By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR January 25, 2005 The 2005 high school football season in Livingston Manor and Roscoe will be different than past seasons.
Student-athletes from the two neighboring school districts will be competing on the same team. At Tuesday evenings Livingston Manor Central School District Board of Education, Roscoe Central School Superintendent George Will made a proposal on behalf of the RCS Board of Education, administration, faculty and students to form a combined Manor/Roscoe varsity football team this autumn.
Later in the meeting, the Manor board members voted to merge the football teams from the two schools.
In his presentation to the Manor board members and administrators, Will noted that the impetus for the proposed merger was a lack of players.
For years, Roscoe has been the smallest district in New York State to play 11-man football, Will said. To have a complete team, every boy in the high school had to go out for the team. But times have changed. Kids have other interests today and a lot of things they want to do. In the past couple of years, we have found that in order to put a varsity football team on the field, we had to include some kids who were not always ready to play at the varsity level.
He added that in the last two seasons both the Manor and Roscoe varsity football teams have had to forfeit games due to a lack of eligible players.
Those circumstances led Roscoe officials to recently make the decision not to play varsity football in 2005.
We did that because it was in the best interest of the kids, Will said. Kids come first, what is best for the kids comes first.
Will noted that a combined Manor/Roscoe football squad would still qualify as a Class D team. That classification is based on the student population numbers used by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) for high school teams. The largest schools are defined as Class AA, the next largest are Class A then Class B, Class C and Class D, which are the smallest schools.
The state counts boys and girls in grades 10 through 12 to determine the classifications. A school district with 275 or fewer kids is considered as Class D for athletic purposes. Manor has 151 students in grades 10-12, while Roscoe has 71 10th, 11th and 12 graders. That combined total of 222 students falls well below the limit of 275.
A recent survey of the boys in the Roscoe school found that they overwhelmingly wanted to play football season this fall. And the kids top choice for a team to merge with was Manor.
If we combine things, its good for kids in both districts, Will said.
Following Wills presentation, members of the public had the chance to ask a question or make a comment.
One lady asked the board members and administrators to consider combining other sports and programs in addition to football. She noted that for the past several years youngsters from the Manor and Roscoe school districts have played together on AYSO soccer teams.
Erford Porter, a 1953 Roscoe Central School graduate who now lives in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, said that merging the football teams is just the tip of the iceberg.
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