Southern Cayuga to end sports merger with Union Springs

2010-10-19T03:30:00Z Southern Cayuga to end sports merger with Union SpringsKelly Voll / The Citizen Auburn Citizen
October 19, 2010 3:30 am  • 

POPLAR RIDGE — There were some dissatisfied voices at the Vision for Southern Cayuga Athletics community forum on Monday.

More than 30 people were greeted with two announcements that brought forth questions and concerns.

The Southern Cayuga Central School District Board of Education announced its intention to end, in the 2011-12 school year, a long sports merger with the Union Springs Central School District.

The second announcement was that Southern Cayuga girls swimming will go coed next year.

Other proposed athletics for 2011-12 are:

• Fall: boys and girls varsity and modified soccer, boys JV (junior varsity) soccer if numbers support; coed varsity and modified cross country; girls varsity and JV volleyball

• Winter: boys and girls varsity, JV and modified basketball (girls modified - short season); coed varsity swimming; boys wrestling as a club; girls cheerleading; girls modified volleyball (short season with basketball)

• Spring: (four possible, three will be offered based on roster numbers at sign-up time), boys varsity and modified baseball; girls varsity and modified softball; coed varsity golf; coed varsity and modified track; coed varsity tennis.

Ed Beck, in his first year as girls swimming coach, said being on a coed team will be tough for the girls.

“They won’t be a girls team,” he said. “They won’t be competing against girls. They’ll be forced to compete against boys in a boys competition.”

After the forum, Beck said he will have to break the news to the girls and that he himself just learned of the changes.

“It was a surprise for me because I wasn’t expecting to come to a meeting where swimming was cut,” he said. “I found out the same time everybody else did.”

Board vice president Lisa Killian said that of the 11 girls on the team now, seven will graduate in 2011, leaving few participants.

Beck said he has already spoken to two Southern Cayuga girls and two Union Springs girls who want to swim next year.

“I’m just asking for a chance to try to keep the team,” he said.

Union Springs school board vice president Dale Ottosen said although he respects the decision-making process, he disagrees with the outcome.

“Union Springs does not support the end of merged sports,” he said. “We can’t do it (field certain sports teams) without you. You can’t do it without us.”

Southern Cayuga board president Bruce Kopp responded, saying the decision was not easy and was well-researched.

Union Springs board member Tom Weaver Sr. said the merger started because neither district had enough wrestlers to field a team. He said Southern Cayuga pulled out of that merger once its wrestling team was large enough and left Union Springs wrestlers without a team.

“You dropped us,” he said.

Weaver expressed doubt about Southern Cayuga’s support over the past decade, referring to the merger as a “runaway train” and saying Southern Cayuga has had one foot in and one out.

“I don’t know if there’s truly been a commitment by Southern Cayuga since the merger started years ago,” he said.

Southern Cayuga parent Dale Mattoon said they can’t build a program by cutting modified teams, as they feed the JV and varsity squads. His suggestion was a complete merger between the two districts.

“I believe you should go all or none (when merging sports),” he said. “After great consideration, I believe you should go all. I think you should merge every single sport.”

Staff writer Kelly Voll can be reached at 282-2239 or kelly.voll@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at CitizenVoll.

Copyright 2015 Auburn Citizen. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(16) Comments

  1. cpiazza02
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    cpiazza02 - October 24, 2010 9:22 pm
    Farmer, sorry to tell you but my first grader is already on his bus for an hour to an hour and 20 mins because he has to not only pick up cayuga kids but aj kids to so in the afternoon he loads the bus (mind you i live three miles from cayuga elem) bus takes him all the way to AJ to pick those kids up to then start the rounds The way the bus route is set up is poor thinking and planning and it would be the same amount of time for the kids to be on the bus my kid doesn’t get home until 420-430 everyday Again I vote you merge all the schools saves money provides money to the programs that you complain that you don’t want to pay for and gives us tax payers a break You bet if this idea ever hits paper I’ll be standing in line to vote YES YES YES!!!
  2. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - October 24, 2010 12:09 pm
    thinksensibly said: "...Southern Cayuga then pulled the rug even further out from under the taxpayers feet by discontinuing the 5:00pm bus from afterschool activities. If SC wants to encourage participation, bring back the 5:00pm bus. Parents that work may not be able to pick them up after practice and in addition, those nightly and Saturday trips add quite a bit to the gas bill! Co-ed swimming? Get real.

    Dropping the 5 PM bus has been a disaster for a lot of families. You are quite right.

