Arlington John Jay football games postponed due to lack of referees

The umpire shortage, a statewide problem that has been simmering for years, apparently reached a boiling point Friday when two high school football games involving teams from Dutchess County were postponed.

The lack of available referees forced the rescheduling of the Suffern vs. Arlington on Friday night, which was moved to 6:30 p.m. on Monday. John Jay-East Fishkill also announced that his Friday season opener against the Yonkers Brave would be moved to 7 p.m. Saturday for the same reason.

“I got a call (Thursday) from BOCES saying they wouldn’t have enough officials to cover our game,” John Jay athletic director Maureen Myers said. “It’s tough because we know they’re doing their best to work with the limited resources, but in some cases, it’s like trying to do magic.”

Arlington football player Anthony Colagiovanni performs a defensive line drill during Arlington football practice at Arlington High School in Lagrangeville, NY on Thursday, August 25, 2022. KELLY MARSH/FOR THE POUGHKEEPSIE JOURNAL

What’s worse, Myers said, is that there are upcoming games on the Patriots’ schedule for which there are no assigned officials. This, she said, is a problem that won’t be fixed soon and will likely affect more schools.

“This is most visible because it involves two Class AA varsity teams, but there are times when we don’t have officials for our junior and high school varsity programs and games become scrimmages,” said Arlington athletic director Michael Cring. “It’s a problem across the ranks, and it’s across the state. We’re putting things together the best we can, but people have to understand that we’re on red alert with a shortage of officials these days.”

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