Several Section II varsity football teams are looking to fill holes in their schedules following Monday's announcement that Rensselaer High School will not be competing this season due to low player numbers.
Fourteen student-athletes in grades 9-12 came out for coach Joel Preston's Rensselaer team, according to Section II football coordinator Bob Dorrance. Sixteen players are required according to state rules.
"It's unfortunate, and I know Joel is disappointed," Dorrance said. "I am not sure what their numbers looked like over the last few years, but I know they didn't have a lot of success on the field. He was optimistic and thought they were going to be pretty good."
Rensselaer is a member of the Section II Class C South Division with Watervliet, Tamarac, Cairo-Durham/Catskill, Coxsackie-Athens and Voorheesville. Rensselaer was scheduled to play those teams, as well as non-division opponents Tamarac and Granville.
Dorrance and area coaches are trying to find opponents for those teams to fill openings in their schedules created by Rensselaer's absence.
Rensselaer was slated to open its season Sept. 6 at home against Watervliet.
"It's a big-time scramble. We are trying to work things out," Dorrance said. "We are doing what we can to figure it out, but with 10 days left before the season, unfortunately, I believe there are going to be some byes."
Rensselaer was a member of Section II's Class D league last season and finished 3-6 after closing out with wins against Coxsackie-Athens and Corinth.
Rensselaer's football history includes a string of five straight Section II Class D championships from 1991-95. Rensselaer was the state runner-up in 1994 and 1995.