from Nashville, Tenn. in 1992 to raise a family. I haven’t done what’s best for myself since.

My feeling on mergers is fairly simple. You merge if you have to and you don’t if you don’t have to. it’s not complicated. Much like hitting a 100 mph fastball, you just hit it when you see it.

This coming gridiron season, Maple Grove and Chautauqua Lake will once again be merging. We did have the option of not merging JV squads as our numbers have increased. Myself, and other parents, thought this was the logical choice. School officials disagreed, feeling that neither school may not have the numbers for a JV team. While at the same time, already having a plan in place for making two JV teams out of the two schools, after the merger was approved.

I was a breathtakingly average student, a good athlete and an absolute living legend at throwing food in the lunchroom. And even I know that it’s mathematically impossible to form two teams when you combine two schools, each who can’t field their own team.

I think some felt that if we didn’t merge JV teams, that would put us on the road of ”unmerging.”

While discussing the a varsity merger, there was concern about splitting up kids who became friends on last year’s merged team. But while trying to decide what to do with the huge JV numbers, one plan is to split up a lose knot group, who have been friends since kindergarten and who have been looking forward to playing JV and varsity football for 10 years.

Apparently, our new policy on keep friends together is one that we have no plans to enforce. Maybe we should put it on the back of the school calendar, right next to the Zero tolerance Policy.”

Mergers are sometimes necessary, but leave the agendas and politics at the station. It’s what’s best for the kids.

Dan Nelson

Bemus Point