MIAA approves Arlington's move

Arlington High School's appeal to join the Middlesex League was approved by the MIAA Board of Directors at Thursday's meeting at headquarters in Franklin

"We're happy the process has come to a conclusion," Dever said. "We followed the process, it seemed like there [were a lot of votes], but we're confident that's the last vote and we can move forward with this."

Last spring, the league accepted bids from both Arlington of the Dual County League and Wilmington of the Cape Ann League to join for the 2011-2012 school year. It marked the first activity in the tradition-steeped league since 1972. However, not all of the paperwork had been completed, which caused some stalling.

Then, this past January, Arlington's move to District B was rejected, 4-4, by a vote between members of Districts A and B. But a similar move by Wilmington was approved unanimously, 8-0.

A move to the Middlesex makes sense for Arlington, which is preparing to lay off up to 40 teachers in its school district and institute athletic user fees that could start at around $500 per sport. Shorter distances to league opponents would help the school save money on transportation costs.

Concerns about teams jumping from league to league, as conferences vie for two football playoff berths, has had an affect on this situation. Just two years ago, Arlington moved into the DCL with Waltham, both from the Greater Boston League. But should they get their way today, Arlington Athletic Director Ted Dever has said it's the school's plan to stay "forever."

Brendan Hall is a special contributor to ESPNBoston.com.