BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Starting next season, public high school football teams in western New York will be allowed to play an extra game.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) passed a resolution Wednesday morning to give football teams the option to play an eighth regular season game in the fall.
“I think this is a step in the right direction for New York State Football,” Lancaster head football coach Eric Rupp said. “Adding more games to our schedule will get our kids more exposure, and hopefully improve the quality of football throughout the state.”
With the added regular season game, coaches around WNY are excited for another opportunity to play, while also helping their athletes to get recruited by collegiate programs.
“Our season is pretty short, so the more we can do for our players, the better,” Akron head football coach Andrew Clouse said. “Hopefully it helps our athletes get better exposure to out-of-state college programs as well. NY has been behind what other states allow their athletes to do, so hopefully this closes the gap a little.”
“The more games we get to play, the better,” Clymer-Sherman-Panama head football coach Ty Harper said. “I’ve seen firsthand how WNY kids are sometimes under-recruited because of the perception of NYS football. I hope this gets us a little closer to the level of Pennsylvania and Ohio high schools. They’ve traditionally played more games than we have, and that’s probably put some of our kids at a disadvantage when it comes to college recruiting. We’re really excited to gain an extra opportunity to compete.”
“Football in our state will be better served with our student-athletes getting more opportunities to compete,” Cleveland Hill head football coach Glen Graham said. “We were hoping to schedule a game against a traditional opponent that we had to drop due to scheduling conflicts this fall.”
The extra game would be added to the beginning of the season and take the place of a team’s preseason scrimmage.
“I’ve been around long enough that I remember when we used to play the eight games before they switched it to seven regular season games. The more football we can play, the better,” West Seneca East head football coach Jim Maurino said. “When you look at states like Ohio, Texas, California, their kids are probably getting in double what our kids are getting here. Any little bit that we can get, helps.”
With the extra game, the season will most likely start a week earlier now, starting on September 4th and 5th, as opposed to starting on the 10th and 11th.