ICC gridiron shuffle replaces JV with modified program

KINDERHOOK – The Ichabod Crane School Board voted this week to replace the JV football program with a modified football program. The board also approved changing the qualifications for students in lower grades moving up to play on varsity teams.

At the at the regular meeting Tuesday, June 2 Athletic Director Tim Stewart presented the plan to create a modified program for grades 7 through 9 to replace the JV program, which was for grades 9 and 10. Mr. Stewart called the modified program a “safe, controlled game situation.”

He said the modified program has no kickoffs, punts or special teams. Coaches have to be certified through a national program called Heads Up Football.

Mr. Stewart pointed out that many of the schools in the area have modified teams instead of JV teams so Ichabod is having trouble finding people to play against at the JV level. “It’s going on all around us,” Mr. Stewart told the board.

He stressed that modified teams would play at different times than the varsity so the teams would never be in the locker room together. He also said the cost to the district would go down since there would be two fewer games, one less official needed at games and about a $1,000 less for coaching.

After the board approved the modified team, Mr. Stewart said the program will start this fall.

Mr. Stewart also presented the new state mandated changes to the Athletic Placement Process (APP). The APP standards are used to evaluate whether students, mostly 8th graders, can move up to play on a high school sports team. Mr. Stewart said the major changes include students being evaluated by the district’s doctor not their family doctor and that they have to be evaluated by the coaches and take a physical fitness test.

He said that new standards include, “a lot of extra work here for our coaches.” But he said that the new standards will mean that fewer students will be moved who are not ready. The resolution the board adopted at the meeting said, in part, “these pupils are to be allowed to compete at levels that are appropriate to their physical maturity, physical fitness and sport skills in relationship to other pupils in accordance with the standards established by the Commissioner of Education.” Mr. Stewart said there will be no more waivers for students who do not meet the physical and maturity level standards.

The meeting started with a recognition of board members who will not be returning to the board next month. Bruce Naramore and Jeffrey Ouellette did not run for reelection and Barbara-anne Johnson-Heimroth lost her seat in the May election. Regina Rose, Tracy Farrell and John Antalek were elected to the board and will start serving in July.

Board President Anthony Welcome presented a motion recognizing the board’s appointed student representative Samantha Hesler for her service. Samantha is the first student to serve as a non-voting member of the board. At the end of the meeting, she said, “I want to thank you all for the opportunity to give the students a voice. It was needed and appreciated.”

The board will hold a special meeting Tuesday, June 16 at 7 p.m. in the high school library. The next regular meeting is July 7 at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .    

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