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Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020: Section 6 returning to league scheduling in football

   Leading off today: The Section 6 Athletic Council has voted 19-11 to end federation-style scheduling in football and return to leagues in the sport based primarily on geography.

   The return to the old scheduling format will mean some leagues consists of schools from two or more playoff classifications, requiring the creation of a Harbin Points-like system to determine qualifiers and their seedings. When two teams in the same class play the winner earns a point plus however many points its opponent accumulates throughout the season. A school beating an opponent from a larger class gets an extra half point for the win.

   "Both systems have merit," sectional football coordinator Ken Stoldt said of federation versus league scheduling. "This isn't just something the federation dreamed up. We've had coaches ask us to go back for a while.

   "We are creating more stability for the leagues, trying to get some of the traditional games back. Trying to get attendance up, reduce travel. ... Trying to reduce teams from bopping to division to division each year. If things go well, eventually we can do a two-year schedule (formula) where we can just flip flop."

   The return to league scheduling is a blow to Buffalo Public Schools, who gave up the long-standing Harvard Cup league to join Section 6 in a win-win situation that gave them access to the sectional and state tournaments while also assuring them a full slate of regular-season games.

   Though the five Buffalo schools will now be able to restore some rivalries ended by differences in classifications -- though Class B Burgard may not want to be paired against Class AA opponents -- they could find themselves scrambling for non-league contests. For instance, other Class A schools across the section might not want any part of South Park, which has captured five division titles in seven years and two Section 6 championships.

   "We gave up 105 years of history in the Harvard Cup to come into the section and compete for state titles," South Park coach Tim Delaney told The Buffalo News. "I feel it would be a step backwards. ... It'd be counterproductive to the success city of Buffalo football has had over the last five years.

   Anibal Soler, the BPS assistant superintendent/director of athletics, said the Buffalo schools have petitioned the ECIC and NFL for inclusion in their leagues for football.

   "It looks very segregated to be honest with you," said Soler, who begins work as superintendent of Batavia schools on Jan. 20.

   Girls basketball: Senior point guard Meghan O'Connor scored all 10 of her points in a 13-0 run to close the first quarter, leading Queensbury to a 54-48 victory over Amsterdam in a matchup of state-ranked squads on Monday.


   Queensbury is ranked fifth and Amsterdam 14th this week according to the New York State Sportswriters Association. (Full rankings here.)

   "We knew we needed to put the pedal to the metal right away, and that's what we did," said senior guard Hope Sullivan, who finished with a game-high 18 points.

   Milestone: Mason Putnam scored his 2,000th career point during Prattsburgh's 96-33 win over Arkport/Canaseraga.

   The senior guard made the first two shots of the game, both 3-pointers, to go over 2,000 points.

   "When I hit that shot, it actually felt relieving, because it felt like all the hard work that I've put in over the last five or six years -- it was all worth it," he said.

   Putnam stands at 2,020 points after scoring 25 on the night to go with six assists.

   Potential milestone on hold: A gas leak near the school campus has caused Charlotte Valley to postpone Tuesday's girls basketball game vs. Jefferson, delaying coach Ray Preston's bid for career win No. 700.

   Charlotte Valley's next scheduled game is Monday at Afton.

   Preston is second all-time among NYSPHSAA coaches in the sport with 699 wins. Irvington coach Gina Maher collected her 700th victory early last season. Jane Morris of Cardinal Spellman in the CHSAA is the presumed state leader, having crossed the 70 mark in 2014.

   Wisconsin gets serious: Harassing sports officials would be a crime punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and nine months in jail under a bipartisan proposal introduced recently in the Wisconsin Legislature.

   The bill is aimed at protecting referees and other officials from abusive spectators, particularly at the high school level.

   The proposal would apply to high school games and any sporting event that's open to the public.

   Under current law, harassing or striking someone is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. The proposed tougher measure would have to pass both the state Assembly and Senate, and be signed by Gov. Tony Evers to become law.

   Care to help? We ended publication of the weekly New York State Sportswriters Association newsletter in the summer of 2012 and completed our transition to online. Most of the membership fee up until then went toward the 46-50 newsletters per year, but what was left after printing and postage helped defray other expenses.

   Now, online ads cover the expense of providing rankings, news and reference material to readers of and its related sites such as, which has allowed us to drop the membership fee.

   If you enjoy our content and feel inclined to help, we do maintain a page that allows contributions via PayPal transfers or credit cards and encourage you to check it out.

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