End of an Era as the Sideling Hill League Dissolves

For the schools of Fulton County and Fannett Metal, the Sideling Hill League has been an important part of their athletic programs for the past 42 years. Just recently, at the annual banquet, it was voted to dissolve the league.

The Sideling Hill League started as a basketball only league in the 1976-77 school year, with the original members as Everett, McConnellsburg, Northern Bedford, Southern Fulton, Tussey Mountain, and Forbes Road. Over the years, several schools have come and gone, and the league expanded to become an all-sports league. All stars were, then, added to recognize local athletes for their efforts.

A few years ago, most of the members accepted an invitation to join the Inter County Conference and become the South Division. Chestnut Ridge was the only Sideling Hill League School not offered an invitation. Chestnut Ridge petitioned to become part of the Inter County Conference several times in the past five years. They were denied entry each time. Then, Chestnut Ridge successfully petitioned, and was accepted, into the Laurel Highlands Conference. With this acceptance, Chestnut Ridge decided to enter the Laurel Highlands Conference for all sports and withdrew from the Sideling Hill League. Getting a set football schedule was the motivating factor in this decision as there is no football section in the SHL. After this decision, the current SHL members (Fannett Metal, Forbes Road, Everett, Northern Bedford, Southern Fulton, Southern Huntingdon, and Tussey Mountain) were exactly the same schools that compete in the South Division of the Inter County Conference. Therefore, the consensus was that it did not seem to make sense to compete in both. Thus, the decision to dissolve the Sideling Hill League was made. The banquet at Down River on March 12, 2018 will be the last league banquet and the end of an era.

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