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Section VI reached an agreement with officials on Monday night that will allow high school sports to start on time this week. PJ File Photo by Matt Spielman

WEST SENECA – High school sports will start this week as planned.

And the officials will be present.

Section VI and the group that represents officials from all sports reached an agreement on Monday evening.

“At approximately 5:30 p.m. today, Section VI reached an agreement with WNY sports officials. Everyone involved is excited to move forward with Fall Sports on behalf of our member schools and, more importantly, to our student-athletes. We appreciate the assistance of Dr. Robert Zayas and Todd Nelson of NYSPHSAA,” Section VI says in a prepared statement.

The statement was jointly signed by Maureen Donahue, Southwest Central School Superintendent and President-elect of the Section VI Executive Committee; Chris Hope of WNY Sports Officials; and Dr. Robert Zayas, executive director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

“Section VI continues to value the work of our sports officials on behalf of our student-athletes. We look forward to a memorable year of sports in Western New York,” concludes the statement.

Later Monday, Zayas tweeted that the parties had agreed in principle to a five-year contract.

As recently as Friday, officials issued a press release saying “The sticking point lies with Section VI, which is unwilling to raise umpires’ salaries in times of inflation.”

Early Friday afternoon, Zayas tweeted “As a result of ongoing contract negotiations between Section VI and officials, I have requested a meeting Monday in Buffalo. Both groups want a resolution for the betterment of students. I look forward to the meeting. students cannot afford to be negatively impacted by this situation.

Apparently cooler heads prevailed at Monday’s meeting and the parties reached a resolution.

Three women’s football matches were on the Section VI schedule for Monday. Cheektowaga was supposed to host Olmsted and Lewiston-Porter was to host Wilson in the Buffalo area.

Falconer/Cassadaga Valley played Hornell in a match that would have been officiated by Section V umpires.

Men’s soccer is scheduled to start today with Kenmore East at Williamsville East and St. Francis at Orchard Park. In women’s soccer, Silver Creek/Forestville is expected to visit Lake Shore while Fredonia will visit Cassadaga Valley in volleyball.

The Division VI football schedule begins on Thursday when Starpoint hosts Amherst and Lake Shore hosts Dunkirk.

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