Saturday, November 14, 2015

For Troy High, the litmus test is about to begin........

Football season ended for Troy High last week with the loss to Amsterdam. That signaled the end of the fall sports season, so now the focus is on winter sports, such as bowling, swimming (!), and, most of all, basketball.

As we've documented, Troy is in its maiden season as a member of the Suburban Council, cut off from the city's other high schools (LaSalle & Catholic Central, two long time rivals of Troy, will now dicker with Lansingburgh and the rest of the Colonial Council). The closest thing to a territorial rivalry that Troy would have now would be with Averill Park, but the teams are in separate divisions. AP plays in the Blue Division, Troy in the Grey, and therefore, the two teams will meet just once, as the men's teams will meet at Clement Zotto Gym on January 15, while the women, who last met in March at Hudson Valley Community College in the Class A title game, won by Averill Park, will be at Averill Park. The only way the schools meet again after that date would be in the sectionals, which begin in mid-February.

I had read that Troy is in as an "associate" member, which would explain why they're not on the Suburban Council's webpage, although the other schools that made the jump, Albany, Schenectady, and Christian Brothers Academy, are. A strong showing this season might force the league to shuffle the deck next year, and allow for home-&-home games vs. not only Averill Park, but also Columbia, the latter for more nostalgic and parochial reasons.

Columbia men's varsity coach Curtis Sankey played at Troy for coach Joe Geiger in the late 70's & early 80's, and the Blue Devils' only visit to Troy this season is the Flying Horses' home opener on Friday, December 4. However, I have zero confidence that the hometown paper, hamstrung by budget constraints, would actually try to do a feature write-up, as I'm assuming this is Coach Sankey's return to THS for the first time since graduation, prior to the game. As a friend reminded me not too long ago, my late journalism teacher at THS would not approve of the lack of reporting.

The only other major highlight of the season at THS would be the first regular season meeting, on the men's side again, between Troy and perennial Suburban Council power Shenendehowa, which is set for January 29. The women's teams will meet at Shen for the 2nd straight season (the last meeting was last December 23, with Shen winning). With the changes in classification in recent years, Shen is now a Class AA school, as Troy was until dropping down to Class A two seasons ago (after they won the AA title in 2013), and so there is no chance of revisiting the classic sectional matchups between the two schools' women's teams from the 90's.

Given that Troy's fall sports teams outside of football struggled in their first year in the Suburban Council, the pessimist in me believes the hoops teams, despite the belief among media pundits that they will be players for division titles, may also experience some growing pains. We'll all find out together beginning on December 1, when Troy opens vs. Colonie (women's home opener, men on the road).

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