Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

ADs, principals vote to keep SAC

NEW PORT RICHEY — When Pasco County's high school athletic directors and most of its principals arrived Thursday morning at River Ridge High, the county's longstanding athletic conference seemed endangered.

When they adjourned roughly three hours later, it was entrenched.

After lengthy discourse, debate and even mild dissension, the executive board of the 11-school Sunshine Athletic Conference voted to keep the county league just as it is. At least outwardly.

The board, comprised Thursday of the ADs, seven principals and two assistant principals, met with SAC executive secretary/treasurer Keith Newton and county head of athletics Phil Bell to discuss whether to split the ever-growing conference into east-west divisions or abolish it outright.

Prompting the discussion: The continued growth of the conference, making it difficult — and in some sports, impossible — for all conference teams to play each other and determine an outright champion; and glaring controversies in voting for all-SAC teams that are selected by coaches.

But a voice vote to preserve the SAC, motioned by Hudson AD Linda McQuade, was approved unanimously. And anticlimactically.

"That's one thing we checked off," Bell said after the vote. "We're having a conference."

Eliciting more debate was how to structure the SAC, which grows by one when Anclote High opens on the county's western fringe next school year.

A motion to divide the conference into six-team east-west divisions (with the Suncoast Parkway serving as the dividing line) was defeated by a 14-8 roll-call vote. Each school had two votes.

Proponents of the split suggested that establishing geographic divisions and, playing each divisional foe twice, would magnify local rivalries that typically provide solid gate revenue. Opponents said two all-SAC teams (one for each division) would "water down" the prestige of such an honor.

"I'm all for (the split)," veteran Ridgewood AD/boys basketball coach Gary Anders said. "Again, I go back to the financial end of it. If I'm playing Gulf two times, it's going to help our financial coffers without a doubt."

Sports that hold tournaments to determine overall conference champions (such as golf, wrestling, cross country, track) wouldn't have been affected by an east-west split.

"My opinion is, until we have to split the conference, we don't split the conference," Land O'Lakes AD Chuck Moehle said.

Sunlake AD Matt McDermott later motioned to split the conference into divisions only for football, where it's currently impossible for all SAC teams to play each other. That failed by a voice vote.

The only approved modification was to restructure the executive board to include one representative (principal, assistant principal or AD) from each school, an executive secretary and the county AD as chairperson. That passed by a voice vote.

All motions passed Thursday must be rubber-stamped at the next executive board meeting in May.

ADs, principals vote to keep SAC 02/05/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 5, 2009 5:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  4. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.