The Southern Connecticut Conference looks to have finally found its 20th team for football.
The Hyde/Career/Whitney Tech co-op team will be leaving the Pequot Conference and join the SCC next fall. Erik Patchkofsky, New Haven’s acting supervisor of athletics, emailed Pequot president Jeff Swan and the league’s athletic directors Tuesday notifying them of the co-op’s decision.
“I feel like with the coaching staff and the players we have, we can be a competitive team in Division 2 in the SCC,” Patchkofsky said. “I think we will grow as a result of being there and I think more kids will want to participate.”
This move is only for football. Hyde will remain in the Shoreline Conference for all other sports.
Hyde does bring an impressive resume, winning four Class S state championships (2000, 2004, 2005 and 2009) in as many appearances in a final. Hyde’s last appearance in the Class S playoffs was in 2012.
Patchkofsky cited in his letter transportation logistics and cost, especially now with players from three schools participating, as one of the biggest reasons for leaving the Pequot.
The co-op will finally replace Derby, which left the SCC following the 2008 season. Since then, nine SCC teams per season have had byes in its league schedule between weeks two through nine that weren’t always filled with non-conference games.
“We’ve always been trying to get that 20th team and it’s been a standing item for the last eight years since Derby left (to bring Hyde in),” SCC commissioner Al Carbone said. “It became heightened when one of our member schools (Career) became part of the co-op. I think when people are open to having a discussion, that’s all you are asking for.”
There is an SCC league meeting on Thursday, where it is expected to formally approve the co-op team as the 20th member and having it placed in Division 2. But this does not resolve the scheduling situation, which is on a one-year stop-gap schedule.
While North Haven looks to be the team to move from Division 2 to Division 1, Wilbur Cross, Amity and Hamden all expressed significant interest last fall to move to Division 2.
“We have to find a more permanent solution,” Carbone said.
This move comes on the heels of five schools (Norwich Free Academy, Ledyard, Fitch, East Lyme and New London) deciding to remain in the Eastern Connecticut Conference instead of bolting for the SCC two weeks ago