6 from D.C. could join Md. league

Proposal would bolster A, B conferences in 2005

Football

High Schools

April 28, 2004|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Six football programs from the Washington area's Interstate Athletic Conference could merge with those in the A and B conferences of Baltimore's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association if a plan is approved by MIAA administrators next month.

Rick Diggs, director of the MIAA, said representatives from both organizations have spent seven months discussing the proposal, whose target date is the fall of 2005. "As of now, all six of their athletic directors and football coaches seem to be in favor of doing this," Diggs said.

St. Stevens/St. Agnes athletic director Gary Schnell, who acts as the IAC's chairman, could not be reached about the plan. Diggs said it calls for "at least two, hopefully three" of the IAC teams moving into the A Conference, and the others, into the B.

The move pertains only to football, meaning an amendment must be made in the MIAA's bylaws during its May 17 principals' meeting before the plan can be set in motion.

The MIAA's three football leagues are comprised of the A and B conferences, which consist of five teams each, along with the seven-team C Conference.

But Diggs said scheduling problems have hampered the two larger divisions - an issue shared by an IAC comprised of Montgomery County's Bullis Prep, Landon Prep and Georgetown Prep; Alexandria, Va.'s Episcopal and St. Stevens/St. Agnes; and Washington's St. Albans.

In November, Diggs "made the initial contact" with Georgetown Prep athletic director and football coach Dan Paro, who, along with St. Paul's football coach Dave Dolch, has been part of a committee organized to address the issue.

Paro could not be reached.

"It's a process that's in motion, and we see a lot more positives than negatives for both leagues," said Dolch, adding that he'd "have no problem" dealing with the D.C.-area traffic to play games in Virginia.

"We've already got teams now going to Beall, Garrett County, St. Mary's County," Dolch said.

Landon athletic director Neil Phillips said he and the athletic directors of the other five member schools planned to meet with the two representatives of the IAC who have been part of the negotiations to be debriefed in the next couple of days.

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