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South Colonie Central School District News

South Colonie to Field Two Modified Football Team This Fall

For the first time this fall, South Colonie will field two separate modified football teams for grade 7 and grade 8, each team combining players from Lisha Kill and Sand Creek middle schools.

The move follows a long history in which the district has tried several alternatives for modified football with the goal of drawing the right number of players on each team so they get the right amount of playing time.

“It’s real balancing act,” said Joseph Guardino, South Colonie Director of Athletics. “But the bottom line is we want to do everything we can to ensure participation opportunities for our athletes.”

That unfortunately was not happening a few years ago when South Colonie offered only one combined grade 7/8 modified football team made up of students from both middle schools. There were too many players and not enough playing slots for them.

So last year, the district split the teams, fielding a grade 8 modified team in the Suburban Council and the seventh graders played on a team sponsored by Colonie Youth Football. But the Capital District Youth Football League at the seventh grade level could not fill a full schedule after last season so seventh graders needed a new place to play in the fall of 2015.

“We knew one thing, we didn’t want to combine the grades again (7 and 8) and limit participation opportunities for this age group,” Guardino said. “And while the Suburban Council offers competition for grade 7/8 combined modified teams, and grade 8 modified teams, it does not for grade 7 modified teams.”

So after some investigation, Guardino got permission for South Colonie to form its own grade 7 modified team this fall and play in the Foothills Conference, which does offer grade 7 modified team competition. Starting in September, South Colonie’s new grade 7 modified Raider team of 30-35 players from Lisha Kill and Sand Creek will suit up against teams from Scotia-Glenville, Johnstown, Amsterdam, Gloversville and Broadalbin-Perth – playing each team one time with one scrimmage game on Sept. 19.

The two South Colonie modified teams (grades 7 and 8) will practice and play their home games at Sand Creek Middle School, the grade 8 team continuing to play in the Suburban Council, and the grade 7 team in the Foothills Conference.

The grade 8 team will be funded by the school district, and the Colonie High School Football Booster Club has agreed to fund the cost of the grade 7 modified team. The cost of adding this team is about $5,000 for coaches, busing and officials, Guardino said. The district already has uniforms and equipment.

Other athletic news for 2015-16

In other athletics news, starting this fall, the Suburban Council will be adding four new schools to the league. Albany High, Schenectady High, Troy High and Christian Brothers Academy will all be Suburban Council member schools competing in athletics at all levels. The league will continue to be divided into two divisions, with Colonie High remaining in the Blue Division.

Also new this fall, the Suburban Council has renamed Boys and Girls Freshmen Soccer “Modified 9” Soccer. Students in both grade 8 and 9 will be eligible to play at this level. These athletes will practice and play their home games at CCHS. Boys and Girls Modified Soccer will still be offered at each middle school.