Section II football divisions have been changed for the 2014 season.
Niskayuna voluntarily dropped down from Class AA to become an independent Class A team this fall, which led to Bethlehem switching from the Empire to the Liberty Division.
“They (Niskayuna) requested to play down without the chance to play in Sectionals this year,” said Section II football chairman and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk coach Gary VanDerzee.
Class A grew by a total of four teams in the new alignment, which is based on student population numbers reported to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. Besides Niskayuna, Class A adds Green Tech, Lansingburgh and Scotia-Glenville from the Class B ranks. Those moves also resulted in a change for Schalmont, which switched from the West Division to the Reinfurt Division.
“Schalmont moved over because geographically speaking, they were the closest to us,” said VanDerzee, whose RCS Indians play in the Reinfurt Division.
Class C is home to both of Section II’s three-way merger teams. Catholic Central threw its football chips in with Bishop Gibbons and Saratoga Central Catholic, which fielded a merged squad last season. Meanwhile, Berne-Knox-Westerlo is sending players into the merged Schoharie-Duanesburg team.
VanDerzee said both three-way merged teams qualified for Class C status based on NYSPHSAA’s formula.
“You take the school with the highest enrollment … and then you take into consideration the other two schools and what classes they would normally play in,” said VanDerzee. “Then, you take 30 to 40 percent of their BEDS (enrollment) numbers and add that in, and that’s how you determine what classification that team plays in.”
To accommodate the addition of the two new three-way merged teams, Class C has been divided into three divisions. The North Division consists of Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne, Corinth, Granville, Greenwich and Hoosick Falls. The Central Division has CC/BG/SC, Mechanicville, Stillwater, Tamarac, Voorheesville and Watervliet, and the South Division includes Cairo-Durham, Chatham, Coxsackie-Athens, Fonda, Schoburg and Taconic Hills.