PANAMA - Although they share a single superintendent, the Clymer and Panama school districts will not be combining their varsity football programs next fall.
Last week, Panama's Board of Education met to discuss the possibility of combining with Clymer's varsity program after Clymer had expressed a need to merge if it was to sustain itself into next year. According to Bert Lictus, shared superintendent of the two districts, Panama will not be the district with which Clymer will be merging this time.
"What we decided, based on our projected numbers for next year, was that Panama is going to stay an independent team, and we will not be combining with any other programs at the varsity level," Lictus said. "We have the numbers to support a team and, as long as we do, we want our school to represent itself."
Panama's decision not to merge comes one week after Clymer made its predicament known at its own board meeting. According to the Dec. 9 agenda, the Clymer program will be forced to combine with at least one other school program because the division in which it competes, the Section 6 DD class, will become nonexistent after this school year.
"If we are going to have a football team next year, we are going to have to combine," Lictus said.
Lictus said the Clymer board agreed to enter into discussions with Panama and Sherman, as Clymer has successfully arranged multiple shared sports agreements with the districts, including: golf, cross-country, track and JV football.
"With respect to (varsity) football, what the board has decided to do is proceed with a merged program with any school that wants to merge within the Panama/Clymer/Sherman group. So, it's an either-or-type situation. Because of low numbers last year, the JV team was combined with Sherman and they're in that position now at the varsity level," Lictus said.