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Keeping it in the Ravena football family

VanDerzee promoted to state football chairman; Dorrance leads Section 2

Gary VanDerzee, left, has been named the football committee chairman by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

Gary VanDerzee, left, has been named the football committee chairman by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

— Gary VanDerzee is no longer the Section 2 football chairman.

That’s because the long-time Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk coach is now the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s football chairman.

VanDerzee was approved to replace Dick Cerone as the state football chairman at NYSPHSAA’s summer meeting Monday, July 28. Cerone had been at the helm for 33 years before stepping down.

“It’s an exciting opportunity, and we’ll try to continue what Dick Cerone did … and try not to mess it up,” said VanDerzee.

To replace VanDerzee as Section 2 football chairman, the committee stuck with the RCS coaching staff and promoted Bob Dorrance to the position.

“I loved being on the committee, but I never thought about becoming the chairman. It wasn’t even on my radar,” said Dorrance, who joined the section football committee in 2007. “This just fell into my lap, and what a great opportunity for me that presented itself out of the blue.”

“Bob has been on the committee for the last several years,” said VanDerzee, who spent the past 17 years as sectional chairman. “He’s worked closely with me, and he’s gained a lot of respect from the Section 2 football coaches.”

VanDerzee said in some ways, being the state football chairman is similar to being the sectional chairman. He’ll be coordinating dates and sites for championship games, he’ll be looking at classification numbers for all the schools and he’ll be dealing with participation and safety issues. The difference is that he’ll be doing all of that at the state level.

“I’ve talked to Dick Cerone, and he’s given me a timetable to follow,” said VanDerzee. “You have to do certain things by a certain time. You have to coordinate with the people at the Carrier Dome (in Syracuse) to set the dates and times for the state finals, as well as the folks out west and in Kingston for the regionals and state semifinals. You have to make certain all of the footballs are ordered for the season.”

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