Dick Gallagher's Commentary: Week 1

Why did the section change its policy of classifying schools in football for 2016?

For years the classification criteria for high school football in New York State was the BED’s (number of boys and girls grade 9 through 11) enrollment.

Every year for decades this was how classes and leagues were established. This process however changed for Section VI in 2016 and ultimately delayed the release of this season’s schedule from March to May 25th.

In 2015 Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake played for the Class C Sectional Championship for the third consecutive year winning two titles including 2014 – 2015.

Bennett lost in the sectional title game for the second consecutive year. When the BED totals were released MGCL should have been a C school and Bennett a B school.

The Sectional Competition Committee however moved MGCL to a B classification while Bennett was moved to Class A. Both schools appealed the decision and in May the state upheld the sections designation for the two schools. After the decision, Maple Grove chose not to merge with Chautauqua Lake’s varsity football program for this season and were granted a Class D designation while Chautauqua Lake was then classified as a C school. Bennett became an A school after losing the appeal.


When was the Sections Competition Committee established and who is on the committee?

Why prior to this season did the committee not change A schools classification?

Why did they start in 2016 and were all section schools notified of the change in the process?

Why were Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake and Bennett schools targeted and schools such as Cheektowaga, Alden, and Sweet Home were not moved up in a class. For example, Bennett lost in 2 consecutive title games but moved up from Class C to Class A. Cheektowaga won 2 consecutive section titles but remained a B while Alden played in 4 consecutive title games from 2010-2013 yet they remained a “B” school, why? Sweet Home from 2007 through 2014 played in 8 consecutive championship games winning 7 but were never moved up in a class: why?

Why did it take such a long time in the appeal process?

Perhaps the merger of so many programs is the reason but why was it so secretive?

Will the Section communicate with all schools regarding the process for 2017?

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(© 2016 WGRZ)


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