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‘Sustainability Issues’

Falconer, Cassadaga Merging 2 Sports Programs

The Falconer Central School Board of Education Approved the merging of the 2019-20 boys modified, junior varsity and varsity programs as well as the 2020-21 boys varsity basketball with the Cassadaga Valley Central School District. The Board also received a recommendation to merge the 2020-21 modified, junior varsity and varsity football programs with Cassadaga Valley. P-J file photo by Jordan W. Patterson

FALCONER — Falconer Central School will continue its sports partnership with Cassadaga Valley Central School as the two schools will merge baseball and basketball programs.

The Falconer Central School Board of Education approved the merging of its boys baseball modified, junior varsity and varsity teams with Cassadaga Valley at Tuesday’s meeting. The Board also approved the merging of the 2020-21 boys varsity basketball team with Cassadaga Valley.

As for baseball, Athletic Director David Nelson described the combining of baseball programs for the upcoming season as an “emergency merge.” While Stephen Penhollow, Falconer superintendent, and Nelson said the move was primarily aimed at assisting Cassadaga Valley, the merger will also benefit Falconer students who want to try out for a modified team.

“Cassadaga ran into sustainability issues,” Penhollow said regarding combining baseball teams.

Last year, both school districts were able to field their own individual boys baseball programs.

Penhollow said merger applications will be submitted to the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association and to Section VI for approval.

For basketball, Penhollow said the move will allow some of its students in the program to develop while also enabling varsity-ready players to compete with Cassadaga Valley. Falconer is currently in the 2019-20 season with its own boys varsity and junior varsity programs.

“We’re hoping that’s a one year window,” Penhollow said. “We do have decent numbers at the modified and the jayvee level, but those kids just aren’t ready to move up to the varsity level yet.”

During the meeting, the board heard discussion of the potential merging of the 2020-21 boys football modified, junior varsity and varsity teams with Cassadaga Valley. Penhollow said action will likely be taken by February regarding football.

During the 2019-20 school year, Falconer fielded its own modified football team with students from grades 7-9 while joining with Cassadaga Valley to field a varsity football team. Nelson recommended Tuesday that the board and the district look at combining the three sports programs.

In other news, Penhollow briefly discussed current talks of the city of Jamestown annexing its Board of Public Utilities Dow Street Substation located in the village of Falconer.

“I think we still remain very open to conversations,” Penhollow said. “A new meeting has not been scheduled yet. We’re anticipating one here in the very near future between all of the involved parties. Hopefully we continue to move in a conversation direction versus litigation and we can come to some kind of a resolution.”

The city of Jamestown began a second annexation attempt of the BPU property that falls within the village of Falconer and the town of Ellicott in November.

The Jamestown City Council approved resolutions to move forward with the annexation with council members voting 7 to 1 in favor at a November 2019 meeting.

An initial meeting between involved parties and the new Jamestown mayor Eddie Sundquist was held Jan. 6 to continue conversations angled at ending the potential annexation process without further litigation.

“We’re hoping in the next week or two we can look at where this next step goes,” Penhollow said.

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