SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The Section III football committee released the division realignments for the upcoming 2023 year, which included the abolishment of one entire division.
In 2022 there were seven divisions, classes AA though D, 8-Man, and Independent, but there were no Mohawk Valley teams that played in the Independent division. The teams that did play in that division weren’t allowed to participate in sectionals and also weren’t allowed to play non-independent schools. Section III has made the decision to absorb the Independents, which allows them to play other Section III schools, but still barring them from sectional play. The former Independent schools are now split into separate leagues based on their size, the league designations now A/AA2, B2, and C/D2. At the end of the year those classes will play for an individual league title that replicates a sectional playoff. Classes AA, A, B, C, D and 8-Man remain and will be the six classes with the ability to win a sectional championship.
Two Mohawk Valley teams have moved classes and will now be ineligible for sectionals, Notre Dame and Sherburne-Earlville moving to the Class C/D2 league after participating in Class D last year. Notre Dame went 2-6 overall wile S-E was 2-7.
In other classes there was some movement among teams that sit on the borders between classes. Rome Free Academy and Henninger will compete in Class A in the regular season but then move to AA in the playoffs with the winner of their head-to-head matchup being the seven seed and the loser the eight seed. New Hartford drops from Class A toto Class B, Vernon-Verona-Sherrill joins them in Class B after being in Class C last year, Little Falls goes up a class from D to C filling in one of the spots left by either VVS, Clinton, or Westmoreland, the Bulldogs moving to Class D and the Warriors switching to 8-Man. Also joining 8-Man is Waterville, the Indians had to forfeit games in 2022 due to a lack of eligible players.