    I swam co-ed for a while in high school, but only practices. At meets, it was girls against girls, guys against guys -- anything else is absurd. It's not a problem being in the pool together, but males & females have different physical strengths & only a very few could compete fairly against each other.

  3. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - October 24, 2010 12:05 pm
    cpiazza02 said: "now for the upset instead of merging the sports should of merged the school districts to make one school district this would solve a lot of the problems and also give more money to the programs and loosing less money would some jobs be cut yes however you are running Emily Howland 302 students enrolled Cayuga who only have 237 students AJ Smith who only have 197 students Now union spring middle/high only have 457 students and Southern Cayuga high has 313 students Southern Cayuga Middle only has 241 students. There is no need for all of these schools to open I went to a high school where my freshman class alone was 650 kids and I did very well in the school and it ranked 4 out of 5 by parents and State Test results show average and above in test scores. 9etc)."

    So kids at the far ends of the district can spend an hour & a half on the bus instead of the 45 minutes they already spend? So we can have more empty school buildings & no place to gather?

  4. cpiazza02
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    cpiazza02 - October 23, 2010 12:58 pm
    now for the upset instead of merging the sports should of merged the school districts to make one school district this would solve a lot of the problems and also give more money to the programs and loosing less money would some jobs be cut yes however you are running Emily Howland 302 students enrolled Cayuga who only have 237 students AJ Smith who only have 197 students Now union spring middle/high only have 457 students and Southern Cayuga high has 313 students Southern Cayuga Middle only has 241 students. There is no need for all of these schools to open I went to a high school where my freshman class alone was 650 kids and I did very well in the school and it ranked 4 out of 5 by parents and State Test results show average and above in test scores. With a graduation rate of 96% hey not to bad for managing an average of 650 9th graders 650 10th graders 650 11th graders and 650 12th graders
  5. thinksensibly
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    thinksensibly - October 22, 2010 1:07 pm
    As a SC parent and taxpayer, I never understood the idea behind merging sports teams. Apparently after the deal was made, neither did Southern Cayuga. This was a disaster right from the start.

    If there is not enough interest in either school to have a team,so be it. Saves money. Upsetting as it is, that's a hard fact of life.

    Merging SC/US caused the taxpayers money, stressed the coaches who were working with time constraints to ensure students were returned to the bus on time which often cut practices short and caused the parents stress.

    Southern Cayuga then pulled the rug even further out from under the taxpayers feet by discontinuing the 5:00pm bus from afterschool activities.

    If SC wants to encourage participation, bring back the 5:00pm bus. Parents that work may not be able to pick them up after practice and in addition, those nightly and Saturday trips add quite a bit to the gas bill!

    Co-ed swimming? Get real... doesn't even begin to make sense... AGAIN.
  6. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - October 21, 2010 8:28 am
    uscsdtaxpayer said: "I am a US parent and honestly, I then we are left scrambling to try to find players to field a team. If we know what we are dealing with well in advance I am sure wam tired of merging sports with SC."

    Is this that "us and them" attitude about which I've been hearing?

  7. brettwier
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    brettwier - October 19, 2010 2:52 pm
    The kids from each district get along with each other. Alot better than the parents.... just sayin'.

  8. brettwier
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    brettwier - October 19, 2010 1:55 pm
    I think we are both spinning it. I wish all could sit down and have all the facts and opinions. If football is the passion, you may need to drop soccer or vice versa. Look at PB, Weedsport and Cato -- no soccer but they field a football team. The swim numbers are dropping and younger kids are being pulled up to a higher level -- ready or not. Yes, there is a test they must pass but there is more to it socially.

    I don't know what the fee's are but the people working that out aren't passing that info along. I would think if this is the route we are taking, there has to be public knowledge of the costs involved.

    Blindsiding ? Example please. If we split to take care of "our own", there will be sports cut. Fact of the numbers of available kids. I agree with you uscsdtaxpayer. We should watch over our school's kids and hope enough kids come out to participate.

