Canevari's Corner

With the new season of high school sports well underway, one problem that seems to have cropped up to some small degree in this portion of the state has been the inability of a couple of schools to have varsity sports programs.

Poultney High School, which has an enrollment of 250 students, was unable to field either a varsity boys or a varsity girls soccer program due to lack of interest among the student body.

Springfield High School had a varsity football program to begin the year, but cancelled it last week due to safety concerns after a number of players suffered concussions and injuries that resulted in the team lacking depth.

In the case of Springfield High School, it's unfortunate that the seniors there will miss out on playing their final year. There were probably a number of them that began the season realizing that this was the last time that they wer e going to play football competitively. For some that was probably hard enough, but to have that inevitability become a reality unexpectely at this point in the season has got to leave more than a few of the players disappointed.

Springfield's recent decision to cancel their varsity football program not only impacts the players at their school, but the players and schools that were scheduled to face them as well.

Burr and Burton Academy was scheduled to face Springfield on Sept. 21 for their fourth game of the season. When Springfield cancelled their program, BBA tried to find another school to play, but ended up having a bye week. In one sense, the timing could prove to be advantageous for BBA who had an extra week to prepare for this week's upcoming rematch of last year's championship game against Fair Haven. In addition, the Bulldogs were also credited with the win by way of forfeit. However, the team did not have the opportunity to compete in a game situation - something that can also beneficial to the growth and future performance of a team.

The situation with the Poultney boys and girls varsity soccer teams is a different scenario. Granted, the number of students enrolled at the school is not that large as schools go, but there are other schools in the area with comparable enrollment numbers, if not below, who were still able to field both a boys and girls varsity soccer program. For that matter there are some schools that have seventh and eighth graders on their varsity squads. One such team, is Mount Saint Joseph's Academy whose 14 member roster is composed of five eighth graders and three ninth graders. The lack of the boys and girls varsity program is even more curious given that Poultney does has both boys and girls junior varsity teams.

As is the case with the Springfield football team, not only do the upper classmen that want to engage in the sport suffer, but the lack of a varsity program has also had an impact on some of those teams that Poultney was suppose to face. Some schools, such as Arlington Memorial High School, had to pick up two more games and due to scheduling conflicts will now have to face Long Trail School and Proctor - the defending state champion - on consecutive days.

In both cases it's the student's, particularly the seniors, that are impacted the most by the the lack of a varsity sports program. Though there are good reasons for none of the aforementioned varsity sports programs existing, it is unlikely that it will lessen the disappointment of those individuals who were truly looking forward to competing one last time.


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