Playoffs! - the States |

Playoffs! - the States


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011

The state playoffs began in 1993. The Classes were A, B, C and D. Class AA was created in 1996. There are 11 sections in New York State:
Section 1: Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester counties .
Section 2: Capital District
Section 3: Central New York
Section 4: Southern Tier
Section 5: Genesee Valley
Section 6: Western NY
Section 7: Champlain Area
Section 8: Nassau
Section 9: Orange, Sullivan, Ulster counties
Section 10: St. Lawrence Area
Section 11: Suffolk
Sections 8 & 11 do not participate in the NYS playoffs. Sections 7 and 10 have so few schools that they have no schools in certain categories and have prelimary elimination games to get their schools into the playoffs. In some years in some categories, the entry is just listed as “7-10”, implying that the sections were considered together and the best school from either was issued an invitation.

Here are the won-loss records of each section in each classification in state playoff games, with the number of titles in parenthesis.
SECTION 1 Total: 137-64(24) Class D: 26-14(4) Class C: 35-11(7) Class B: 36-11(7) Class A: 25-15(4) Class AA:15-13(2)
SECTION 2 Total: 93-81(6) D:20-17(1) C:18-17(1) B: 18-17(1) A: 25-16(2) AA: 12-14(1)
SECTION 3 Total: 75-75(10) D: 20-12(5) C: 13-15(2) B:10-18(0) A: 12-18(0) AA: 20-12(3)
SECTION 4 Total: 61-78(9) D: 9-17(1) C: 17-15(3) B: 18-16(2) A: 15-15(3) AA: 2-15(0)
SECTION 5: Total: 102-67(20) D: 19-15(3) C: 19-15(3) B: 16-15(3) A: 24-12(6) AA: 24-10(5)
SECTION 6: Total: 74-70(16) D: 17-14(4) C: 12-16(2) B: 19-14(3) A: 16-14(4) AA: 10-12(3)
SECTION 7: Total: 28-47(1) D: 8-16(0) C: 6-15(0) B: 14-16(1) A: 0-0(0) AA: 0-0(0)
SECTION 9: Total: 22-84(2) D: 3-18(0) C: 2-17(0) B: 3-17(1) A: 6-18(0) AA: 8-14(1)
SECTION 10: Total: 6-34(0) D: 0-1(0) C: 1-4(0) B: 4-12(0) A: 1-16(0) AA: 0-1 (0)

Comments: The best high school football in New York State, (north of New York City), has historically been played in Sections 1 ,2 and 5, (the Hudson River area and the Rochester Area) but Section 6, (the Buffalo area), has had quite a power play in recent years with 8 titles in 2008-09). Central New York is breaking even. Section 3 is 75-75 and has 10 titles, (there have been 86 awarded in nine sections so 9-10 would be average.) The North Country just doesn’t have enough population to compete with the other sections and neither does Section 9, (basically the Adirondacks and the Catskills). The State Playoffs are set up on an East-West basis so Section 3 teams play Section 4 teams, against who they are fairly well-matched and the play the winner of Section 5 vs. Section 6, which is tougher. Sections 1 & 2 get Section 7, 9 or 10 in the first round which is kind of a walk-over. Then they typically face each other in the semis. The teams in the “West” would seem to have a harder road than the teams in the “East”. One wonders if, should sections 8&11 stop “playing with themselves”, there might be a “North-South” look to the playoffs and Section 3 might do better.

It’s interesting to see how some sections do in each class. Assuming that success rate is directly related to the number of schools in each class, Section 4, (the Southern Tier) has little to offer at the level of the smallest and the biggest schools but is pretty competitive in between. Section 3 for some reason, is the opposite, the second best in the state in Class D and better than you’d think in AA but mediocre in C and less than that in A-B. Section 7, (Lake Champlain) is pretty good in Class B but lousy elsewhere, indicating that most of their schools are at that level. Section 6, (Western New York), is better in Class B than in other classifications, although they improved with their historically great years in 2008-9. But Section 5 is mediocre in Class B and excellent in the others.

