B y Jamie Norton

It’s official. Granville High School will become a member of the Adirondack League beginning with the next academic year.

The Golden Horde, which has competed in the Wasaren League since 1991 in almost all varsity sports, applied to join the Adirondack League earlier this year, citing less travel time for games to help students with their studies as the primary benefit. The Adirondack League accepted Granville in October, but because the school missed the Wasaren League’s July 1 deadline to make this change, GHS needed permission from the seven other schools in the Wasaren League – by way of majority vote – to leave early.

All eight schools in the Wasaren League voted on the issue at their November board meetings, and only Hoosick Falls voted against it. So Granville will begin competing in the Adirondack League next fall.

Granville school superintendent Mark Bessen said the Wasaren League was happy to let GHS jump ship, as it has allowed the league to add new schools that are within a closer distance. After all, one of the reasons Granville wanted to leave that league was because traveling to places like Hoosick Falls, Cambridge, and Greenwich several times a week can be tiring. And vice versa for those schools coming here on a regular basis.

Hoosick Falls superintendent Kent Facin said his district voted against Granville’s exit because it went against the Wasaren League’s recently-adapted bylaws and constitution.

“What Granville was asking for was an exception to the bylaws of our constitution that we had just adapted less than a year ago,” he said. “We wanted to make sure that we were protecting the league.”

Facin’s district was also concerned that Granville’s departure would result in a smaller and uneven league. But it has actually since grown larger with the addition of two new schools – Waterford and Spa Catholic – and may add a third to bring the number of schools in the league up to 10.

“We think we’re going to take a crisis, with Granville wanting to leave, and turn it into an opportunity and make it stronger,” said Kent Facin, superintendent at Hoosick Falls, the only Wasaren League school to vote against it. “We wish Granville the best, although we will miss them, and we think they have a lot of potential as an athletic program and an academic program.”

The Adirondack League has nearby teams like Salem, Whitehall, and Hartford – smaller schools in terms of enrollment, but because Granville offers more sports than many of those schools, the head count per team will be comparable. Bessen said athletic director Eileen Troy has already been working with the Adirondack League on planning for next year, and that the league had been working since October under the assumption that Granville would be on board for 2016-17.

“The Adirondack League has already been planning for our arrival,” he said. “They did their due diligence, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a pretty seamless transition.”

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