FIFTY YEARS AGO…
Monticello Tries Again to Enter Orange County League
by John Conway
MONTICELLO, June 2022 — After rejecting its application for admission to the league four different times, including just two months before, the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association voted in June of 1972—50 years ago this month—to take up the matter of admitting Monticello High School.
Monticello had been playing as an independent ever since the DUSO League in which It had competed for decades folded two years before.
Fallsburg Central School was in a similar position, and had its application to the Orange County League denied three times. After the third attempt failed, the school turned its attention to the smaller Ulter County Athletic League, and applied there.
Monticello, however, refused to give up trying to gain admission to the OCIAA. And in June of 1972, officials from Section IX, in which the league competed, recommended that the Monticello application be approved.
“In a statement released Wednesday, Harold Innocent, the OCIAA Executive Secretary, said, ‘If it is passed, Monticello will be admitted into the OCIAA in September of 1973,’” the Times Herald-Record newspaper reported in a June 15, 1972 article. “’In the meantime, it is also recommended that all OCIAA schools strive to include Monticello in as many non-league sports contests as possible,’ Innocent continued. ‘The reason being that our sports schedules, especially for the fall, are completed, and the OCIAA wishes to survey their entire sports picture with the possibility of realignment within the league, if and when Monticello is accepted.’”
The Record also reported that Section IX officials had made their recommendation that the OCIAA reconsider the Monticello application after both Monticello and Fallsburg had filed formal complaints against league officials after their latest rejections.
Monticello eventually gained acceptance into the league and began competing as league member in the fall of 1973. It was the fourth largest school in the OCIAA at the time of its acceptance. The school still competes in the league.