By Mike Wertman
Medina Journal-Register — Due to enrollment changes the Section VI Football Federation Class B lineup, which includes Medina and Albion, will have a much different look this fall.
With the number of Class B schools now reduced from 19 to 17 the Class B lineup will in turn be reduced from three to two divisions.
Medina and Albion will be members of the new nine school B North Division which will also include Newfane, Amherst, Cheektowaga, Lew-Port, Maryvale, Burgard and Bennett.
Medina, Albion and Newfane were all members of the B East Division last year while Amherst, Cheektowaga, Lew-Port, Maryvale and Burgard were in the B West Division. Bennett drops down from the A South Division.
“It’s really exciting about the changes, said Medina coach Eric Valley. “We will see some new teams (Burgard, Bennett) and some ones we faced before (Maryvale, Lew-Port, Cheektowaga). It will be interesting.”
Medina has never faced Burgard or Bennett in football and has not met Amherst on the gridiron sine 1951. The Mustangs had Cheektowaga, Lew-Port and Maryvale as division foes at the same time as recently as 2009.
“The B is loaded again with great athletes and great coaches so it will be a battle again every week,” Albion coach Tony Osburn said. “I understand that enrollment changes causes the division changes but it is almost every year. It would be nice to keep the division the same for awhile.”
The remainder of the eight Class B schools will be in the B South Division which will include Alden and Depew, which finished 1-2 a top the B East last fall, along with Eden, Pioneer, Springville, Olean, Dunkirk and East Aurora which comprised the B South a year ago.
Because teams are limited to seven regular season games the B North squads will not face two of the division foes. Medina will not face Newfane and Cheektowaga while Albion will miss Amherst and Bennett.
The biggest change locally though is for Barker/Roy-Hart which last year played as an associate member of the B East Division but was not eligible for the sectionals because by enrollment the team was classified as an A.
However, this year because of changes in state regulations on enrollment for merged teams, Barker/Roy-Hart is classified as a C. Barker/Roy-Hart will compete in the C North Division along with Akron, Wilson, JFK, Cleveland Hill, Lackawanna and Tonawanda.
“It’s nice to be eligible to be in the playoffs,” Barker/Roy-Hart head coach Bill Bruning said. “We’re looking forward to that challenge. It is something for the kids to look forward to and its exciting to play some other N-O schools.”
Akron, Wilson, JFK and Cleve Hill were all members of the C North last year while Lackawanna and Tonawanda drop down after playing in the B West Division last fall.