Teams painting new football landscape
By Keith Harrington
One evening last week there was a hint of fall in the air and the next morning it was 48 degrees. That started me thinking, it’s almost high school football time.
When practice begins in just a few days, the landscape of high school football on the New York side of the border will once again look different. Locally there are three new mergers among high school football programs that will debut in 2022.
First, age-old rivals Granville and Whitehall will join forces. This on-again, off-again merger has been in the works for a few years now and has finally reached fruition. The Golden Horde and Railroaders formerly faced off in one of the longest running and most heated rivalries in Section II, dating back to the days of legendary coaches Ambrose Gilligan and Sam Eppolito.
Both teams have struggled with player numbers. Granville barely made it through last season and Whitehall played a junior varsity schedule.
The teams will go without a nickname this year but will combine the school’s colors of maroon and gold on uniforms similar to those worn by the Florida State Seminoles.
Speaking of rivalries teaming up, Lake George and Warrensburg will also merge for the first time this year. North Warren and Bolton will also provide players to the program. Both the Warriors and the Eagles have suffered from declining numbers the last few years making it difficult to sustain participation at three levels.
Lake George was previously merged with Hadley-Luzerne to form the War Eagles. Warrensburg received players from North Warren and Bolton in the past.
The new program has unveiled their uniforms, color scheme and mascot. They will wear blue and gold and be known as the Wolverines, similar to the University of Michigan.
The third new merger this fall reunites former partners and adds the rival of one of the participants. Corinth, Hadley-Luzerne and Fort Edward will combine this season. Corinth and Fort Edward previously teamed up and were called the C-FE War Hawks. Corinth and Hadley-Luzerne have been rivals for several years.
The new team will be called the Mountaineers and will combine the orange, blue and black colors of the schools with a newly designed Mountaineer logo on the helmets.
Granville-Whitehall and Warrensburg-Lake George will play in Class C. Corinth-Fort Edward-Hadley-Luzerne will compete in Class D.
With the three new merged programs joining Cambridge-Salem, there aren’t any Adirondack League schools who field their own high school football programs.
It will be interesting to keep an eye the level of success of these mergers and how they impact the future landscape of high school football.