The athletic director has made his pitch. The people have voiced their opinions.
Now the rest is up to the seven members of the Fredonia School Board.
Fredonia's football program, which has made four Section VI championship games and one state semifinal appearance since 1999, suddenly is on life support. It's only hope for the future is a merger with the nearby Westfield/Brocton football program.
The measure comes to a vote at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 at Fredonia High School. If the school board approves of the merger during its meeting, the football program will live to play another day. If it doesn't, then the program founded in 1901 won't field a team in 2016.
During a public forum Monday at Fredonia, school athletic director Scot Stutzman and head coach Mike Marshall said most of the people who showed up voiced their support for merging with Westfield/Brocton.
“The community voiced their opinion," said Stutzman. "They’d like to see us continue with the program. They brought that to the board’s attention. It was a very well organized forum. It was respectfully done. The statements back the fact they would like to see the program continue.”
Fredonia started last season with 27 players on varsity but ended up with 14 as injuries, academics and suspensions all took their toll.
Stutzman said the program is projected to have 22 varsity players for 2016. While the state minimum for fielding a team is 16 players, 22 is still a bit risky -- he said.