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NCCS denied Friends and Neighbors status for 2021

Northern Chautauqua Catholic School is again struggling with Section VI’s regulations in regards to their athletics.

In June, Section VI officials revoked NCCS’s Friends and Neighbors status that allows them to compete against local public schools in modified athletics. The reason for this denial stemmed from the previous NCCS boys modified basketball coach, who committed infractions that violated NYSPHSAA and the New York State Department of Education.

In correspondence with Section VI, NCCS Principal Andrew Ludwig attempted to appeal the decision, as the coach who committed the infraction was no longer working at the school. Ultimately, Ludwig’s appeal was denied, as Section VI upheld its ruling. As it stands, NCCS will not be able to reapply for the Friends and Family Designation until Fall of 2022.

Ludwig accepted the ruling of Section VI, until recently, when he found out that the coach that committed the infraction keeping NCCS out is allowed to coach basketball in Section VI again. Because of that, Ludwig attempted to voice his appeal again.

“It hardly seems fair that this coach, who was also a public high school boys varsity coach last year when he violated Section rules while also coaching at NCCS, be allowed to continue to coach in the Section while the student athletes on our teams are not allowed to compete with the local public school modified teams,” said Ludwig in an email to Section VI officials. “How is it that this coach is not held accountable for his actions but the innocent student athletes at NCCS are punished for his violation of Section VI rules?”

While Ludwig is not calling for the coach to be removed from their new position, stating he has no ill will for the coach, he is asking for what he sees as fair for his kids.

“It seems only fair that if the coach who broke Section VI rules last year is still allowed to coach in the Section,” Ludwig wrote. “Then the innocent Catholic School student athletes at NCCS should be allowed to compete against Section VI athletes at neighboring public schools.

Section VI president Mark DeFillipo wrote back to Ludwig, holding firm to their original stance that NCCS could reapply in 2022, while adding that there would be no further correspondence on the matter.

“Although, you may disagree with our decision, I would ask that you respect that our time is better served working with and for our member schools,” wrote DeFillipo to Ludwig. “I, nor any of our committee members, will engage in any further email correspondences regarding this matter that was settled on June 18, 2021.”

While Ludwig did voice his displeasure for the decision in June, he added that he would have voiced his concerns louder had he known at the time the status of NCCS’s old coach. But with the ruling in hand, Ludwig said that NCCS will be applying for the Friends and Neighbors distinction once again in 2022, and will even revisit their appeal to become a part of Section VI all together.

“As Christians, the Mighty Monarchs of NCCS are forgiving,” Ludwig wrote. “Mighty Monarchs are also strong, tenacious, resilient and brave. You will hear from us again. You can expect NCCS’ Friends and Neighbors application for 22-23 and we may very well be applying once again for admittance to Section VI.”

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