GOWANDA - The Gowanda Panthers will be adding some new panthers to its football teams this season. The Gowanda Board of Education discussed adding Pine Valley football players to their roster Wednesday evening.
Superintendent James Klubek announced Pine Valley Interim Superinten-dent David Kurzawa had called him prior to Wednesday's meeting to see if Gowanda would be willing to take players following the cancellation of Pine Valley's season. According to Klubek, about eight varsity players and around 10 JV players could be added to the roster.
Both football coach Sean Gabel and athletic director Kimberly Schon are in favor of the merger.
"It opens the door in a good way," said Klubek. "If our program were to fall through, would we want our kids to be picked up (by another district)? Absolutely."
By executing a contract for football, this allows the two districts to pursue other mergers in the future. Klubek said it is giving both districts more opportunities by opening the doors. Board of Education President Susan Flaherty asked if Pine Valley students will have to abide by the Gowanda eligibility requirements.
By having more players on the roster, there will be an opportunity for more movement throughout the rosters, more competition and less risk for injuries. Klubek said some of the larger players from Pine Valley will be an asset to Gowanda's program. A Pine Valley football coach will also become an assistant coach with Gowanda's coaches. Klubek, who came from Silver Creek, referenced the merger between Forestville and Silver Creek for football calling it "an absolute blessing."
The board of education approved to have Klubek execute an athletic services contract with Pine Valley for the 2014-2015 school year.
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