Wilkes-Barre Area Student Athletes, Parents Sound off on Merging of High School’s Athletics

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The monumental decision to close and merge high schools in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District means changes to the district's athletic programs.

Students from Coughlin and Meyers will go to a new school still under construction.

The school board has decided to merge the athletic teams from Coughlin and Meyers and GAR as well.

How do parents and students feel about the merger?

It was a great afternoon for a ball game at the Wilkes-Barre Little League Field in Plains Township as the Meyers High School varsity softball team took on the softball team from Carbondale Area.

This game comes after a decision by the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board to merge the athletic teams at the district's three high schools: Meyers, GAR, and Coughlin at the start of the 2019 - 2020 school year.

Meyers players aren't too happy about it.

“I think it's going to be really weird because it will be the first time since 8th grade I won't be playing with a Meyers jersey on,” said sophomore Lydia McFarlane. “It will be really upsetting because I love to wear, to represent the blue and gold, to represent Meyers so it's going to be hard but we'll all have to get used to the transition.”

“It’s so weird, them coming to our school and playing with us, I feel like we should just stay separate,” said junior Ashley Bruno.

The school district plans to build a new high school in Plains Township and close Meyers and Coughlin.

Many see the merging of athletics as a step to eventually see all three high schools under one roof.

Parents and students say once merger happens, there will be three times the amount of students wanting to play on a team.

They say that means some students will see less playing time if any playing time at all.

“A lot of kids aren't going to be able to play the game because you can only put so many people on the field at one time so kids that aren't as good as they could be, it's going to hurt them in the long run,” said parent Bob Hoover.

“It's going to be tough, you're just going to see how many girls sitting on the bench, would want to play but they may not get the play time,” said junior Dakota Zyskowski.

There’s been no decision yet on what the team's name or mascot will be.

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