Hudson Valley Sports Report

HS FOOTBALL: New York State denies Lourdes football appeal; Warriors will play up in Class A in the fall as it also loses two captains to transfer

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has denied the appeal by Our Lady of Lourdes High School to remain in Class B for the 2015-16 football season, athletic director Matt Pascale confirmed today.

Seemingly out of options after the ruling by the NYSPHSAA, the Warriors’ football program will now play up a class in Section One’s Class A — at a time when two two-way starters and team captains, Allan Rappleyea and Dan Cox, are transferring to the Milton Academy. The transfers happened weeks ago and are unrelated to the state ruling.

“Our Lady of Lourdes exhausted all avenues afforded to us during the appeal process. Playing a Class A schedule will certainly be challenging for our program yet I am thankful to have a dedicated and seasoned individual in Coach Brian Walsh to lead the helm,” Pascale said in a statement provided to HVSR.

Pascale’s biggest concern has been the safety issue of playing against larger schools.

“I certainly have concerns over the schedule handed to us by Section I. Lourdes has been ranked number 4 out of 19 Class A schools and, I would argue, that ranking would be generous in Class B especially since two of our Captains and two-way players are transferring,” he said. “I wish Allan and Dan all the best at the Milton Academy. These are quality individuals who, more than anything else, truly represent the essence and character of student-athletes. They will always be welcome at Lourdes and I will miss our exchanges in the weight room and on the field.”

Lourdes is technically a Class B school going strictly by the BEDS enrollment numbers. But, just as with the school’s girls basketball program playing at the Class AA level, the Section One Alignment Committee felt the football team’s recent success – two Class B sectional titles in the last three years – warranted the move.

Section One Executive Director Jennifer Simmons previously told HVSR that the section was only following a state mandate to review private, parochial or charter schools participating in public school athletic leagues.

With the appeal denied by the state, it appears that the Section One football schedules for Classes A and B, which came out two weeks ago, are now set in stone.

Rich Thomaselli

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