NEPA Sports Nation

Status of Jordan Relays being discussed

By Tom Robinson,

When Tuesday’s Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association meeting ended, the Jordan Relays appeared ready to be scratched from the schedule for another year.

Pittston Area, which is often the only Wyoming Valley Conference entry or one of a very limited number of WVC schools involved, has come forward as a possible host. Assistant athletic director and head girls track and field coach Joe Struckus began exploring the idea Tuesday night and extended an offer to Lackawanna League athletic directors early Wednesday.

The 64th annual Jordan Relays were conducted at Scranton Memorial Stadium in 2019. The meet was not held last year when all spring high school sports in Pennsylvania were called off because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Pittston Area’s offer opens the possibility of salvaging the event, which combines the sport’s three traditional relays with three medley relays.

Originally scheduled for May 6, the meet was one of four large track and field events that the Scranton School District decided it could not host at Scranton Memorial Stadium this season because of ongoing public safety issues with the pandemic.

North Pocono has since been named site of this year’s District 2 Track and Field Championships.

Western Wayne was accepted as host of the May 7 Phil Tochelli LTC Junior High Championships during Tuesday’s LIAA meeting.

With no member school willing and able to host, the Robert Spagna LTC Championship Meet apparently will not be held again this year.

The meeting also included the passing of a by-law change clarifying the steps for scheduling league or divisional championship playoffs, when needed. It addresses scheduling issues that can arise between the completion of regular-season schedules and the start of district playoffs.

The amendment to the by-laws is intended to make sure teams have time to prepare for district competition, not necessarily for the league playoff.

The by-law stated: “Varsity league championship games in the sport of soccer, tennis, volleyball, baseball, basketball, softball within the LIAA will be played at the earliest date given each team has at least one day practice or rest, prior to participating in a state or district game, or, with the administration approval of both schools. Both schools can play the championship without one day of rest or practice, if both schools administrations agree. If the game cannot be played because of weather or other situations, the game will be played after the District 2 playoffs or state games, to determine a league championship, as long as no PIAA rules are violated. If a decision would violate PIAA rules, co-champions would be declared as a last resort.”

The motion for the amendment passed unanimously.

North Pocono’s Ron Collins was reelected as president of the LIAA principals group; Scranton’s John Coyle as vice president of the principals; Montrose’s Joe Gilhool as president of the LIAA athletic directors group; and Honesdale athletic director Diane Scarfalloto as treasurer.

Prior to the vote, Collins told the group he would accept one more two-year term, but encouraged consideration of limiting time in office in the future. He also suggested a succession plan that would elevate the vice president to president in the next two-year cycle as long as they remained eligible for the position.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to keep one person in too long,” Collins said.

Riverside athletic director Dan Digwood gave a report on the Lackawanna Football Conference schedule. Schedules were drastically altered in 2020 because of the shortened season, but plans are moving forward for the 2021 schedule to essentially be what was originally drawn up as the second year of a two-year scheduling cycle, with only limited modifications based on some home-field changes in the revised 2020 schedule to keep divisional opponents from playing at the same field in both years.

The latest draft leaves Dunmore with six home games and four road games while Honesdale, Lakeland and Susquehanna would have four home games and six road games.

Follow us on social media