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Proposed basketball merger falls through again

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PARISHVILLE — A merger that would have sent boys from Parishville-Hopkinton to Colton-Pierrepont to play both varsity and junior varsity basketball this season fell apart once again after the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School Board of Education decided not to request it.

“The board decided we had enough students to fill our own team so we did not request the merger,” according to Parishville-Hopkinton Athletic Director Robert Stewart. “They looked at the numbers and spoke with the parents and the kids, and we decided that it would be in our best interest to field our own team this year.”

Stewart said the district will field a modified team made up of students in grades seven through nine and a varsity team made up primarily of students in grades 10 through 12.

There will not be a junior varsity team, however. Stewart noted they did not field a junior varsity last year either.

“Last year we did not have any junior varsity sports except for girls’ JV basketball,” he said, adding a parent volunteered to coach that team and the community footed the bill for the team’s other expenses.

It was a budgetary decision made for last year,” he said.

While the merger did not happen this year, Stewart said that doesn’t mean such an agreement isn’t in the district’s future.

“I think everyone is leaving all options open at this point. I think it’s going to be a year-to-year decision based on what we have in terms of numbers,” he said.

Colton-Pierrepont Superintendent Joseph Kardash also said he’s open to a merger in the future, as he was this year.

“We’re always looking for better programs for our kids,” he said.

The lack of a merger now has district officials debating whether to field both a junior varsity and varsity team, as Colton-Pierrepont still fields junior varsity teams when possible.

“We’re struggling to see if we can put together a JV and varsity team or if we’ll sacrifice one of them,” he said.

Should it come down to fielding only one team, Kardash said he’s not sure yet whether that would be a varsity or JV team.

“The coaches haven’t made that decision yet,” he said, adding such a decision would have to be made by the end of next week.

A single team, he said, would have a healthy-sized roster of approximately 14 players.

However, if they attempt to field a team at both levels, Kardash said that’s when players could get scarce.

“We’re looking at single digits if we do both a JV and varsity,” he said. “If there were any injuries or ineligibility issues, we could end up forfeiting games.”



Keegan Bowman of Beaver River took second place in the 100-yard butterfly and 100 backstroke races to highlight area finishers at the Section 3 Class C Championships at Nottingham High School in Syracuse.

Kelsey McLean of Lowville finished second in the 200 freestyle and anchored the second-place 200 medley relay.

Skaneateles scored 415 points for the best team finish, while Thousand Islands (237.5 points) placed fourth and Lowville (218) was fifth.

Darien Frederick of Thousand Islands swam on the third-place 200 free relay and was fourth in diving.

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