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Sleepy Hollow: So Many Athletes, So Few Spots

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Getting cut from a sports team is not a bad thing, Sleepy Hollow parent Ken Torosian told the Board of Education of the Union Free School District of the Tarrytowns at a recent meeting.

“I think it's like a life-lesson thing,” he said. “I really do. Personally I got cut in ninth grade basketball. I really wanted to play basketball--wasn't good enough. I worked really hard in the summer. I played three more years on the JV and varsity basketball team after that.”

Torosian's comments came after Superintendent Howard Smith presented numbers for this year's athletics program. Many sports had too many students who wanted to play on the teams, so they were not able to take everyone.

“The numbers have filled out,” Smith said, noting that previous years had fewer students who wanted to play sports. “Overall, the athletics program is much healthier and is actually representative of a cross-section of our student population as well.”

Field hockey was the only sport where there was insufficient numbers to put together a JV team. Smith noted that the school has seven students who would be on a JV team. To make sure they get opportunities to play and practice, Smith said the school would be letting them rotate during the varsity schedule.

“We just didn't have the numbers to support an actual JV team and full JV schedule this year,” Smith said.

Volleyball saw seven cuts from the varsity and JV teams.

Soccer was the sport that had the most cuts, with nine cuts from the varsity and JV boys' teams and 19 cut from the varsity and JV girls' teams. The number of students who wanted to play in the modified sports soccer program was so large that there will be two separate teams who will alternate games.

After looking at the number of cuts, school board member Craig Laub joked, “We better be competitive if we're cutting this many kids.”

The modified sports programs also saw large numbers. Student athletes in those programs will supplement the core teams so that they get the experience of playing in organized sports.

Smith said the district would love to hire more coaches, specifically for the modified sports programs, but it wasn't in the budget. He also noted that the inclusion of modified sports in the regular athletic program adversely affects it.

“If you're sort of a strong soccer person, you're not going to like it because it dilutes it,” he said. “That's just the price you pay.”

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