The New York State Sportswriter’s Association has had rankings since 1969. Originally they ranked all schools together. In 1970 they were divided, (as they should be) between “large” schools and “small” schools. In 1988 they went to Class A, B and “C-D”. Here are the teams, (with section numbers) that won in the polls for the years prior to the start of the state tournament in 1993:
1969 Kenmore West-6 (Utica Notre Dame was #3)
1970 Large: Ithaca-4 (Auburn was #3) Small: Albany Academy-2 (Lafayette was #7)
1971 Large: Farmingdale-8 (White Plains-1 was #2, Corcoran was #11) Small: Pleasantville-1 (Cazenovia was #4)
1972 Large: Farmingdale-8 (Kenmore West- 6 was #2, Auburn was #6) Small: Pleasantville-1 (Solvay was #13)
1973 Large: Vestal-4 (Utica Notre Dame was #7) Small: Pleasantville-1 (Westhill was #12)
1974 Large: Syosset-8 (Buffalo-Canisius-6 was #2 Auburn was #5) Small: Monroe-Woodbury-9 (Oneida was #7)
1975 Large: Vestal-4 (Auburn was #3) Small: Croton-Harmon-1 (Ilion was #14)
1976 Large: Rush-Henrietta- 5 (Jamesville-Dewitt was #12) Small: Penn Yan-5 (Cazenovia was #9)
1977: Large: New Rochelle-1 (Nottingham was #9) Small: Caledonia-Mumford- 5 (Mt. Markham was #12)
1978: Large: East Rochester-5 (Rome Free Academy was #6) Small: Caledonia-Mumford-5 (Oneida was #5)
1979: Large: Union-Endicott-4 (Liverpool was #2) Small: Caledonia-Mumford-5 (Solvay was #3)
1980: Large: New Rochelle-1 (Rome Free Academy was #5) Small: Caledonia-Mumford-5 (Ilion was #7)
1981: Large: Tie between Rome Free Academy-3 and West Islip St. John the Baptist-11 Small: Olean-6 (Solvay was #9)
1982: Large: A four-way tie between Shenendehowa-2, Liverpool-3, Bellport-11 and East Islip-11 Small: Penn Yan-5 (Herkimer was #10)
1983: Large: Tie between St. Francis Prep-NYC and Shenedehowa-2 Small- Tie between Dobbs Ferry-1, Albion-6 and Riverdale-NYC (Holland Patent was #12)
1984: Large: Tie between Shenendehowa-2, Williamsville South-6 and Bronx JFK-NYC (Rome Free Academy was #4) Small: Dobbs Ferrry-1 (Bishop Grimes was #17)
1985: Large: Binghamton-4 (Rome Free Academy was #8) Small: Tie between Dobbs Ferry-1 and Canandaigua-5 (Homer was #3)
1986: Large: Hempstead-8 (Jamestown-6 was #2, Baldwinsville was #13) Small: Homer-3
1987: Large: Liverpool-3 Small: Albion-6 (Indian River was #10)
1988: Class A: Hempstead-8 (New Hartford was #2) Class B: Plainedge-8 (Binghampton-Seton-4 was #2, Nottingham was #8) Class C-D: Taconic Hills-2 (Westmoreland was #5)
1989: Class A: Union-Endicott-4 (Henninger was #22) Class B: Johnstown-2 (New Hartford was #3) Class C-D: Nanuet-1 (Dolgeville was #8)
1990: Class A: Henninger-3 Class B: Garden City-8 (Canadaigua-5 was #2, New Hartford was #4) Class C-D: Watervliet-2 (Ilion was #3)
1991: Class A: Fairport-5 (Rome Free Academy was #2) Class B: Tie between Ossining-1, Batavia-5 and Garden City-8 (Fowler was #10) Class C-D: Watervliet-2 (Dolgeville was #3)
1992: Class A: Susan Wagner-NYC (North Rockland-5 was #2, Rome Free Academy was #5) Class B: Lynbrook-8 (Garden City-8 was #2, VVS was #3) Class C-D: Caledonia-Mumford-5 (Dolgeville was #4)
The following teams have won state titles, (I am including poll champions from 1969-92- if a poll champion was from section 8 or 11, I treated the highest rated team from sections 1-7 and 9-10 as the “poll champion“- if there had been a tournament in those years, they‘d have been in it and winning the poll was the equivalent of winning the tournament in those days):

Section 1:
Bronxville C-2010
Croton-Harmon Poll-1975 (small)
Dobbs Ferry Poll- 1983, 1984, 1985 (small) D-2002 C-2004, 2006
Dover C-1997
Edgemont C-1998, 1999, 2000
Harrison B-1999, 2002
Nanuet Poll- 1989 (C-D)
New Rochelle Poll- 1977, 1980 (large) AA-2003
North Rockland Poll- 1992 (A), A-1993
Nyack A-2000, 2003
Ossining Poll- 1991 (B)
Pleasantville Poll-1971, 1972, 1973 (small)
Rye B-2005, 2006, 2008
Tuckahoe D-2006, 2010
Valhalla D-1996
White Plains Poll-1971 (large)
Yonkers-Roosevelt AA-1996
Yorktown B-1993, 1994
That’s 18 schools that have won 36 state titles