    I honestly think the kids from US and SC get along better than the adults.
  9. sportsfan19
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    sportsfan19 - October 19, 2010 1:08 pm
    The fee is not 50-50 and if that is the big sticking point there should've been an effort put in to find an agreeable and equitable fee instead of taking the easy way out and abandoning the merger. The story can be spun any way someone wants to make their side look right.
  10. uscsdtaxpayer
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    uscsdtaxpayer - October 19, 2010 1:07 pm
    I am a US parent and honestly, I am tired of merging sports with SC. I don't like the idea of SC "blindsiding" our kids at the last second and then we are left scrambling to try to find players to field a team. If we know what we are dealing with well in advance I am sure we will have no problems with numbers on our own. Plenty of kids are willing to get involved especially when they know that smaller teams mean they are going to actually get to play more. We usually only take on a couple players from SC anyways but yet our division gets stuck going up a level and then we compete with schools with far higher level athletes. Schools who cut the less advanced players, I would rather see everyone play and be competetive at our own school's size level. Each school should be looking out for their own kids. Honestly, when was the last time an athlete from either school was awarded a full ride scholarship to a D1 school. I'm all for supporting your own school. Leave us out of it SC, Please!!
  11. brettwier
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    brettwier - October 19, 2010 12:21 pm
    Sorry for the repeat. I wasn't patient...
  12. brettwier
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    brettwier - October 19, 2010 12:19 pm
    I'll agree about coaching $. And the inevitable merge of athletics (and maybe districts to save $). But if the football program has 4 SC kids, is it fair that they pay for 50% of the total cost? It wasn't just SC seniors that opted not to play. There was senior apathy at US as well. I do applaud the kids that go across the district line to persue a game they love. But when a very vocal parent who supported football is silent....it might be because the kid chose NOT TO PLAY. One thing that has to be dealt with for a merge of any kind is to get away from the "us vs. them" mentality. It's petty. And it's been passed on to kids at all levels.

    KEY POINT: This is a PROPOSAL being brought before the people. But in order to get what you want, you need the numbers to carry it out. You need a minimum number of kids to field a team. Look at Watkins Glen football. They couldn't finish the season because injuries took them below the allowed number. Let's do what's best for the kids.
  13. brettwier
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    brettwier - October 19, 2010 12:01 pm
    I don't disagree with you about the inevitable, but for the time being, THIS WAS A PROPOSAL and they are looking for community input. And on the football: 3-4 kids from SC are on the football team but SC is expected to pay for 50% of the program ?? The same can be said about field hockey. Where was the participation of the US seniors this year for football ? My friends said that there wasn' much turn out for either school (and one of the parents from SC who was VERY vocal about football support has disappeared with his son's participation).

    And why didn't US want to merge for softball ? Because US girls may get cut from the team ?

    The numbers for modified just aren't there. You need a minimum number to field a team and we are having problems even when it is a merged sport.

    I also agree with you about coaching $. As far as combining, we need to get away from the past of disliking each other. It still exists. And it's petty (and passed on).
  14. longboard315
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    longboard315 - October 19, 2010 9:57 am
    ....And not for nothing, but if those 2 districts could simply get on the same page and combine sport programs - not only would they be better in terms of each team's talent, but would also save a substantial amount of $$$ on all aspects of running a sports program (field maint, coaches / admin salaries, trarnsportation, insurance, etc.). Plus this would be a positive for the kids - pushing & dedicating themselves to work harder to make a team, meeting new teammates, making new friends, and weeding out those participants who are there for the wrong reasons - all problems/things we see in today's youth. However, if populations in US/SC continue to decline, then at some point a merger of the schools (and the teams) will be inevitable - its only a matter of time.
  15. longboard315
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    longboard315 - October 19, 2010 9:49 am
    Lakeside - 1st of all its clearly obvious you have NEVER coached anything in your life. HS coaches make SQUAT compared to the time they put in and the pay they get for a season. They're NOT getting rich, thats for sure - and most coaches coach for the love of their sport and working with kids not only making them better athletes, but better people in life.

    As being close to a former coach of the Southern Springs football program - I saw 1st hand the LACK of SUPPORT from the Southern Cayuga community. The varsity team probably had on average 3-4 kids from SC each year, while the rest were from US - eventhough the team was called Southern Springs. It was a constant struggle to get kids from SC to go out for football as most of the schools staff / PE program never steered kids that way. If it werent for the coaching staff going to SC to talk to kids about football, they probably wouldnt have a single kid on the team.

  16. lakeside
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    lakeside - October 19, 2010 8:17 am
    not just here at southern cayuga -but at all schools will HAVE to cut somewhere and somewhere will be sports first -whatever happened to the playground that has costs us so much money to play a gameand all those tuft fields that are going to gather dust will you want to maintain them with your tax dollars -something has to go paid sports is the first stop 0-just wait till the coaches start crying that they dont make as much money in there jobs and want more to do less
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