By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
WAVERLY — Waverly returns to the rugged world of Section IV, Class B football this fall, and longtime coach Jason Miller is looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s a great schedule. To my knowledge, we’ve never played U-E, that’s a big contest right off the bat for us.
“Sprinkled in, we have Maine-Endwell early and Chenango Forks to end the regular season,” noted Miller. “In between, we have a lot of competition, including our first home game against Johnson City.
“We have to prepare and take them one at a time,” added Miller. “We have a good core of kids coming back, although we have some major positions to fill.”
The Wolverines, who won Class B titles in 2008 and 2015 (and a Class C title in 2011) have bounced back-and-forth between Class B and C in the last decade.
Miller says Class B is a grind.
“Week to week it’s a battle,” he said.
How tough is Class B?
“To put it in perspective, Owego has never won a Section IV title. They’ve had great teams, and great players in their program, and they’ve never been able to win a sectional title — that's hard to believe.”
Miller believes Waverly will drop back to Class C in 2020, and the program will benefit from this season’s Class B grind.
“Week to week, you just have to be prepared,” he said. “It will make us a better team for the following year when we drop back down to Class C.
“It reminds me a little bit of 2010 when we took a beating in Class B, then came back (in 2011) and won a Class C title,” noted Miller.
“It’s going to be fun … it’s going to be a challenge,” he added.
Eight-man football hasn’t impacted Class B, but there are changes coming that will drastically alter the Class B landscape, says Miller.
“Eight-man has effected (Class) C level a little bit, but it hasn’t really effected Class B and above.
(Class C) lost Edison and Lansing to 8-man football and I think those schools will be 8-man forever now, but the (classification) numbers will bump up quite a bit in 2020, and will bring a lot of the smaller Class B schools down,” notes Miller.
“Class C is going to be the largest classification, by far, in Section IV,” adds Miller. “It will deplete Class B, there will only be three or four teams left ... there will only be nine or 10 teams between the top three divisions (Class B, A, and AA).”
2019 WAVERLY WOLVERINES SCHEDULE
(All games begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.)
Sept. 6 ….. at … U-E
Sept. 13 … vs. … Johnson City
Sept. 20 … at … Maine-Endwell
Sept. 27 … at … Chenango Valley
Oct. 4 …… vs. … Owego
Oct. 11 ….. at … Oneonta
Oct. 19 ….. vs. … Norwich
Oct. 25 ….. vs. … Chenango Forks
Nov. 1-2 … Section IV, Class B semifinals
Nov. 8-9 … Section IV, Class B championship
(Home Games in bold.)
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