By David Fleet
Goodrich- The Martians will soon have some new sports competition.
By a 9-0 vote last week, the principals of the Flint Metro League approved Goodrich, Corunna and Lake Fenton to join beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. Approval of the school boards is next.
The move creates a 12 team league with two divisions of six schools based on enrollment. The A division with higher enrollment include: Fenton, Flushing, Holly, Linden, Kearsley and Swartz Creek. The B division with lower enrollment include: Brandon, Clio, Corunna, Goodrich, Lake Fenton and Owosso.
Dave Davis, athletic director said following the March Flint Metro League meeting, Goodrich along with Corunna and Lake Fenton received an invitation from Flint Metro League President and Brandon High School Principal Dan Stevens to make the application. On April 13 the applications were sent and on April 20 the Flint Metro League committee gathered and agreed to move forward with the process.
“It gives us (Goodrich) stability, competitive balance, and cements our long term ability to play schools of similar enrollment and sport offerings,” said Davis. “The new alignment is based on enrollment it makes the most sense and follows the MHSAA playoff structure. In the GAC we had attempted competitive balance and that did not appease all of our member schools. We currently play a majority of the Metro schools in most sports. This is a natural fit. We are excited.”
Dan Stevens, Metro League president and Brandon High School principal said while more details will need to be worked out the move is a positive for competitive sports.
“For the Brandon-Goodrich community this move will enhance the growing rival,” said Stevens. “It’s been a long process and a lot of work from athletic directors, coaches and administrators. In the end we aim for the best opportunities for all students and schools. We look forward to play Goodrich, Corunna and Lake Fenton in multiple sports. From a Brandon’s perspective we are getting smaller, but it’s not a bad thing. We just want to all teams are competitive.”
The move is necessary following a recent shake-up in the Genesee Area Conference.
Since 1978 the Martians have been members of the GAC which today consists of 17 area schools divided up into two divisions—Red and Blue— based on enrollment and competitive balance. However, in 2016 a group of six GAC schools, Byron, Durand, Lakeville, Montrose, Mt. Morris and New Lothrop, gathered independently without consulting all members of the conference and formed a new Mid-Michigan Activities Conference beginning with the 2019-20 school year. The new conference will also include the Ovid-Elsie and Chesaning school districts.
The move left Goodrich, Corunna and Lake Fenton as the only schools in the upper or larger enrollment Red Division of the GAC with between 550 and 750 students.
Since that time the Martians have been seeking a league and moved forward when the Flint Metro League asked for an application.