This marks Clarence's third straight year as Western New York's No. 1 public high school in athletics.
The Red Devils of Clarence Senior High School have won 20 sectional championships in team sports since 2008, the best performance in the eight-county region. No other school has taken more than 13 sectional titles during the past four years.
That's why Clarence has a lock on first place in Business First's annual sports ratings. The Red Devils' 20 Section VI championships translate to 54 rating points, based on a system that awards four points for each title won from spring 2011 to winter 2012, down to a single point for triumphs between 2008 and 2009.
Rounding out the top five are the East Aurora Blue Devils, Williamsville North Spartans, Fredonia Hillbillies and Hamburg Bulldogs.
Business First has ranked sports programs since 2009. East Aurora was first in the initial standings. But Clarence took control in 2010 and has remained in the top spot on the list ever since.
There was one key change in the process this year.
Previous rankings were limited to Section VI, which includes public high schools in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties, as well as part of Orleans County. Section V schools from Allegany, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties have been added this year, thereby extending the sports ratings to all eight counties in the region.
The top-rated Section V schools are Letchworth and Notre Dame, which are tied for 21st place overall. Both have won five Section V titles since 2008.
Section V, which extends into the Rochester Area, admits private high schools as members. That sets it apart from Section VI, which is restricted to public schools. Notre Dame is the only private institution in the top 50.
TOP 50 HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS PROGRAMS IN WESTERN NEW YORK:
2. East Aurora
3. Williamsville North
7. Maple Grove
11. Grand Island
12. Silver Creek
15. Niagara Falls
18. Orchard Park
21. Notre Dame
26. North Collins
26. Pine Valley
26. Williamsville South
30. Sweet Home
32. Williamsville East
38. Lake Shore
39. North Tonawanda