School board holds consolidating football programs
Buffalo Public Schools will consolidate from eight football programs to seven next fall. But the district is still considering cutting that number in half in the future.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Several weeks ago, the Athletic Director of the Buffalo Public Schools asked the school board to consider consolidating the city's eight high school football teams to four.
"Our attempt was to help sustain our programs, make them more competitive, build relationships throughout the district," Aubrey Lloyd said.
But Wednesday, Lloyd only recommended the consolidation of International Preparatory's program, which didn't have enough players to field a Junior Varsity team this year. He said he changed his tune in response to feedback from school principals and the community.
"They said you know, this is a great plan," he said. "This is a nice plan. Just give it some time. You need to make sure the community and everyone supports what you're doing."
The board voted in favor of the new recommendation but wants the community to consider the original plan for the future. They said it comes down to safety.
"I don't want any student to be out there, vulnerable in the pursuit of an athletic event through a school," BPS Board Member John Licata said. "It seems counterproductive."
Lloyd said his plan for consolidation will regionalize city schools.
"(There would be) Buffalo North, Buffalo South, Buffalo West, Buffalo East," he said.
It would ultimately affect all sports, not just football.
"I feel as if you're a part of your school. That's kind of like your safe house and if you go to another school and play on their team, how can you represent your school," BPS Student Representative Erika Richardson said. "Say you win the championships, how can you share the trophy."
Some parents at the City Honors basketball game Wednesday said they're open to the idea.
"I would definitely still be open to it as long as it's in the interest of the children," Keith Fulcher said. "If it's because we want to save money and do more with less, than I wouldn't be."
"Instead of having different tiers of levels of coaching and ability, now everybody has the same ability to succeed," Justin Kennerly said.
The board expects to hold public hearings later this year.