Speak Out: Polytech leaving Henlopen Conference

Polytech High announced on Tuesday night that it will be leaving the Henlopen Conference in all sports following the 2020-21 school year. “While this was a difficult decision to make, the board believes that exiting the Henlopen North Athletic Conference and exploring a different approach is in the best interests of our students and families,” said W. Duane Hammond, President of the Board of Education in the release from the district.

• What other “approach”? Also, what happens to the athletes at the school? Sophomores will have to change schools to stay competitive with sports such as soccer, lacrosse, hockey, basketball etc? — Andrew Dale

• What other sports have dwindling numbers? This decision was solely based on the football program. That was the only thing they considered at the board meeting. — Toni Kump-Feldman

• The board did not solicit parent and athlete feedback or consideration. Apparently this has been “in discussion since 2008” but the board never has convened a panel of interested shareholder. And when asked why, they ended the conversation. The board had made their decision before the meeting and the disrespect they showed the non-football coaches, athletes and parents of the community was heartbreaking.

The decision was made about the declining numbers in football not safety. This move demonstrates to all other athletes that they are second only to football. Moving to a different conference will not solve the problem of declining numbers. The school will move these kids out of their Kent County community, lose quality coaches and will impact the Polytech community negatively.

Other sports are competitive within the conference. This is about protecting one sport. I love football but it isn’t worth sacrificing ALL sports for one. — Rory Talamini

•A lot of kids don’t want to play football anymore. I’m not saying this is the reason why but they might not even be able to field a team next year. They could join nononference or Independent but they are limited in options. — Paul Kennedy

• Doesn’t make sense for “all sports”. Smoke and mirrors here. Football is understandable due to their current circumstances. Other sports however don’t have that same reality. Soccer made the state tournament. Field hockey plays in the state semifinal (Thursday). Someone fumbled this decision. — Kyle Wheatley

• This is going to effect marching band, cheerleaders, majorettes. All the other sports teams have been doing exceptional. — Andrea Bush

• This isn’t fair for all the other sports teams. That school has other teams that have been doing well. I understand the decision for the football program but don’t think the other sports should be affected by it. It’s also not just sports that are being affected either. — Haley Mills Morris

• Sports at all schools are dying. It’s sad but kids are not willing to play. Look at all pro sports and dwindling attendance. It’s an era ending.— Henry Quackenbush

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