Section 2:
Albany Academy Poll- 1970 (small)
Amsterdam B-1995 A-2005
Cambridge D-1999
Johnstown Poll-1989 (B)
Shenendehowa Poll- 1982, 1983, 1984 (large)
Taconic Hills Poll- 1988 (C-D)
Troy A-1996 AA- 1998
Watervliet Poll- 1990, 1991 (C-D), C- 1996
That’s 8 schools that have won 12 state titles

Section 3:
Auburn AA-2006
Bishop Ludden C-2007
CBA AA-2004
Dolgeville D-2000
Henninger- Poll- 1990 (large)
Homer- Poll- 1986 (small)
Liverpool Poll- 1982, 1987 (large)
New Hartford Poll- 1988 (large)
Onondaga D-2001 C-2002 D-2003
Rome Free Academy Poll- 1981 (large)
VVS- Poll- 1992 (B)
Weedsport D-2004
West Canada D-1997
West Genesee AA-2007
That’s 14 schools that have won 17 state titles

Section 4:
Binghamton Poll- 1985 (large)
Binghamton Seton Poll- 1988 (B)
Chenango Forks B-2003, 2004
Corning East A-2006
Delhi C-2001
Ithaca Poll- 1970 (large)
Maine-Endwell A-2004
Sidney C-2005
Union-Endicott Poll- 1979 (large) 1989 (A)
Vestal Poll- 1973, 1975 (large) A- 1997
Walton C-1994 D-2007
That’s 11 schools that have won 16 state titles

Section 5:
Aquinas A-1998, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2010
Batavia Poll- 1991 B
Caledonia-Mumford Poll- 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 (small) 1992 (C-D), C-1993 D-1994, 1995 C-2003
Canandaigua Poll- 1985 (Mall) 1990 (B), A-1999
Clyde-Savannah D-1993
East Rochester Poll- 1978 (large)
Fairport Poll- 1991 (A) AA-1997
Geneva B-2006
Hornell B-2009, 2010
Leroy C-1995
Penn Yan Poll- 1976, 1982 (small)
Rush-Henrietta Poll- 1976 (large) AA-2010
Webster (Schroeder) AA-1999, 2001, 2002
That’s 13 schools that have won 33 state titles

Section 6:
Albion Poll- 1983, 1987 (small)
Buffalo Canisius Poll- 1974 (large)
Jamestown A-1994, 1995 AA-2000
Lackawanna B-1997, 1998
Maple Grove D-1998, 2008
North Tonawanada AA-2009
Olean Poll- 1981 (large)
Orchard Park AA-2008
Randolph D-2005, 2009
Southwestern C-2008, 2009
Springville B- 1996
Sweet Home A-2008, 2009
Williamsville South Poll- 1984 (large)
That’s 13 schools that have won 21 state titles

Section 7:
Peru B-2001
That’s one school that’s won 1 state title
Section 9:
Monroe-Woodbury Poll- 1974 (small) AA-2005
Roundout Valley B-2000
That’s 2 schools that have won 3 state titles

Section 10:

Section Three always starts out by playing Section 4 in the first round We are 13-2 against them in Class AA, 10-8 in Class A, 8-10 in Class B, (thank you, Chenango Forks, who beat our teams seven times in a row), 8-9 in Class C and 10-7 n Class D, (Section coaches in Classes C and D voted not to send a team to the state playoffs in the first year, 1993). Over all Section 3 is 49-36 vs. Section 4.

If they survive Section 4, the Section 3 champs play the winner of the Section 5 and 6, (basically the Rochester and Buffalo areas) first round game. We’ve done well in Class D, 6-4 (3-2 vs. each), and held our own, 4-4, (3-3 vs. Section 5, 1-1 vs. Section 6), in Class C but been dominated in Class B, 2-6, (1-5 vs. Section 6, 1-1 vs. Section 5), Class A, 2-8, (2-5 vs. Section 5, 0-3 vs. Section 6) and Class AA, 4-9, (3-7 vs. Section 5, 1-2 vs. Section 6). Overall vs. Section 5 they are 12-18 vs. Section 5 and 6-13 vs. Section 6.

