Oxford-NVL presentation and/or vote postponed to next week

Oxford-to-NVL fanatics who are waiting anxiously to bring the Wolverines into their apparently rightful place alongside the other All-American Valley schools will have to wait at least another week.

Both Woodland athletic director Brian Fell and Oxford athletic director/football coach Joe Stochmal confirmed Wednesday that the meeting of NVL and Oxford representatives, which was supposed to take place today, was pushed up at least a week.

Stochmal said the NVL informed his side the postponement was due to the death of Wilby athletic director George Tirado to cancer earlier this week.

Though Stochmal wasn’t certain, Fell said the meeting would probably take place Wednesday, Feb. 6. Fell did not guarantee a vote would be made.

Last November, the Oxford Board of Education voted to move its affiliation from the SWC, where it has competed since since becoming a school in 2008, to the NVL.

The Oxford board, led by former Oxford football assistant and board member Gerard Carbonaro, believes the NVL is a better fit for Oxford because of its proximity to natural town rivals Seymour, Ansonia and Derby, and because it would cut down on travel time between games.

Most of the NVL is located in and around Waterbury, whereas the SWC is spread further across Fairfield County.

The board also believes the NVL’s schools are closer in size to Oxford, a Class S school, and would create more competitive games.

Detractors, like wrestling coach Ben Blue, have pointed to the NVL’s lack of sponsorship of boys volleyball, lacrosse and wrestling as a prime reason not to spurn the SWC.

Adding Oxford would give the NVL 15 teams, and drop the SWC to 15.

To help Oxford’s football program, the SWC last year realigned its divisions into large, medium and small. Oxford went 8-2 last year, its best record since becoming a varsity program in 2008.

Sean Patrick Bowley