We’re engaged! Naugatuck Valley League, Oxford to tie knot


The courtship is over.

Let the wedding plans begin!

After three and a half months of wooing, the NVL has accepted Oxford’s marriage proposal, the Waterbury Rep-Am reported today.

All that’s left are the official vows and the ‘I Dos.”

But hang on, lovebirds.

The young school, which has apparently just teased the SWC into an uncommitted relationship since its founding in 2008, will have to wait to unite with its secret love.

With schedules practically set for the coming school year, Oxford won’t be able to join the NVL until 2014-15.

But that’s not stopping the love letters from flowing:

“It seems like this was something that was meant to be,” Naugatuck athletic director and NVL president Tom Pompei told the Rep-Am. “Someone made a reference to the sign that you see on Route 8, about the All-American Valley, with Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Naugatuck, and Oxford.”

How sweet.

But now, the logistics:

Oxford’s addition will bump the NVL’s membership to an uneven 15 schools. The NVL announced it would accommodate the imbalance by dividing itself into three divisions.

According to the Republican-American, the divisions will be thus:

  • Division A: Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, St. Paul, Seymour.
  • Division B: Crosby, Holy Cross, Kennedy, Sacred Heart, Wilby.
  • Division C: Naugatuck, Torrington, Watertown, Wolcott, Woodland.

Pompei said the NVL hasn’t figured on how this structure would work out. “That’s for another meeting,” he told the paper.

The courtship began in November, when the Oxford board of education, led by former Oxford football assistant and board member Gerard Carbonaro, made their first public push to join the NVL. Oxford made a formal presentation earlier this month.

Proponents believed 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 believed the NVL’s schools are closer in size to Oxford, a Class S school, and would create more competitive games.

Yet, Oxford’s move to the NVL will be a marriage of inconvenience for several of its teams The school has boys volleyball, lacrosse and wrestling teams, none of which are sponsored by the NVL.

Correction: Oxford doesn’t have lacrosse. So the “inconvenience,” as it were, is lessened considerably.

Last year, the SWC, Oxford’s home since 2008, attempted to assuage the school’s concerns by reorganizing its football divisions in to large, medium and small. Under this format, Oxford won a school-record 8 games and just missed a Class S playoff berth.

With the impending move, however, the once-again jilted SWC would drop back to 13 teams.

Sean Patrick Bowley