Amid the announcement that Yonkers will field varsity football teams this fall, the Section 1 football committee met as scheduled today. The committee discussed contingency plans, but did not make any changes to the power rankings and/or schedules for the 2011 season.
The schedules first reported here in the spring remain intact.
“There are no changes,” committee member Steve Young said. “The only way there would have been a contingency would be if they couldn’t make a commitment today.”
The reaction rippled throughout the city today, according to Gorton coach Dan DeMatteo. A few of the people who found out last were he and his players, who were busy conducting a workout.
DeMatteo said he and several players went to the district’s board of education meeting last week. Some of them spoke at the meeting, including one who was brought to tears while urging the board to reinstate sports.
When he found out during the workout football was restored, DeMatteo tried to contact superintendent Bernard Pierorazio to have him deliver the news to the team. The two did not connect, but Pierorazio stopped as he drove past the campus later in the afternoon. DeMatteo said the superintendent was embraced by the few players yet to head home.
“It really is just a great day for the kids of Yonkers,” DeMatteo said.
The city’s teams are not all as prepared as Gorton, which has attended workouts throughout the summer. Roosevelt and Saunders remain without coaches at the moment, although the district has said coaches are in place. And Riverside and Palisade Prep are first-year programs.
As for his team, DeMatteo believes there will be no lingering bitterness moving forward. His players, who were mocked by peers for their commitment to a sport in peril, are simply happy to learn their efforts were rewarded.
“It’s a tough time. You can make a case for either side. There are a lot of peole who are still without jobs,” DeMatteo said. “The main thing is, this is for the kids and we got it done. There’s definitely no bitterness on the kids’ part. They’re just happy to have their season.”