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.