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STAFF PHOTO/ALICE STUFFLE State champion bound The Lackawanna Trail Lions football team is headed to Hershey! At the end of the game last Friday night, the team proudly displayed tee-shirts bearing the Lions logo with a Hershey’s Kiss, thanks to former Trail basketball Coach Andrew Kettel.

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PHILLIP STARK

A normally subdued Lackawanna Trail school board reorganization meeting turned into a bit of administrative pep rally Monday night.

Instead of being worried about snow days, the school board decided to let students off all day Thursday as its varsity football team is engaged in its first ever state championship game.

“Congratulations to our football team,” Superintendent Matt Rakauskas beamed. As the state title football game is in the middle of the day, Thursday, at 1 p.m., he said there would be no school on Thursday, so people could go to Hershey where the Lions were taking on Farrell High School - if they wanted to go and show their support.

The district would use a previously designated snow make-up day of April 18 to fill in.

Elementary principal Brian Kearney apologized for changing the date of the elementary holiday concert to Dec. 13, and added, “but it’s all good.”

High School principal Mark Murphy added that a pep rally set for Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the high school’s First National Bank Auditorium caused a chain of changes.

“What an honor for our boys and the coaches to be playing in that game,” Murphy said. “There is probably no greater football story in a community this size.”

“There’s something really special,” Murphy said, kind of like the small-town team that rose from its tiny roots to achieve greatness as depicted in the movie, ‘Hoosiers.’

He said the public was welcome to come to the pep rally to cheer the team on.

Murphy said the football players would have a pre-rally practice and meal at Keystone College.

He also invited the community to come out early Thursday morning as the Lions prepare to head to Hershey.

“They’re planning to leave around 8 a.m. so I would recommend being here by 7:30 to gather and send them off,” he said.

Murphy also noted that the district was furnishing buses to take as many people down to Hershey for the game.

“We’ve filled one bus, have about 40 seats on another and will fill as many buses as we need to,” he said.

“It’s been electric,” Murphy said, “But the boys are level-headed about it all.”

Desiree Gallagher, head of the Trail Elementary Center PTO said that Hershey-bound T-shirts were available for sale and were donated by former basketball coach Andrew Kettle. They could be purchased while they last, she said

In the reorganization part of the school board meeting, the board voted for Joe Ross as temporary president.

He called for nominations for a permanent president, with the name of David Thorne coming forward and current president Phil Stark nominated for vice president.

They were approved.

The board approved a list of school board meetings in 2019, all to start at 7:30 p.m. The first meeting of the month would be a work session, and the second a regular meeting: Jan. 7 and 14; Feb. 4 and 11; Mar. 4 and 11; Apr. 1 and 8; May 6 and 13; June 3 and 24; July 8; Aug. 5 and 12; Sept. 3 and 9; Oct. 7 and 15; Nov. 4 and 11; Dec. 2.

In separate board meeting action,

*Debbie Naylor was appointed to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association; business manager Keith Glynn was approved as junior high boys’ basketball head coach; Ed Gaidula and John Yanniello were approved as volunteer assistants to the junior high program; and Jason Fauquier will be approved as a varsity volunteer assistant after final clearances are received.