You've got questions? We've got answers.
You've got questions, I've got answers, as long as they concern high school soccer in Section II.
Q: I hear there is no more Big 10. How can that be?
A: Actually, the league has had only nine teams since Linton and Mont Pleasant merged to form Schenectady High. And with Amsterdam (officially) and Troy (unofficially) were leaving.
With two of the remaining schools (CBA and LaSalle) boys' only institutions, and two two private schools (Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons and Bishop Maginn) struggling to maintain varsity programs, the league administrators pulled the plug in the sping.
The formerly known as Big 10 teams are now competing as independents, with Albany, Catholic Central, Schenectady and Troy basically playing their league schedule, and picking up non-leaguers to fill the 16-game limit.
Q: You say Amsterdam was gone, and Troy had one foot out of the door?
A: Amsterdam was accepted into the Foothills Council on its second application, after seeing a previous move squelched when it couldn't find a second team to come aboard. Leagues have this thing about an even number of teams.
Schuylerville opted to jump from the Wasaren League to the Foothills, giving the league 10 teams.
Troy? According to a couple of coaches, the Class A school was not coming back for another year in the Big 10.
Stay tuned, because Section II will place the former Big 10 teams in leagues for the 2015-16 school year. Figure Albany, Schenectady, CBA and LaSalle will be put with the Suburban Council schools. Unless the latter two become part of a private/parochial school league with CCHS, Green Tech and Albany Academy.
The Foothills Council will be given two more schools next year, with Troy a likely candidate for one spot.
Q: So, how is this Foothills Council thing going to work?
A: The league now consists of two five-team divisions. Amsterdam joins Scotia, Broadalbin-Perth, Johnstown and Gloversville in the South, with Schuylerville in the North with Glens Falls, Queensbury, South Glens Falls and Hudson Falls.
Teams will play their division rivals twice and the other division once, with a crossover game built into the schedule.
Q: Sounds like the offseason was a busy one in Section II soccer. Any other changes?
A: Well, Mechanicville left the Colonial Council and took Schuylerville's spot in the Wasaren League, a move that wasn't without some protest. The Colonial will carry on with 10 teams on the boys side, 11 on the girls side, which includes Holy Names.
Q: Whew. Anything else?
A: There are a number of new coaches, on both the boys and girls side. Tom Husser, who guided Hoosick Falls to a state girls title, is now the AD at that school, though he is still the girls' soccer chairman, with hepp from Lansingburgh's John Cipperly, who, in the most bizarre offseason happening, was removed from his coaching position by the school district's administration, only to be reinstated days later.
Boys' soccer chairman Jim Gillis isn't coaching BKW.
Mattias Nordgren has apprently stepped down at Ichabod Crane. He led the Riders to a state co-championship in 2012.
Q: Anything else?
A: The Burnt Hills girls are looking for a 10th straight Class A title, which coincides with the number of years Brian Bold has been the head coach.
Unconfirmed as yet, but the Section II grapevine has Erock Kwizera (the 2012 Big 10 MVP and Section II Class AA POY) and fellow Big 10 all-star Emmanuel Ishiwe no longer at Albany High.
And Queensbury sophomore Brittany LaPlant will continues her prolific scoring. She had 73 goals last fall, and has 148 for her career.
Q: Sounds like it could be a memorable year in Section II soccer. right?
A: Sounds like it. Keep checking back here as the season unfolds.