Helderberg Valley football will play in Class C

Merged team was originally placed in Class D

Helderberg Valley will compete in Section II’s Class C league in the 2018 season after a second look at the state’s new enrollment standards for merged football teams.

Helderberg Valley, which consists of players from Berne-Knox-Westerlo and Duanesburg, was originally listed in the Class D league when Section II football officials last month released the schedule and league alignment for next season.

Upon review, Helderberg Valley was placed in the Class C South Division with Cairo-Durham, Chatham, Coxsackie-Athens, Taconic Hills, Voorheesville and Watervliet, and the Class C and Class D schedules were reworked.

“There was a misinterpretation on merger calculations,” Section II football coordinator Bob Dorrance wrote as part of an email to media outlets. “It moved a team [Helderberg Valley] from Class D to Class C.”

Helderberg Valley coach Gary Morin said the misinterpretation revolved around a new set of standards for a graduated system the New York State Public High School Athletic Association is using to calculate merged football teams in the 2018-19 school year.

In the new graduated system standards, when two Class C-size football schools are involved, the total enrollment of the larger school (Berne-Knox-Westerlo) is added to 40 percent of the smaller school (Duanesburg) to determine its placement. The smaller school’s percentage was 30 in past years.

Helderberg Valley fell in the Class C 230-354 range for the 2018-19 school year.

“It was 30 percent, and now it’s 40 percent,” Morin said. “By five kids, it bumped us up.”

Helderberg Valley joins Section II’s largest league consisting of three divisions and 19 teams. Holy Trinity, a mix of players from Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons and Catholic Central, won the Class C title last season and advanced to the state championship game.

Helderberg Valley fell into the Class C-size parameters last season yet requested to play a Class D schedule and was not eligible for the playoffs. Helderberg Valley is playoff eligible for the 2018 season, which begins the weekend of Aug. 31-Sept. 1.

“We let them [Section II football officials] know a while back that we wanted to be eligible for the sectionals,” Morin said. “Going up to the C’s doesn’t change that. It’s going to be challenging, but we’re excited about the season.

“We had 30 [varsity] players last year and we’re hoping to have around that number again, and we’ve got a pretty good senior class.”

Helderberg Valley went 4-4 last season after closing with a crossover win against Coxsackie-Athens. Helderberg Valley went 2-6 in the 2016 season.

“Getting to .500 was big for us,” Morin said. “We wanted to win three and we got four.”

Duanesburg and Schoharie played as Schoburg in 2013, and they were joined by Berne-Knox-Westerlo for the 2014 Schoburg team. Duanesburg and Berne-Knox-Westerlo continued to play under the Schoburg name in 2015 though Schoharie no longer was involved.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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