It dawned on me just now as I thought about tomorrow’s slate of games: For all this talk of contenders from Arlington and Ketcham and Our Lady of Lourdes and beyond, tomorrow could be the final season opener in Section 1 for the Dutchess County schools.
Their stay in Section 1 isn’t over yet, but it could be sooner than you think. As many of you know, Hudson Valley Sports Report reported Wednesday night that the Dutchess schools in Section 1 had banded together and approached Section 9 about joining as a group for the 2011-12 school year. Their deadline is Nov. 30. (You can find that story here, about halfway down the page.)
Both the Poughkeepsie Journal and the Middletown Times-Herald Record followed up with reports that said the Dutchess schools hope to limit transportation costs with the move. The schools met with Section 9 officials at least twice, according to the reports, and will compile information that Section 9 requested.
“There is a sense that if we can accommodate them, we would like to,” Section 9 executive director Bob Thabet said of his preliminary discussions with Section 9 members. “We would like to build the base of our section. On the other hand, there is a very strong sense that we cannot just turn ourselves inside-out to accommodate schools in Dutchess County. If it costs us more money, we’re not in position to do that.”
The move would be the third major change for Section 1 and Section 9. Rockland County schools left Section 9 and joined Section 1 in the 1980s, and six Dutchess County schools left Section 1 for Section 9 in the late 1990s.
A change would certainly balance the number of Class AA schools between Section 1 and 9. For example, there are just 10 Class AA football schools in Section 9 right now, but 20 in Section 1.
From everything I’ve read, people from Dutchess County appear to be in agreement that the move would be a positive one for their schools. Do you agree? Disagree?