With the announcement earlier this week of the Section V football schedule — albeit a condensed one — the excitement has begun to build for what is now the 2021 high school football season. On March 1 the teams will begin a nearly three-week preseason training and practice session, followed by games set to commence on the weekend of March 19-20.
Though it is just an abbreviated, six-game schedule with a reduced sectional tournament with no state tournament, this is what football players and coaches have been waiting for since the start of the pandemic nearly a year ago.
The Fall II Sports Season — which includes boys volleyball, competitive cheerleading and girls volleyball — is set to have its regular season end on April 23, while sectionals must be completed by May 2.
The start date for the Spring Sports Season — which includes baseball, boys golf, boys lacrosse, boys tennis, girls lacrosse, softball, and track & field — is April 19.
When the football regular season kicks off, there will be plenty to be on the lookout for, including traditional Class C teams Caledonia-Mumford/Byron-Bergen and Avon moving into an already tough Class D bracket, won by Notre Dame last season. Throw in Alexander (last year’s Class D runner-up) and Clyde-Savannah and those five teams will all battle it out in the regular season for a spot in the sectional tournament as all five will meet each other.
Cal-Mum/B-B looks as though it will have the toughest run of the bunch as the Raiders will open their season with Avon, Notre Dame, Clyde-Savannah and Alexander in succession. Likewise, the Fighting Irish won’t have an easy track back to the title game as games against Cal-Mum/B-B, Avon, Clyde-Savannah and rival Alexander all come in a row from week two to week five.
Class C will also see a big-time change as traditional Class B squad Livonia will be dropping down, creating a difficult challenge for teams such as Le Roy, which also has tough contests against Attica, ER/Gananda and Letchworth/Warsaw along the way.
However, as was expected when the rumor of a condensed schedule was announced, one game is glaringly absent from the schedule — the annual rivalry game between Le Roy and Cal-Mum (Byron-Bergen).
Even with the move to Federation scheduling, the game has continued to go on. With New York State approving an eighth regular season game to the schedule this season, the annual contest between the Oatkan Knights and the Red Raiders was still going to be played, despite Cal-Mum/B-B moving to Class D. The game was scheduled to open the regular season for both teams.
However, because of the pandemic and the move of football to the spring with a shortened schedule, one of New York State’s top rivalry games will not be played.
While the Le Roy/Cal-Mum/BB rivalry certainly isn’t what it used to be with the Cal-Mum merger with Byron-Bergen, it is still the longest running rivalry in this area, starting all the way back in 1900 when Cal-Mum won the two of three games played that year.
The two programs would play every year up until 1955-1964 when Le Roy opted to join the ultra competitive Central Western League, playing teams like Irondequoit, East Rochester, Webster, Fairport, Batavia and Canandaigua.
The Le Roy/Cal-Mum rivalry joined back in 1965 and has continued ever since.
Cal-Mum/(Byron-Bergen) leads the all-time series 45-41-2, with Le Roy having won four of the last seven matchups, including a 20-6 victory last season as the Oatkan Knights would take an unbeaten record all the way to the Class C sectional final.
Up until the Cal-Mum merge with Byron-Bergen, the Red Raiders led the all-time series 42-38-2, however Le Roy holds a 5-4 advantage when it comes to the postseason.
Impressively, the two programs have combined for 30 sectional titles, 15 each. While Le Roy’s lone state championship came in 1995, the Cal-Mum program has won four state crowns, the last coming in 2003.
However, despite the numbers of history, it’s been a relative rough go for these two proud programs over the last number of years.
Le Roy’s last sectional title came in 2014 during legendary head coach Brian Moran’s final season, while Cal-Mum/BB picked up the last block between the two teams in 2017.
With no Route 5 Rivalry on the schedule, Le Roy is scheduled to open up the season at home at Hartwood Park on March 19 against Dansville, while as previously mentioned the Red Raiders will begin the season with Avon at home at Hamilton Field.