Beekmantown's Hayden Head has his arm raised as NYSPHSAA state champion at 285-lbs. Saturday, Feb. 25.
What if the Section VII championship was the ultimate triumph?
No regionals. No states.
No five-time or back-to-back titles for Chazy soccer.
No final four for Saranac girls basketball.
No Hayden Head pinning his way to a title at the Times Union Center, or Arik Robinson doing it four straight times.
That may just become a reality if a recent proposal is adopted — at least for the next two years.
Recently, Section XI proposed to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) a two-year hiatus on state championships in all sports, starting in the 2013-14 season. They also proposed that once championships return, they only be held in “major” sports.
Stephen Broadwell, Willsboro Central School Superintendent and Second Vice President of the NYSPHSAA, said the proposal did not go much beyond the initial talks.
“With the Association, everything is an open forum and each section has their ideas and opinions,” Broadwell said. “They are welcome to bring them to the floor and that is what Section XI did, but it really did not receive a lot of support for those proposals.”
Part of the issue for Section XI, which is located in the Long Island region, was the amount of time that it took to get to some of the state championship sites (swimming is held at Erie Community College in Buffalo, for example).
Broadwell said the NYSPHSAA is always looking to more centrally locate championship sites.
“We continue to look at costs and how to save while still hosting quality tournaments and championship events,” Broadwell said. “We are trying to find ways to reduce the costs for all sections because we know where a lot of them sit with budgets.”
Broadwell said that he felt the state championships were a great chance for high school student-athletes from throughout the state to compete at the highest level, along with a source of pride for the communities they represent.
“Saranac Central used a snow day the day of the Final Four to allow the students and community a chance to go to Troy and support their team,” Broadwell said. The Lady Chiefs played in the Class B girls Final Four on Friday, March 16, and were sent off with a community pep rally and had one of the largest fan contingents at the tournament.
“It is just unbelieveable what these events do for schools, communities and the kids,” Broadwell said. “This shows the best of what we try to do. I had the opportunity to go to the gymnastic state championships and some of the girls basketball games, and this is the pinnacle of accomplishment for them.”
Broadwell said he also felt the number of championship events should remain the same and not be reduced.
“For some, this may be the only sport or activity they are involved in all school year,” he said.