Hudson, ICC teams have deal to share pool


HUDSON—The Hudson City School District (HCSD) and Ichabod Crane Central School District (ICC) agreed in late August to merge their swim teams for the 2022-23 season. The two districts are about tied for having the highest student enrollment among Columbia County’s six public school districts.

This will be ICC’s first time participating in high school interscholastic swimming in a few years, ICC’s new Athletic Director Dave Ames said on August 26.

Ichabod once had a swim team, but it has no pool of its own, so it used the pool at Hudson High School.

According to Mr. Ames, HCSD called ICC in late spring and proposed the merger, because the HCSD anticipated the number of qualified students applying for its swim team would be low. The printed agreement gives the reason for merging as “it is in the best interest of both parties to merge,” for the sake of “economy and efficiency.”

Mr. Ames said that merging teams across schools are the way things are done now. Otherwise, for economic reasons, the teams would not be able to survive.

The New Lebanon Central School District’s website shows its sports teams merged with those of the Berlin schools in Rensselaer County. Practices take place at Berlin schools. And Angela Webster, the athletic director of the Taconic Hills Central School District said, on August 30, that for boys soccer and girls soccer, her district and Hawthorne Valley have joint teams.

The merger can take advantage of both districts’ talents, said HCSD Board member Selha Graham on August 28. It will be a good opportunity to develop “synergy” between two districts that are usually rivals.

‘It is in the best interest of both parties to merge.’

Agreement between HCSD and ICC

To have teams share Hudson’s pool

The merger is also consistent with the current interest in Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity policy, Ms. Graham pointed out. HCSD’s student enrollment has over 10% in each of several racial groups, with less than 50% in any one race, while ICC’s 2020-21 enrollment was 83% white.

The merger is a way for ICC students to see and experience more diversity, said Ms. Graham. The demographic mix can only be a “positive” thing, said Mr. Ames, an alumnus of Hudson High School.

According to the agreement, both districts’ coaching staff will jointly determine who shall be eligible for the team. Both districts’ athletic directors will determine the schedule in coordination with each other.

Each district’s swim staff will be employed by that district and paid by that district’s rules. Each district will provide transportation for its own students to and from swim meets, provide its own students with necessary equipment, and facilitate all medical clearances for its own students.

The agreement says that team practice and home meets will be held at the Hudson High School pool, “at no cost to” the Ichabod Crane School District. But Ichabod will provide transportation for its students to and from Hudson High School. And HCSD shall provide and pay for maintenance and other necessities for pool use and “event staff for all home meets.”

The swimming team will be co-ed. In recent years, swim meets have taken place in December and January.

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