Letter To Sports

Dear Sports Editor:

I thought there was enough “lousy” news in the world today until I read the Section VI committee’s decision regarding the upcoming division alignments for the 2020 high school football season.

To be polite, let me quote the former New York Yankees’ broadcaster, Phil Rizzuto, and say, “HOLY COW!”

Your decision to “punish” the Clymer/Sherman/Panama team is so unfair for so many – the three school districts, the coaches, the players and the entire student bodies.

Your public statement explained that “the decision was not made because of class size. [Your committee] decided that because of the team’s success the past two years. … the CSP Wolfpack should be moved up to create a more competitive experience.” WOW!

Let’s have a little fun with your line of thinking: Roger Goodell decides the New England Patriots are too successful in the AFC East (11 straight titles), so he orders the team to switch with the Cincinnati Bengals and join the AFC North with Baltimore and Pittsburgh “to create a more competitive experience.” I don’t think so.

Let’s review some past examples in Section VI sports: The Southwestern Trojans’ football team should have been “punished” for their great run (2005-2011), including two state titles. Let’s not forget three other highly successful teams from the ’90s — Pine Valley girls’ basketball, Mayville girls’ volleyball and Falconer boys’ baseball. All three programs dominated their divisions for years and won state titles. Were they “punished?” Of course not. Instead, their rivals needed to improve their programs and find a way to defeat them or continue losing 80-15 in basketball, 15-1 in volleyball or 9-0 in baseball.

The committee needs to revisit their decision and CHANGE IT. Superintendents and coaches need to officially put pressure on the committee to CHANGE IT. While class sizes change every year, it’s a better provider for fairer competition than “punishing” a school. I realize the precedent was set a couple of years ago with Franklinville/Ellicottville; it was wrong then, and it remains wrong today.

If the committee continues to use this policy, then any successful program, whether it’s football, basketball, volleyball, soccer or baseball, could be the next school to be “punished” by the Section VI committee.

Do the right thing. Do what’s best for the kids.

John Keating



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