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Fulton County schools allowed to play basketball

The local high school basketball teams had something to cheer about Friday.

Late Friday afternoon, it was announced by the Fulton County Department of Health that teams can begin play starting Tuesday.

However, the boys and girls teams — Gloversville, Johnstown, Broadalbin-Perth, Mayfield and Northville — cannot travel to play outside of Fulton County.

Teams in Montgomery and Saratoga counties have been playing since Feb. 10 with the restriction also of playing only schools within their county.

Spectators will not be allowed at games.

However, districts plan to use live streaming for parents and fans.

“We are beyond excited that the girls are going to have the opportunity at both the varsity and JV level,” Mayfield girls varsity coach Brian Moore said. “With Fulton County’s COVID rate among the highest in the state we were keeping positive knowing that our window of opportunity was getting less. We are very thankful to Fulton County Health for reconsidering and giving us this opportunity to get the girls on the court. I sent a group text to the team and the girls were beyond elated. We are not there yet, but our first game is next Thursday [vs. Johnstown]. Hopefully we can get there safely and keep the girls on the court.”

On Jan. 22, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that high-risk sports could start Jan. 25 but placed local decision-making in the hands of each county’s Department of Health and each individual school district.

In order for high-risk sports to start, the Fulton County Public Health Department required the county’s seven-day rolling average percent positivity (as calculated by NYSDOH) be at or below 4 percent. If that number is above 4 percent, DOH guidelines say that ‘activities must be restricted to individual or distanced group training or organized no/low-contact group training.”

Friday, despite the 7.4 percent seven-day rolling average, teams were given permission to begin play next week following Section II protocals for competition.

Gloversville and Broadalbin-Perth are scheduled to tip-off play Tuesday with the boys playing in Gloversville at the girls in Broadalbin.

“I got the call today from our athletic director [Mike DeMagistris] and it caught me off-guard a little bit,” first-year Gloversville varsity head coach Ed Collar said. “I was surprised because I was anticipating them not allowing us to play. So it was great news. I texted the team right away and you could tell by their responses they were extremely happy. We are really excited and looking forward to playing next week.”

The Johnstown Sir Bills will open play on Thursday against Mayfield.

“It is exciting to get the opportunity to get out on the court,” Johnstown varsity coach Phil Satterlee said. “I didn’t get the official word until after practice Friday so I haven’t told them in person yet, but I know they are ready to go. They have been antsy and chomping at the bit anyways.”

The Sir Bills will field a varsity squad only.

“We are a young team with only two returning players and a handful of underclassmen,” Satterlee said. “This will be a good developmental year. We are excited to get out and compete. That’s the big thing. We just finished our first full week. We had tryouts until Wednesday and practice Thursday and Friday and I have five guys who are quarantined. They will be out of it next week, so hopefully we will get the whole team together and go through our stuff.”

The Northville Falcons will start play on Saturday against Broadalbin-Perth.

“Today [Friday] was actually our first day of practice and I found out about an hour into the practice,” Northville boys varsity coach John Karbowski said. “We are going to have to get all our practices in before we can start but we will be ready to go. It was nice to see the smiles on their faces, especially after I told them. I think it is going to be very good competition and we are excited to be able to play.”

The Fulton County League nine-game schedule starts on Tuesday and wraps up on March 13.

It has nearly been a year since any of the area teams have been on the court.

“Overall, I am just happy for the kids, especially our seniors — Carlos Matos, Dom Proietti, Mekhi Lanier — getting a chance to play,” Collar said. “We try to scrimmage at least a half hour every practice and their faces light up because they haven’t played in almost a year. I can’t wait to see their faces — at least their eyes [because the players must wear masks] — when they get in a game. I am excited to see them get out there and see what they can do.”

The Fulton County schools feature a variety of school sizes and leagues.

Gloversville (Class A), Johnstown (Class B) and Broadalbin-Perth (Class B) all compete in the Foothills Council, while Mayfield (Class C) and Northville (Class D) compete in the Western Athletic Conference.

Despite the size differences, Moore said it will still be good basketball.

“It should be good competition across the board,” he said. “It will be a great opportunity for our girls to go out and show what they have. We have a young group and they are eager to get on the court. I definitely thank our school board and our Superintendent for giving us this opportunity as well.”

Fulton County Basketball Schedule

BOYS

Tuesday, February 23

Broadalbin-Perth at Gloversville, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, February 25

Gloversville at Broadalbin-Perth, 6:30 p.m.

Mayfield at Johnstown, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 27

Mayfield at Gloversville, 12:30 p.m.

Northville at Broadalbin-Perth, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, March 1

Northville at Mayfield, 6:30 p.m.

Johnstown at Gloversville, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 3

Johnstown at Northville, 6:30 p.m.

Broadalbin-Perth at Mayfield, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, March 5

Broadalbin-Perth at Johnstown, 6:30 p.m.

Gloversville at Northville, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 6

Broadalbin-Perth at Gloversville, 12:30 p.m.

Johnstown at Mayfield, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 9

Gloversville at Mayfield, 6:30 p.m.

Broadalbin-Perth at Northville, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 10

Mayfield at Northville, 6:30 p.m.

Gloversville at Johnstown, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, March 12

Northville at Johnstown, 6:30 p.m.

Mayfield at Broadalbin-Perth, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 13

Johnstown at Broadalbin-Perth, 12:30 p.m.

Northville at Gloversville, 12:30 p.m.

Note: Junior varsity games start at 5 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends.

GIRLS

Tuesday, February 23

Gloversville at Broadalbin-Perth, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, February 25

Broadalbin-Perth at Gloversville, 6:30 p.m.

Johnstown at Mayfield, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 27

Gloversville at Mayfield, 12:30 p.m.

Broadalbin-Perth at Northville, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, March 1

Mayfield at Northville, 6:30 p.m.

Gloversville at Johnstown, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 3

Northville at Johnstown, 6:30 p.m.

Mayfield at Broadalbin-Perth, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, March 5

Johnstown at Broadalbin-Perth, 6:30 p.m.

Northville at Gloversville, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 6

Gloversville at Broadalbin-Perth, 12:30 p.m.

Mayfield at Johnstown, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 9

Mayfield at Gloversville, 6:30 p.m.

Northville at Broadalbin-Perth, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 10

Northville at Mayfield, 6:30 p.m.

Johnstown at Gloversville, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, March 12

Johnstown at Northville, 6:30 p.m.

Broadalbin-Perth at Mayfield, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 13

Broadalbin-Perth at Johnstown, 12:30 p.m.

Gloversville at Northville, 12:30 p.m.

Note: Junior varsity games start at 5 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends.

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