The Suburban Council is back to a two-division format for baseball.
But instead of dividing the league by school size, the divisions are set geographically. The North Division features the four Saratoga County schools (Ballston Spa, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Saratoga Springs and Shenendehowa) along with Niskayuna and Shaker, while the South Division contains most of the Albany County schools (Bethlehem, Colonie and Guilderland) along with the two Rensselaer County entries (Averill Park and Columbia) and Mohonasen.
Most of the league's coaches like the new divisional alignments, but BH-BL coach Paul Deluca said he isn't crazy about having his Class A school in a division dominated by larger Class AA schools.
Basically, I've got to play up [a class] with the exception of two games, said Deluca. "As we saw last year, we have to go out and beat some of these double-A schools if we want to make the playoffs."
The one thing working in the Spartans' favor is that most of the North Division teams are in the midst of reloading their rosters after graduating several starters last year. Shen only has four returning starters, while Shaker has only one returning starter.
"I think the North Division has some unproven pitching and some unproven talent," said Shen coach James Carrese.
The South Division appears to be the power division on paper with Columbia, Bethlehem and Guilderland leading the pack.
"It's going to be tough," said Columbia coach Chris Dedrick. "There's some very good teams in there."
Here is a closer look at the Suburban Council.
Ballston Spa Scotties
Head coach: Kevin Sheremeta
Returning starters: Kyle Baldani (catcher), Michael Shriver (pitcher), Phil DiLorenzo (pitcher), Sam Maxwell (second base), Ryan Cosco (shortstop), Jordan Kaplan (outfield), Chris Curcio (outfield), Tyler Prehoda (outfield), Ryan Kelley (outfield), Keenan Shannon (outfield), Adam Randall (catcher), Tyler Tybuski (pitcher)