Clarence is the sports leader among Western New York's public high schools, and it's not a close contest.
The Red Devils of Clarence Senior High School have won 22 sectional championships in team sports the past four years. No other school has taken more than 13 titles, and only four others are in double digits.
That's why Clarence remains No. 1 for the fifth straight year in Business First's rankings of high school sports programs. (Click here for a quick rundown of the top 50 programs.)
The Red Devils' 22 championships translate to 58 rating points, based on a system that awards four points for each title won in the most recent year (spring 2013 through winter 2014) down to one point for triumphs three years earlier (spring 2010 through winter 2011).
The Hamburg Bulldogs are a distant second with 35 points, followed by the East Aurora Blue Devils (27 points), Fredonia Hillbillies (24) and Orchard Park Quakers (24). Ties are broken by the number of championships, so Fredonia (11 titles) is given fourth place in the standings, while Orchard Park (nine titles) is fifth.
WESTERN NEW YORK SPORTS LINK:
• Top-to-bottom high school sports rankings.
• Slideshow of the top 50 sports programs.
The rankings encompass Section VI and the Western New York portion of Section V.
Section VI includes schools in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties, along with a small part of Orleans County. Section V covers Allegany, Genesee and Wyoming counties, as well as the remainder of Orleans.
Section VI is limited to public schools, but Section V admits private schools as members. Batavia's Notre Dame High School is consequently the only private school in Business First's rankings.
Points are awarded for championships in 18 team sports. Winners in all size classifications (from AA down to D in some sports) are scored on the same scale, resulting in a blend of large and small schools in the standings.