Trumansburg Connection: Football to return to T-Burg

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At the Trumansburg Central School Board of Education (BOE) meeting on March 4, it was voted to end the football merger agreement with South Seneca Central School. Trumansburg football, at both the modified and varsity levels, will return for the 2019 school year with an eight-man formation. Good news indeed for the students and their families, many of whom are alumni who remember the good old days of winning Trumansburg football.


The decision to end the merger was mutually agreed upon by both South Seneca and Trumansburg. Many Trumansburg families have wanted a Trumansburg program to return, and because of a vibrant and thriving youth program, there are plenty of players moving up the ranks into the modified and varsity levels, giving the school enough players to field their own team. In their information gathering, the athletic department and athletics committee reached out to potential modified and varsity players to assess their interest and gauge whether or not there would be enough players to field a team. At a Feb. 26 player meeting, there were approximately 17 modified and 16 varsity players interested, and since the meeting, there have been several more potential varsity players that have expressed interest in playing for a Trumansburg team. Eleven-man football requires 16 players to be suited and on the bench for games, and eight-man football requires 12 to be ready for play, reducing concern for lack of numbers.


The decision to end the merge was not one that has been taken lightly by either school. Trumansburg High School Principal Jon Keong did extensive outreach to players to confirm their interest and to ensure that there would be enough players to field a team. Keong noted at the BOE meeting, “I have been pretty shy about losing the merger and the opportunity for kids to play, but I would say based on our conversations with the kids, we have the numbers to support Trumansburg football.” When asked, he added, “I would just add that there is a lot of excitement among the kids at school that we will have a Trumansburg team again. Even since the board meeting, two more students have come to me to let me know that they are planning to play football next year.”


Trumansburg will be moving to an eight-man formation, which has shown increased interest in the sport. The removal of two defensive backs and a defensive lineman on defense makes it more accessible and appealing to smaller, faster players who may have worries about being injured in the 11-man formation, and also makes the game more enjoyable to play and watch. When asked at the BOE meeting whether or not there will be enough teams to play a full season, it was reported by the athletics committee that Section IV has created an eight-man league, and it looks like there will be at least around 10 teams in the league in 2019, as the popularity of this formation grows. It is unknown whether South Seneca, a Section V team, will field an eight-man team.


According to South Seneca, there were concerns with overall enrollment across the three merged schools, which includes Romulus. Enrollment numbers across all three merged schools are on the rise, and in the 2019 season, this would push the Tri-Town Titans from Class C to Class B. This would mean the Titans would be playing much larger schools, creating safety issues as well as creating a level of competition that would be challenging for the players. In light of this, and the fact that both schools have enough players to field their own teams, both schools agreed to dissolve the agreement.


Of the decision, Trumansburg Superintendent Kimberly Bell says, “The decision to end the merger was mutually agreed upon by both districts and ultimately benefits all students. Trumansburg is pleased to report that the leadership of our youth programs is well established and has lent to significantly increased numbers allowing for Trumansburg to establish an eight-man Varsity football team and our own independent modified team.”


South Seneca Superintendent Steve Zielinski adds, “There were two driving factors that led our two districts to decide to end the merged team one year before our initial agreement. First, we learned that under a new classification system in Section V, the Tri-Town Titans would be scheduled against larger schools in 2019-20 than we’ve been playing in the past. We were concerned about the overall safety of students given the size of our program.


Second, with the new opportunity, Trumansburg has to field their own modified team this year, we decided it was best to end the merger now instead of keeping on for what would likely be only one more season.


It should be emphasized that our four-year merged program has been a positive experience for all involved. We wish Trumansburg great success with their own team, and we at South Seneca will continue to participate with our students and those from the Romulus district.”

In Brief:

Seventh Annual T’burg Rotary Supermarket Sweepstakes Shopping-Cart Dash
On your mark. . . Get set. . . Get your tickets for the Trumansburg Rotary Club’s seventh annual Supermarket Sweepstakes shopping-cart dash! This year’s date is Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. The possessor of the winning ticket, or a fleeter-of-foot designee, will have three minutes to tear through the shopper-free aisles of the Trumansburg ShurSave Supermarket, grabbing goodies from shelves, refrigerators, and freezers, loading them into a shopping cart, and maneuvering that cart to the front of the store.


Supermarket Sweepstakes tickets are available at Ehrhart Energy, from Trumansburg Rotary Club members, and at the Trumansburg ShurSave. Drawing for a winner will take place on Thursday, March 28.


The Sweepstakes is a Rotary fundraiser for local youth, education, arts, and health programs supported by the club.


Trumansburg Rotary meets Thursday nights at 6:30 at Trumansburg’s American Legion Post 770, 4431 Seneca Road. The club invites those interested in learning more about joining the club, building fellowship, and benefiting communities at home and abroad to join them for dinner. Contact Peggy Haine, at peggyhaine.1@gmail.com for additional information.

Spring Dinner at the Jacksonville Community United Methodist Church
The church will be holding their annual spring dinner on Saturday, April 6 from 4 p.m. until gone. Menu items include ham, peas, parsley potatoes, red hot applesauce jello, a dinner roll, and desserts. Adults eat for $8 and kids eat for $5. Proceeds benefit the church.

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