Reprinted From ECS April 2014 Newsletter

The Eagles football team will merge with Franklinville in the fall to field combined varsity and JV teams. Over the past months, we have explored several possibilities and had a number of discussions as we developed a plan for the future of football at both schools. The NYSPHSAA classifies D schools with a range of 0-239 students in grades 9-11. In sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball and softball the spread is 0-162. This has made it increasingly difficult for smaller D schools to compete with larger D schools that are actually C schools in all other sports.

We believe that combing football offers us many advantages including:

1. More student-athletes will increase competition for positions

2. A JV football team that is completely separate from varsity with its own coaches and practices

3. More opportunities for success for our student-athletes

4. Increased competitiveness with the larger schools we are playing against

5. Ability to field competitive teams in several sports at the same time

6. Allowing students to play at a level that is age and ability driven not based on filling out the roster

Like any change, it will have challenges, but we are excited about this new “adventure.” Mr. Chad Bartoszek will serve as head coach for the combined team and Mr. Chris Mendell will continue to serve as the varsity assistant coach. We anticipate sharing practices, games and equipment. The two teams will have three coaches from each school. West Valley athletes will also have an opportunity to play on the combined team. The coaches are scheduling a variety of events designed to get the “team” together in the spring and over the summer.

Our volleyball team will be combining forces with Cattaraugus-Little Valley for both JV and varsity. We do anticipate offering our own modified program based on the interest shown. After winning a State Championship in 2012, we had another successful year in 2013 winning the league and making it to the semifinals. However, our numbers at both levels do not provide enough students to field competitive teams.

Knowing this we had conversations with Catt-LV, and they were very open to allowing our students to compete with their students on a combined team. The coaching duties will be handled by the Catt-LV staff headed up by Mr. Joe Crandall, who is a former ECS teacher and coach! All games and practices will be held in Cattaraugus, as we will not have a gym during the 2014 season.

This is a great opportunity for our students to maintain a sport that we would have had to drop based on “numbers.” It will also allow us to remain competitive and elevate the play of our own students, as Mr. Crandall runs a top-notch program with some excellent results over his long coaching career. Students will be bused each day to and from practice.

While both of these situations offer change from what we have known, they do maintain the opportunities we have for our students and actually expand both by providing a true JV football team and the ability to offer three levels of volleyball.