Thursday's vote by the Mifflin County School District Board of Directors to combine the county's two high schools will, of course, have an impact on athletics - but fans who are puzzled as to what the future will bring should remember that, in the short run, the change will be minimal.
Personnel issues will loom largest - not just the rosters, but the coaches and administrators. Only one head coach will be hired for each team, where now there are two.
Six years ago, when Middleburg and West Snyder became Midd-West, there was a bit of unhappiness as the larger school's coaches were chosen almost across the board. This would put Lewistown in a difficult spot, but I don't see the coaches from that school being dismissed outright.
Some may choose not to stay in the program - at least one coach has said privately to reporters that a combined school would lead to a resignation. Another I know of almost took a job outside the district before this year, and may look down that road again.
But the board will, in some cases, have to decide between Coach A and Coach B, and in a few sports, that will be a difficult choice because of the quality of coaches both schools currently claim.
Beyond that, the major effect will be limited to minor scheduling issues, especially if the district keeps its planned timeline of merging the schools in the fall.
Teams that were to play both Lewistown and Indian Valley next year - whether a home-and-home league series or a non-conference set - will have holes on a few schedules. Of course, the school district itself will feel that, too, as games between the two will go by the wayside - after all, Mifflin County's unified school can not play itself.
The schedules for next season are set, both in and out of the Mountain League, so those games will go on. Athletic directors may have to huddle to determine whether the best date to replace on the schedule is the Lewistown or Indian Valley date; the other one will remain.
The change will bring about new colors, new uniforms and a new nickname, and in what is an unfortunate side effect of school mergers, will likely bring about the erasure of a good bit of history. Most combined schools I have covered in my career eliminated all references to the past - no banners, no logos, no championships - because all of those were won by a school that no longer exists.
Perhaps the greatest opportunity this board has is to be a trendsetter in this regard - the new gymnasium could be lined with recognition of all the champions of its predecessors, including long-defunct schools still remembered here: Rothrock, Chief Logan, Kishacoquillas and even Penn Highlands, the so-called experiment that was successful in more ways than many want to admit.
On the field, the change in classification will be felt in the postseason immediately, at least in those sports where classification will change. And that would take place immediately, despite being in the midst of a PIAA classification cycle.
Five teams that are now in Class AAA will bump to the largest category - football, boys and girls basketball, softball and baseball. Soccer will shift upward (although the Indian Valley girls were already in the biggest class), as will field hockey and swimming, tennis and volleyball.
Lewistown's wrestling team already had opted into Class AAA, so no change will be felt there. And the track and field teams already are in the top competition class. Cross country will be in the top class as well, but that affects just one of the four squads in the county.
We keep hearing about how many kids will not get to play, but that remains to be seen, too. A larger football team, for example, means one-way players, better for both the kids and the team. Some coaches have kept people on the roster out of necessity while admitting those players may not be ready for varsity time.
And there may be more sports - girls who want to play tennis may finally get their own team, and don't be surprised if a pitch is made for lacrosse, the up-and-coming sport in this region.
Down the road? Some expect doom and gloom - "We'll be kicked out of the league" or "No one will play us."
But this change means District 6 will have five quad-A schools, one of which already is in the Mountain League. And there are large schools within reasonable distances - Williamsport and several Harrisburg-area schools are in Class AAAA, and there are large Class AAA schools even closer (Selinsgrove and Shikellamy come to mind).
I say, hold the negative until there's a good reason not to.
Jeff Fishbein is sports editor of The Sentinel. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.