The following Section III teams have cleared the quarterfinal hurdle vs. Section 4 and survived the semifinal carnage vs. Sections 5 and 6 to play for the state championship:
1993 Class B Chittenango lost to Section 1 Yorktown 13-23
1996 Class A Whitesboro lost to Section 2 Troy 13-27
1997 Class C CBA lost to Section1 Dover 26-32 (2OT)
1997 Class D West Canada beat Section 1 Bronxville 22-14
2000 Class A Fulton lost to Section 1 Nyack 20-34
2000 Class D Dolgeville beat Section 2 Fort Edward 55-3
2001 Class D Onondaga beat Section 1 Dobbs Ferry 35-7
2002 Class C Onondaga beat Section 1 Briarcliffe 35-6
2002 Class D Dolgeville lost to Section 1 Dobbs Ferry 35-38
2003 Class D Onondaga beat Section 2 Cambridge 41-21
2004 Class AA CBA beat Section 1 New Rochelle 41-35
2004 Class D Weedsport beat Section 1 Tuckahoe 22-11
2006 Class AA Auburn beat Section 9 Monroe-Woodbury 27-26 (1OT)
2007 Class AA West Genesee beat Section 9 Monroe-Woodbury 42-21
2007 Class C Bishop Ludden beat Section 1 Dobbs Ferry 21-16
2008 Class B Oneida lost to section 1 Rye 12-16
2010 Class C General Brown last to Section 1 Bronxville 14-34
Section 3 is 10-7 in state championship games. They lost their first three, then had an incredible 10-2 streak before losing the last two. They are 6-5 vs. Section 1, 2-1 vs. Section 2 and 2-0 vs. Section 9. So if we can survive the semi-finals our chances of winning a state title are pretty good.

This year’s tournament field:

Section 3 West Genesee 10-0 (460-226) state ranking:6 state titles: 2007 vs.
Section 4 Binghamton 7-2 (297-127) state ranking:29 state titles: 1985
Section 5 Rush Henrietta 9-1 (456-171) state ranking:4 state titles: 1976, 2010 vs.
Section 6 Orchard Park 11-0 (498-131) state ranking:2 state titles: 2008
Section 1 North Rockland 9-1 (249-89) state ranking:5 state titles: 1992, 1993 vs.
Section 2 Shenendehowa 10-0 (422-96) state ranking:3 state titles: 1982, 1983, 1984
Sections 7 and 10 don’t have Class AAA schools so Sections 1 and 2 are matched with the winner playing the section 9 champion.
Section 9 Newburgh Free Academy 9-1 (257-58) state ranking:19 state titles: none
The #1 team in the NYSSWA rankings is St. Anthony’s of the Catholic High School League of Metropolitan New York.

Comment: Every school except Newburgh has won a state title before, (although Binghamton and Schenendehowa have not won the state tournament). We think of West Genesee as having an unstoppable offense at 46ppg but Rush-Henrietta has the same average, Orchard Park is averaging 45 and Schenendehowa is at 42, so they won’t be all that impressed. The Wildcats should beat Binghamton but after that they in the deep end of the pool.
Section 3 East Syracuse-Minoa 10-0 (449-94) state ranking:6 state titles: none vs.
Section 4 Maine-Endwell 9-0 (300-61) state ranking:8 state titles: 2004
Section 5 Rochester Aquinas 9-1 (374-100) state ranking:1 state titles: 1998, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2010 vs.
Section 6 Sweet Home 10-0 (305-115) state ranking:3 state titles: 2008, 2009
Section 1 Poughkeepsie 10-0 (361-95) state ranking:2 state titles: none vs.
Section 9 Cornwall 9-1 (354-97) state ranking:10 state titles: none
Section 2 Burnt Hills Ballston Lake 9-1 (295-104) state ranking:2 state titles: none vs.
Section 10 Malone Franklin Academy 9-1 (377-172) state ranking:unranked but MaxPreps has them #5 state titles: none

Comment: Section 3 has never won the state title in Classes A or B. ESM may be the best team we’ve ever sent to the states, judging my their dismantling of on of Whitesboro’s best teams. The Aquinas-Sweet Home battle pairs teams that have won the last four state championships- two each. If the Spartans get pas Maine-Endwell, (who won it in 2004), they will have a heck of challenge in the semis, where Section 3 is 2-8 all-time vs. Section 5 and 6 teams. Who will be the bug and who will be the windshield this year?

