Hoosick-Tamarac athletic merger on track

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HOOSICK, N.Y. — A merger with a handful of sports programs between Hoosick Falls and Tamarac is moving forward, slowly but surely.

But for two of the programs — boys and girls lacrosse — decisions are well into being made.

"[With the lacrosse season starting soon], we're going to try the best we can," said athletic director Tom Husser. "The first year is a real learning experience."

Spring practice begins for varsity and junior varsity on March 9 and for modified on March 23.

There's been meetings with players, coaches and administration from both schools for the five sports that will be merging — boys and girls lacrosse, football, track and field and cross-country. The schools have been working together for the past few months doing their due diligence on the undertaking.

"I've heard a lot of good things," Husser said. "During that meeting, the kids blended right together. We have good coaches at all the levels."

Lacrosse is a new sport at Tamarac, with modified-age athletes competing last season.

In terms of players, the Hoosick boys will have anywhere from 15-18 and Tamarac will have only a couple of players. For the varsity girls, Hoosick has about 15 players and Tamarac will probably provide four or five.

At the JV level, the numbers will be similar for both genders, which will give more kids a chance to play at an age-appropriate level.

"We can have teams at all three levels, which gives everyone an opportunity and that's why we did [this merger]," Husser said.

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Liz Leva will remain the varsity girls coach, while Ken Lorenz will stay as the Hoosick boys coach. Former girls varsity coach Lisa Ferrannini will coach the modified.

"We've had some great discussions, working on things like having some games at Tamarac, maybe a senior day as well," Husser said. "Everyone is pretty open to making this thing work."

For now, the varsity teams will use Hoosick gear, while the modified team will wear Tamarac gear.

"We have a five-year rotation for uniforms and we want to keep that," Husser said. "The kids are working on a change to the name, we're both cat names, so maybe Wildcats or Bobcats."

The mergers won't have an effect on the BEDS numbers, the teams will remain in Class D for lacrosse.

For football and track, the co-op will be in Class C.

For the outdoor track season, Hoosick is going to morph into Tamarac's current team.

"They already have 19 boys and 19 girls and I think we'll send six each to them," Husser said. "For football, if we didn't merge, we wouldn't have had a varsity or JV. We haven't had a JV in four years, and now we get to have it."

Husser said most of the things he's heard from the public have been positive.

"We have to get rid of the Hatfield-McCoy thing to keep our sports," Husser said. "Athletics can be the front porch to your school."


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