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Northern Conference realigns back to 3 divisions

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For the second time in two years, the Northern Athletic Conference will institute a realigment for the sports that are fielded by the great majority of its members: boys and girls soccer and basketball, baseball and softball.

This time Section 10 Athletic Coordinator Carl Normandin believes that the NAC has it right.

In the format used for the 2011-2012 school year, the NAC went from three divisions (Central, West, East) to a four-division look (Central, East, West, North).

In the four division setup, Edwards-Knox moved from the West Division into the East and the North was formed by moving Canton and Norwood-Norfolk from the Central and Salmon River, St. Lawrence Central and Brushton-Moira from the East.

For the 2012-13 school year, the NAC will return to three divisions with the Central, West and East.

Edwards-Knox will restore the traditional eight-team Class D NAC West, and Canton returns to the Central, which will now house all of the Class A-B schools with the addition of Salmon River, which will play in the Central for the first time. “We are really glad to be back in the Central,” said Canton Athletic Director Bill Porter. “We never wanted to move.”

Norwood-Norfolk will compete in the new-look NAC East in a division that now features Class C schools in Norwood-Norfolk, Brushton-Moira, Tupper Lake and St. Lawrence Central and Class D schools in Madrid-Waddington, Chateaugay, Parishville-Hopkinton, Colton-Pierrepont and St. Regis Falls.

In girls soccer, boys and girls basketball and softball, the nine East schools will be subdivided for scheduling purposes into the North with Brushton-Moira, Norwood-Norfolk, SLC, Madrid-Waddington and Tupper Lake and the East with Chateaugay, Colton-Pierrepont, Parishville-Hopkinton and St. Regis Falls.

The East will feature eight teams in baseball because Colton-Pierrepont plays lacrosse in the spring and eight teams in boys soccer because Tupper Lake plays football in the fall.

“I really believe that this year’s alignment will work long-term as long as we don’t lose programs because of budgeting problems. It utilizes geography, school size and programs offered by schools,” Normandin said.

“We now have all the Class A and B schools together in the Central, the East has a mix of Class C and D schools and the Class D West is back together,” Normandin added. “Salmon River disagreed with the move to the Central and we understand their position, but it is time for the largest schools of the section to be in one division.”

Edwards-Knox Athletic Director Lori Brewer said that the school, the coaches and communities were all “delighted” to have the Cougars returning to the West.

“Playing in the East was excellent competition but we have great rivalries in the West,” she said. “Our kids missed playing against the kids they have played against all their lives. They especially missed playing against Hermon-DeKalb in league play because the schools are so close.”

The following alignments will be used based on the number of schools participating in soccer, basketball, baseball and softball:

GIRLS SOCCER, B/G BASKETBALL, SOFTBALL

West Division: Clifton-Fine, Edwards-Knox, Hammond, Harrisville, Hermon-DeKalb, Heuvelton, Lisbon, Morristown.

Central Division: Canton, Gouverneur, Malone, Massena, Ogdensburg, Potsdam, Salmon River.

North Division: Brushton-Moira, Norwood-Norfolk, St. Lawrence Central, Madrid-Waddington, Tupper Lake.

East Division: Chateaugay, Colton-Pierrepont, Parishville-Hopkinton, St. Regis Falls.

BASEBALL

West Division: Clifton-Fine, Edwards-Knox, Hammond, Harrisville, Hermon-DeKalb, Heuvelton, Lisbon, Morristown.

Central Division: Canton, Gouverneur, Malone, Massena, Ogdensburg, Potsdam, Salmon River.

East Division: Brushton-Moira, Norwood-Norfolk, St. Lawrence Central, Madrid-Waddington, Tupper Lake, Chateaugay, Parishville-Hopkinton and St. Regis Falls.

BOYS SOCCER

West Division: Clifton-Fine, Edwards-Knox, Hammond, Harrisville, Hermon-DeKalb, Heuvelton, Lisbon, Morristown.

Central Division: Canton, Gouverneur, Malone, Massena, Ogdensburg, Potsdam, Salmon River.

East Division: Brushton-Moira, Norwood-Norfolk, St. Lawrence Central, Madrid-Waddington, Chateaugay, Colton-Pierrepont, Parishville-Hopkinton and St. Regis Falls.

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