The Growth of The Schuylkill League
September 17, 1934, nine Schuylkill County Schools met at the Frackville High School. The purpose of the meeting was to form an Interscholastic Athletic League. The following were in attendance:
Mahanoy Twp. West
Schuylkill Haven H.S.
St. Clair H.S.
H. A. Brady
All in attendance agreed to form a Basketball and Baseball League. Discussion as to what name should be given to the League followed. Three names were submitted: North Schuylkill League, Schuylkill League and County League. By a vote of five to four, North Schuylkill was the chosen name.
The second task of the evening was to develop guidelines for governing the League. Instead of a Constitution, the group agreed to develop Articles of Agreement which are as follows:
OFFICERS: President – Vice President – Secretary/Treasurer. The President and Vice President must be a Principal. The Secretary/Treasurer must be either a Principal or Faculty Manager. The Officers shall be appointed for a two year term at the Fall meeting. The Offices shall be rotated by alphabetical order.*
MEETINGS: Regular meeting in September, February and May. Special meeting can be called by the President. Robert’s Rules of Order shall be followed at all meetings.
OFFICIALS: The Secretary shall contact Charles Davis, Ex. Director of the P.I.A.A. for a roster of Certified Officials from Schuylkill County. Member schools shall choose twenty-five officials who may work at their school. The stipend for Varsity Officials shall be five dollars and the Junior Varsity Officials shall receive three dollars.
AWARDS: The League shall present a trophy to the Championship Team. Sporting goods stores shall be contacted to see if they will sponsor the trophy.
DUES: The annual dues of twenty dollars shall be due at the September meeting.
AMENDMENTS: Additions – deletions – changes to the Articles of Agreement must be presented at two meetings and a two/thirds majority vote must be obtained for any change.
- Charles Drumm, accepted the Secretary/Treasurer position. Lloyd Daub and James Sherry shall fill the President and Vice President Offices for the 1934-35 and 1935-36 school years.
The North Schuylkill League operated in this format for six years. In the 1940’s three other Leagues were formed, namely South Schuylkill, the Anthracite and a Private School. Some of the original members of the North Schuylkill moved to the South Schuylkill League. The South Schuylkill League consisted of Blue Mt., Cass Township, Minersville, Pine Grove, Tri-Valley and Williams Valley. Shenandoah, Butler Township and Mahanoy Township (East) took the place of the three schools that joined the South Schuylkill League. It was with this move that Articles of Agreement were properly removed as the guideline to govern the North Schuylkill League. At the Fall meeting in 1945 a Constitution and By-Laws were approved.
Governor Richard Thornburgh and the State Department of Education began a move to restructure the numbers of School District throughout the State. Act 561 was the beginning of closing the small Districts and merging them into larger Districts. Leagues throughout the State saw a big change in League memberships.
In 1959, Mt. Carmel and Kulpmont respectively were members of the P.I.A.A. District IV that made application to the North Schuylkill League. Mahanoy City, a member of the Anthracite League applied for membership at the Winter meeting. All three schools were approved for membership. In 1962, Ashland, Butler Township and Girardville merged into jointure and became Ashland Area. Coaldale, Lansford, Nesquehoning and Summit Hill also merged into Panther Valley. They then applied along with Ringtown, and were approved at the March 26th, 1963 meeting.
The South Schuylkill League began to see their schools joining together, thus making their member schools seeking affiliation with the North Schuylkill League. Blue Mountain and Schuylkill Haven were the first schools admitted in 1964. Pine Grove, Williams Valley and Minersville followed in February of 1965. At the Fall meeting of the North Schuylkill League, Bob Peel, William Stauffer, Bruce Henninger and Joseph Brady thanked the League for their acceptance. It was at this meeting that a motion to change the name of the League was first presented. On February 1966, the second presentation to change the name was brought forth. The new name for the League shall be the Schuylkill League. Tri-Valley made application in 1968. In 1969, Nativity BVM applied for membership, but was not accepted. (Reason: P.I.A.A. approval was not received). March 3rd, 1970, Tamaqua and Nativity BVM with P.I.A.A. approval, made application. Both schools were approved. Pottsville applied for membership in 1971, followed by Marian Catholic, Shamokin and Lourdes and were accepted in 1972. At the Fall meeting of the Schuylkill League in 1974, Jim Thorpe, West Hazleton, Freeland, Bishop Hafey, Weatherly and M.M.I. were accepted into the League. The motion to change the name of the League was Schuylkill County Interscholastic Athletic Association. The League was now comprised of twenty-five schools.
Upper Dauphin, Millersville, Line Mountain and Halifax petitioned the Association for membership into various Leagues. The Association agreed to accept their petition and granted approval. Columbia Vo-Tech and Lehighton were the most recently approved for membership.
The Association had another name change. The present League is now known as the Schuylkill League, which includes twenty-one schools and sponsors seventeen Varsity sports. In all instances, beginning in the 1940’s, schools were admitted either because of the League’s downsizing or their admittance would bring better competition to the League’s.