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Norristown school board to vote on switch to PAC10

By Brendan Wills,, @BWillsTH on Twitter

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

NORRISTOWN >> In an effort to keep the public abreast of the Norristown Area School District’s potential move to the Pioneer Athletic Conference (PAC) from the Suburban One League (SOL), representatives from the PAC attended Tuesday night’s work session for a question and answer with the school board.

A vote on the move will take place at next week’s board meeting on Monday, Jan. 26.

Judy Landis, Methacton High School principal and vice president of the PAC, and Gary DeRenzo, Pottsgrove School District athletic director, were on hand to provide information about the PAC and answer questions.

Landis said the switch to the PAC was great for school spirit and attendance at games. As a coach in the SOL, the only games highly attended were big rivals like Norristown.

“In the PAC-10 we have that almost every game,” Landis said. Moreover, she noted how well-behaved these intense cheering battles are, which she attributed to the high degree of respect in the PAC.

For Landis and DeRenzo, the best part of the PAC from athletic directors’ and principals’ perspectives is the democratic nature of PAC meetings and decision making, which they said was always the case in the SOL.

Board member Janice Pearce was concerned with the number of schools that might be allowed in the expansion of the league. The representatives indicated that 12 to 14 is the current goal, with four districts including Norristown currently still in conversation about potential switches.

However, DeRenzo said any further expansion would follow the same democratic decision making process.

Pearce also asked them to address the ongoing concern for what will happen to Norristown’s bowling team given the PAC has no bowling league.

DeRenzo responded saying conversations about adding bowling will definitely be had.

“None of those decisions will be made without you or about you before you come,” he said.

Norristown Athletic Director Tony Palladino said a backup plan for bowling would be to enter a Berks County league with additional games added with any SOL teams still willing to bowl.

If the board voted to switch, high school sports would begin in the PAC for the 2016-2017 school year and 2015-2016 for middle school and freshman sports.