A couple of athletic officials in Section 9 seem very open to the possibility of welcoming Rockland teams as members.
“From what I understand, the dialogue is going very, very well,” said Monroe-Woodbury district director Jim Osborne — who doubles as the Interscholastic Athletic Coordinator for the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association — referring to the preliminary discussions being held by Rockland athletic directors about a potential move out of Section 1 and into Section 9 for the 2014-15 school year. “Personally, I would be very receptive to them coming over. We have a very positive working relationship with them.”
Including associate members, Section 9 has 45 schools. Section 1 has 70 schools. If the Rockland County schools were to join Section 9, the sections would be nearly equal in size, with Section 9 jumping to 56 schools and Section 1 falling to 59.
“It would help to make Section 9 very competitive throughout the state — not to say that we aren’t already — but it could help the section as a whole improve its standing in the state,” Cornwall athletic director Michael Kroemer said. “I think Rockland County has some great schools that could add some good depth to Section 9, but, at the same time, I’d want to make sure that it wouldn’t be set up in a way that’s going to hurt us.”
While some coaches in Rockland have expressed concerns regarding travel, there seems to be less concern on the part of Section 9 athletic officials.
“For us, we’re not that far away from the Thruway,” Kroemer said. “Some of those trips may seem far away, but they’re really not that bad.”
The Rockland athletic directors have until Nov. 30 to apply for admission to Section 9 for the 2014-15 school year.
If they do decide to apply, their chances of being accepted appear good.
“To me, it makes sense,” Osborne said. “It’s a win-win for all of us.”