Salem is dropping to the JV level in football this season, the second time in four years the Generals have done this. Low numbers and player safety were the biggest reasons cited — for more on Salem's move, check out my article here.
The Generals had 19 players earlier this week in practice, including six or seven seniors. Those seniors will now be left without a team, as seniors cannot play JV.
It's an unfortunate situation all the way around, because this probably could have been avoided during the spring by merging football with neighboring Cambridge — the same way wrestling has been merged as Salem-Cambridge.
This also leaves Salem's Class D opponents in a major bind two weeks before the season opener.
A few Class D teams were able to pick up Cohoes this season — Cohoes, a Class B team just coming back from a year of JV, is filling some of the Class D open dates as it tries to get the program back on its feet.
Here are the teams affected by Salem dropping to JV:
Week 1 — Warrensburg
Week 2 — Fort Edward (will now play at Cohoes, 9/9)
Week 3 — Hoosic Valley
Week 4 — Helderberg Valley
Week 5 — Granville
Week 6 — Cambridge (will now host Cohoes, 10/7)
Week 7 — Greenwich (will now host Cohoes, 10/13)
Week 8 — Whitehall
Fort Edward watch:
Fort Edward is another team with precariously low numbers — the Flying Forts had only 18 or 19 players in practice late this week. The state minimum to field a varsity team is 16.
Staying healthy is absolutely vital for the Forts. Losing Fort Edward would cost other teams a game in the D's — the Forts play, in order, Helderberg Valley, Cohoes, Cambridge, Canajoharie, Warrensburg, Hoosic Valley, Pawling (Section I) and Rensselaer.
Fort Edward and Salem have both dropped to the JV level in recent years — Salem did so in 2014, the Forts in 2015.