Editor's note: This blog was updated at 12:40 p.m. on Friday to update with information that Newark is remaining in 11-man football.
Leading off today: Another day, another slimming down of the New York high school football ranks.
South Seneca/Romulus will not play varsity football this year, the Finger Lakes Times reported .
South Seneca/Romulus was expected to face a challenging situation this season after Trumansburg opted to withdraw from the Tri-Town merger this spring in order to field an eight-man program by itself. However, turnout for the start of practice as too low to even entertain shifting gears to play eight-man ball.
"It is always devastating to cut a program," South Seneca AD Heather Mott said. "The participation rate across the board in high school athletics is way down. It will leave an impact but it's also a harsh reality check of the downward spiral that we are witnessing of lack of student engagement across extracurricular activities, i.e. athletics in this case."
South Seneca/Romulus will field a Modified A team this fall. If the combined program operates at the varsity level in 2020 it likely will be in eight-man football.
The newspaper also reported that fellow Section 5 school Newark is converting to eight-man football for the upcoming season. However, that does not appear to be the case despite discussions on the topic apparently having taken place recently. A move to eight-man by Newark would be more than a little surprising since the Reds are a mid-sized Class B program with a BEDS number of 463.
On Wednesday, Maple Grove in Section 6 switched to eight-man football. With the Romulus/South Seneca development, Clymer/Sherman/Panama will now open its season against Geneseo/Mount Morris. More scheduling dominoes will fall, but here's what the NYSSWA's Steve Grandin has pulled together for the list of 11-man teams with byes at the moment:
Week 1 -- Jamesville-DeWitt (3), Penfield (5), Wyandanch (11), Boys & Girls (PSAL), Campus Magnet (PSAL), Rye Country Day (AIS).
Week 2 -- Dobbs Ferry (1), Fulton (3), Edison Tech (5), Red Jacket (5), Cassadaga Valley/Falconer (6), Southampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson (11).
Week 3 -- Woodlands (1), Oswego (3), Eastridge (5), Cattaraugus-Little Valley (6), Newburgh Free Academy (9), John Glenn (11), Fordham Prep (CHS).
Week 4 -- Binghamton (4), Cuba-Rushford (5), Randolph (6), Greenport/Southold/Mattituck (11), St. Dominic (CHS), St. Mary's (MMA), Dalton (AIS).
Week 5 -- Valhalla (1), Bolivar-Richburg (5), Franklinville/Ellicottville (6), Babylon (11), Mount Sinai (11), Shoreham-Wading River (11), Bishop Timon-St. Jude (MMA), Dalton (AIS).
Week 6 -- Ardsley (1), Byram Hills (1), Woodlands (1), Clyde-Savannah (5), Salamanca (6), Bayport-Blue Point (11), Xavier (CHS), St. Mary's (MMA).
Week 7 -- Canisteo-Greenwood (5), Edison Tech (5), Chester (9), Center Moriches (11), Nazareth (CHS), Horace Mann (AIS).
Week 8 -- Port Jefferson (11), Xaverian (CHS), Dalton (AIS).
Week 9 -- Hampton Bays (11), Sherman (6).
Big lift for Wyandanch: Wyandanch has landed a $150,000 grant from the Suffolk Police Department to help fund the school district's sports programs, County Executive Steve Bellone announced Thursday.
Bellone said the money will come from a $250,000 state grant awarded to Suffolk police in July to fight gangs.
"Fighting gangs through law enforcement is not enough," Bellone said. "We have to provide programs and outlets for young people that keep them engaged, energized, active and keeps them moving in the right direction. That's what high school sports does."
Bellone said he will have to call an emergency meeting of the county's waiver committee to approve shifting the money to the school district. Funding for Wyandanch's sports programs was cut in the $69 million contingency budget the district adopted in June after voters failed to pass two budget proposals. Both rejected budgets would have raised taxes beyond the state's allowable cap -- the first by more than 40 percent, the second by 20 percent, Newsday reported.