SCARSDALE – While the potential to form a powerhouse team of sorts was there for Woodlands and Edgemont, the two programs ultimately decided to remain separate entities.
Offseason discussions to merge the football teams and move up a class or two began due to concerns about numbers, but both the Falcons and the Panthers will field their own teams this season.
“It was a possibility, but it’s only a possibility when you don’t have enough guys,” Edgemont coach Matt Bernstein said Monday as fall practices opened up across Section 1. “It would only be in a dire (situation) — if we were looking at not having a team anymore.”
Daveitto McKenzie hits a blocking sled during the first day of practice at Woodlands High School in Greenburgh Aug. 18, 2014.
Bernstein said Edgemont had 35 players come out Monday, the best turnout he’s had in his five-year run as head coach. The numbers at Woodlands weren’t quite as strong, but Falcons coach Mike Meade said the school has enough to remain competitive.
With Woodlands returning several speedy skill players and Edgemont bringing back four of its five starters on the offensive line, a merger likely would have created a sectional-title threat in almost any class.
“We were pretty excited for that, because that would bring a new dynamic and new energy,” Edgemont senior D.J. Chao said. “We would have a much larger team, so practices would be more competitive. It certainly wasn’t viewed as a bad thing, it’s just that some people may have been worried about positions they’d had before.”
In the end, the tempation to see how a combined team would fare was dwarfed by the desire to maintain each school’s distinct traditions.
“No offense to Edgemont, but I just like being at our home field with our guys working together,” Woodlands quarterback Myles Thigpen said. “It looks good this way, I think.”