Leading off today:
Two large upstate city school districts. Two large problems related to athletics.
And only one organization moving in the right direction.
First the good: The Buffalo Public Schools' Syracuse Cup swimming league had long conducted its season in the winter. Because the Section 6 and NYSPHSAA official season is in the fall, female swimmers from Buffalo schools were unable to compete in sectionals or the state meet.
That's about to change. The Buffalo Public Schools has formed a single district team under the City Honors banner. The Buffalo News reports there are 28 girls from four high schools and two junior highs taking part.
In the first event of their first meet last week, the Centaurs' 200 medley relay quartet of Mei Brenner-Herkey, Julia Penchaszadeh Robert, Isabelle Brown and Cecilia Brown qualified for sectionals in early November with a time of 2:13.79.
"It means so much," said Isabelle Brown, a senior. "I'm really excited to go out there and show them what we're made of."
And then there's the other extreme in Syracuse, where athletes in multiple sports are closing in on going what might be a decade of being unable to show what they're made of -- at least not on home turf.
Last week, Syracuse.com updated a story it's reported on several times over the years. The latest update is that Fowler High, which hasn't had a home football or soccer field since 2009, will not be clear of construction until (at least) 2018, a year later than previously estimated.
Today, the Syracuse.com editorial board took the bureaucrats to task.
"That would make nine years and two generations of high school students who have never enjoyed home-field advantage, who have traveled to every game, who have always had to import cheerleaders and fans, and who have been made to feel 'lesser' for seven years -- and counting.
"That in itself is a shame.
"The probability that Henninger High School will replace one of its two turf fields before Fowler gets any field adds insult to injury. At its Sept. 14 meeting, the school board is set to vote on spending $2.6 million from its reserves to renovate Henninger's playing field. The school board wants you to know it's not a matter of choosing one school over the other ... but it sure feels that way."
With a BEDS figure of 740, Fowler is less than half the size of Henninger and seems to be getting none of the love.
Following up: Speaking of public school districts with problems, the situation at Grand Street Campus, the defending PSAL football champion, remains mostly unclear and completely unresolved.
Coach Bruce Eugene continues to maintain he does not know why he was suspended Aug. 31. Players and supporters rallied last week at the Department of Education's Manhattan office. They called on city officials to remove school head Dr. William Jusino, alleging he took money raised for the football program.
Grand Street parents expected to meet with school officials last Friday. Administrators subsequently canceled the meeting.