Section 3 Chittenango 9-1 (344-117) state ranking: 7 state titles: none vs.
Section 4 Chenango Valley 6-3 (247-152) state ranking:20 state titles: none
Section 5 Hornell 10-0 (478-36) state ranking: 1 state titles: 2009, 2010 vs.
Section 6 Alden 10-0 (331-90) state ranking:3 state titles: none
Section 1 Croton-Harmon 9-0 (316-61) state ranking: 2 state titles: 1975 vs.
Section 9 Marlboro 9-1 (290-125) state ranking: 8 state titles: none
Section 2 Shalmont 10-0 (352-119) state ranking: 4 state titles: none vs.
Section 7 Peru 10-0 (355-127) state ranking: 6 state titles: 2001

Comment: Hornell has won two straight state titles, 37 games in a row and outscored their opponents 1634-327 over that span, an average of 44-9 per game. They are, to say the least the heavy favorites to win a third title in a row but they only beat Alden 21-14 last year and Max Preps has Alden rated the #1 Class B team in the state, so stay tuned.

Section 3 Herkimer 9-0 (389-124) state ranking: 3 state titles: none vs.
Section 4 Waverly 9-1 (377-48) state ranking: 4 state titles: none
Section 5 Wellsville 8-2 (255-154) state ranking: 8 state titles: none vs.
Section 6 Southwestern 9-1 (239-104) state ranking: 5 state titles: 2008, 2009
Section 1 Dobbs Ferry 8-1 (327-55) state ranking:2 state titles: 1983, 1984, 1985, 2002, 2004, 2006 vs.
Section 9 James O’Neill 8-2 (229-142) state ranking: 9 state titles: none
Section 2 Hoosick Falls 10-0 (482-86) state ranking:1 state titles: none
Section 7 Saranac Lake 8-1 (363-125) state ranking: 6 state titles: none
Comment: Only two of these teams are undefeated and two of them have been beaten twice. But two of them are multiple prior state titlists, Southwestern winning in 2008 and 2009.Waverly and perennial state power Dobbs Ferry have impressive defensive numbers and Hoosick Falls has been really dominant. But section 2 hasn’t won this class in 15 years.

Section 3 Westmoreland 10-0 (370-118) state ranking: 3 state titles: none vs.
Section 4 Tioga 8-0 (328-92) state ranking: 4 state titles: none
Section 5: Letchworth 9-1 (404-80) state ranking: 2 state titles: none vs.
Section 6: Maple Grove 9-0 (306-72) state ranking: 1 state titles: 1998, 2008
Section 1 Haldane 8-1 (318-84) state ranking:8 state titles: none vs.
Section 9 Chester 10-0 (397-167) state ranking: 6 state titles: none
Section 2 Cambridge 10-0 (517-88) state ranking: 7 state titles: 1999 vs.
Section 10 Ticonderoga 6-4 (244-131) state ranking:? none but Maxpreps has them at #31 state titles: none

Comment: The above rankings are the New York State Sportwriter’s Association rankings. MaxPreps has Chautauqua Lake as the New York State’s #1 Class D school. Where are they? I did some research and they are in what Section 6 calls “Class DD”, a sub-class of Class D that is a “non-qualifying division for the state tournament“. So they don’t get to compete. Meanwhile Section 6’s Class D consists of 6 teams, all of whom make the playoffs and then the winner, (Maple Grove) gets to play for a state championship. If that isn’t proof that there are too many divisions in high school football, I don’t know what is.

Regarding the resulting field, six of the eight teams have never won a state title and the two winners have won only three of the 18 titles, so it seems pretty wide open. This has been the level section 3 has been most successful at so there can be high hopes for Westmoreland. On the other hand, there’s been a tendency for certain schools that have run up big scores to continue doing so in the state tournament. In 2007 Walton had legendary year in which they entered the states at 10-0 having outscored their opposition 549-28 and having shut out their last eight opponents. They crushed Onondaga 52-14, (in retrospect a good performance by the Tigers), then Section 5’s Bolivar-Richburg 42-0 and Ticonderoga 64-6. That’s 13-0 (707-48), an average score of 54-4! The next year Maple Grove was 10-0 (500-81), then beat Section 5 Dundee 57-12, Walton, the year after their big year, 49-14 and Moriah of Section 7 in the title game 55-7. That’s 13-0 (661-114), an average of 51-9. The next year Randolph of Section 6 lost to Maple Grove 6-7 in their opener and beat then 21-20 in the sectional finals. They came into the states with a much more modest 9-1, (278-108) but really got rolling in the playoffs, beating Dundee of Section 5, 14-6 but then Groton of Section 4 61-6 and Moriah 41-0. Last year Tuckahoe of Section 1 lost only to Class C state champion Bronxville and wound up 10-0 (406-43) vs. Class D opposition. The team that most seems to resemble those this year is Cambridge, who has scored at least 42 points in every game and won each of it’s games by 29 points. They’ve won it before and will be a very formidable contender this year.
Holy mother of mercy! Steve, you are unreal. I look forward to reading this in the morn.

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