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by Gazette staff

High School Sports

A Daily Gazette sports blog
Covering Section II
 

More football mergers

By Bill Palmer
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Two more small schools, Cambridge and Salem, have decided to band together to make sure both have a varsity football presence this fall.
Cambridge has been a perennial power, both at the Class C and D levels. Salem's numbers have dropped off recently to the point that the Generals have had to forfeit games.
The Indian Generals, or General Indians (I like that one, personally), or whatever they decide on will be the latest to try to turn former opponents into teammates, overcoming obstacles such as travel to and from practice and which school gets which home games.
Lake George will take on some players from Hadley-Luzerne this fall, and Catholic Central will join Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons and Saratoga Central Catholic to form one team. Players from Schoharie and Duanesburg are set for their second full varsity season this fall under the Schoburg name.
Given the number of programs struggling to get the required number of players or routinely losing one-sided games -- Hoosic Valley, Ichabod Crane and Johnstown come to mind -- maybe it's time to seriously consider eight-man football.
Not only would that give small schools that are struggling in the 11-man game the ability to field teams, it might also encourage others to form a team, and also allow Class D teams to be able to field both football and boys' soccer teams.
It might involve some coaches and administrators swallowing their pride, but if it benefits the student-athletes at their schools, shouldn't that be their first priority?

 

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