Sports Editor’s Playbook, Oct. 26, 2010

Patrick Newell

Sports Editor’s playbook, Oct. 26, 2010

Here is something I have never spoken out loud, nor have I written on the Sun’s pages – or blogged on for that matter. Through eight weeks of the football season, Sherburne-Earlville has the best record in Chenango County. Actually, the Marauders share the top spot with Bainbridge-Guilford with identical 5-3 marks, but you understand the point being made. The word excellence combined with Sherburne-Earlville football have not gone hand in hand in a long, long time. Mike Jasper, second-year coach for the Marauders is heading up the Marauders’ revival, and the success has started on the lowest levels he said. The feeder programs – the modified and junior varsity teams – are producing winning programs, and that winning is contagious as the kids move up the ranks. “Kid are starting to get the philosophy of what it takes to be a winning program,” Jasper said. “You need to work hard in the offseason so you can be better on the JV and varsity.”

I have had to field queries and requests on the forthcoming subject multiple times this year, and dozens of times over the years. In the above paragraph on S-E football, I briefly alluded to a modified team. That is about as much modified sports coverage as you’ll ever see in our paper or any other newspaper.
According to state regulations (and you can follow up with your school’s director of athletics), media coverage of modified sporting events is prohibited. Jack Jones, retired AD at Norwich, filled me in on the specifics of those rules over a decade ago. He told me, at that time, that the only media coverage of modified sports that is allowable was to announce sports interviews and physicals. Modified sports are a “developmental level” only, and he added that a school’s violation of the modified sports media coverage rule is subject to penalty by the state. That said, I cannot think of any school that has ever been penalized for allowing modified sports results to reach the local media. It simply is not done.
I took notes from my conversation with Mr. Jones, and transcribed the scrawlings to my computer in the event I would ever need to refer to them. I have needed to refer to those notes often this year. It seems that parents – and a couple of coaches not familiar with the rules – are compelled to fill me in on the accomplishments of their respective team of interest. The eagerness and pride is apparent in all of their voices, and I feel bad telling them that sports coverage of modified sports is not allowed. I have kids involved in sports, just like all of the parents who have called me. My kids will have to wait until they’re playing a varsity sport before I can write about them.
Some people have pointed out over the years that they have seen Pop Warner results, Little League, Chenango Chargers soccer, and YMCA youth sports in The Evening Sun sports section Publishing results of those young kids seems like a contradiction, yet the my reply to those people is simple: All of those sporting clubs are private organizations not affiliated with a school district, and those organizations do not have strict rules – like New York State – that forbid media publication.
I applaud all of the young kids competing in modified sports this year that are finding success on the playing field, and I look forward to publishing their accomplishments once they reach their varsity team.

– For those keeping track, Norwich’s football game at Oneonta last Friday was the 81st revival of the rivalry that dates back to 1925. The Tornado won for the second straight year clinching a playoff spot in the process, and increased its series lead to 47-33-1.

– I spoke about Greene’s boys’ soccer team last week, and I have another update. After finishing in a three-way division tie with Walton and Unatego, the Trojans drew the short straw, and had to play a first-round division playoff game with Unatego. Walton earned a bye through the luck of the draw. The Trojans followed up a 3-0 win over Unatego with an even more impressive 5-0 victory against Walton. Tonight, the Trojans took a break from league playoff games to start the real postseason. Greene upended Sidney, 6-0, and has now outscored its last three opponents, 14-0. Wednesday, Greene reverts to MAC action when it plays at Delhi at 3:30 p.m. for the league championship. Win or lose, the Trojans (14-4) will be back in Section IV playoff action on Friday.