BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Western New York's Section VI high school football is changing, and Buffalo Public Schools said they got a raw deal.
BPS will still be a part of Section VI football; however, it won't be divided into size classes, but instead league scheduling. Bennett High School and South Park High School coaches said it will diminish the level of competition they see. That's why their players will lose opportunities.
"This will definitely take away scholarship opportunities from our children," said Stevenson McDuffie, the head coach at Bennett.
BPS will have two class gaps between its five schools. That is not the case for nearly all other divisions in Section VI, where there's at most one class gap.
Section VI Football Chairman Ken Stoldt said schools have asked for league scheduling for years, but this was the first time enrollment numbers worked out where Section VI could make the change. Stoldt said travel distance was one of the biggest reasons why schools wanted the change. He added that some teams felt a loss of identity because they were constantly switching classes.
Stoldt said BPS players will still have the same chance to be recognized by colleges under the new system.
"I just don't see how that would impact recruiting," Stoldt said. "They're still eligible for out playoffs, they're still going to get all the same recognition in terms of all Western New York all league."
One option for BPS was joining the ECIC. The conference's executive director said the conference voted against the merger 26-2 on Tuesday, with one abstention. He said the conference had its own issues it was trying to deal with, and throwing five more teams into the mix would make it more difficult.
The Buffalo Public Schools haven't played in their own league in a decade.
"We are at a disadvantage because if we are to play in our own league we have less games than everybody else, so we're going to have to go out and find games," said South Park Head Coach Tim Delaney.