Westfield declines Brocton’s offer of neutral jerseys

BROCTON – It appears neutral-colored jerseys for the combined football program between Brocton and Westfield schools are not in the merged team’s immediate future.

Brocton Board of Education President Douglas Walter made the announcement during a recent meeting, saying Westfield does not wish to negotiate the jersey color in a proposed one-year contract extension. Players will thus continue to wear blue jerseys at home games in Westfield and green jerseys at home games in Brocton.

“Brocton is moving ahead with new uniforms, but Westfield does not want to at this time,” Walter stated. “Even though they don’t, Brocton does need new uniforms, so we’re going to go ahead with that.”

Superintendent John Hertlein pointed out Westfield’s jersey numbers do not match up with Brocton’s, which is where the discussion all started. Fundraisers are in the works, so the new uniforms should not be too much of a hit in the budget.

Hertlein added school officials will respect Westfield’s decision. He said he was told Westfield officials did not want to change the jersey color in only a one-year contract (in case the combined program ended after that), but may want to if the agreement were renewed for a longer period of time after this upcoming year.

“They didn’t want to invest the money in the one year, but I’m anxious and hoping that the essence of sharing teams is exactly that; that the kids feel they are part of a team, not saying, ‘OK, today I’m green and tomorrow I’m blue.’ I want them to feel good about being brothers out there,” Hertlein said. “I think it’s time we’re a little bit more neutral, like (the) Chautauqua Lake and Maple Grove (team).”

This will be the third year of the Westfield-Brocton combined football program. The two schools will split costs for all shared programs 50/50, as well as the number of home games for football.

Westfield and Brocton share football, girls volleyball, boys and girls soccer and bowling.

Also during the meeting, Hertlein announced a surplus sale of excess materials, equipment and supplies will be held on June 14 at 10:30 a.m. behind the bus garage and in the parking lot by the pole barn. The setup will be similar to a silent auction and should help the school raise a bit of money. Anything valuable that is not sold will be put on Auctions International or kept.

A total of $9,806 was approved for a change order for Ahlstrom Schaeffer Electric, as part of the EXCEL Capital Project. The change order covers wiring and feeders for a school sign.

An elementary summer reading program was approved at an amount not to exceed $7,000. That cost covers salaries, materials and transportation.

The board entered into executive session to discuss pending negotiations with Teamsters, secretarial staff, teacher’s aides, cafeteria staff and three directors.

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