Carthage’s Jalen Jones scores a touchdown against Indian River during a football game Oct. 4, 2019. The two teams will face each other for the first time in the fall since that game on Sept. 24, 2021. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

In one of the first signs of area fall sports returning to normalcy, Section 3 released the 2021 football schedule for all 73 of its schools Thursday, but with a note about the possible impact the shortage of officials will have on the season.

After a one-year detour into spring football, brought on by precautions to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, the north country’s nine Section 3 football teams return to a typical autumn schedule with a few changes from the last time the section played a regular football slate in 2019.

Most notably, Thousand Islands, which played an abbreviated 8-man football slate this spring, is part of the 8-man division for the first time in 2021, competing with 8-man veteran South Lewis and six other schools in the division.

Carthage and Indian River remain division rivals in an expanded Class A as the class has separated into two divisions and grown from six to 11 teams. Carthage and Indian River will compete in the Class A National division, along with Central Square, Fulton and Whitesboro. The Class A American division contains Auburn, Syracuse CBA, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Jamesville-DeWitt and West Genesee. With the departure of Syracuse CBA, ESM, Fayetteville-Manlius and West Genesee, the Class AA division has shrunk from 11 to six teams.

Carthage is scheduled to open its season Sept. 10 on the road against Fayetteville-Manlius. Indian River is slated to start with a nonleague game against Utica Proctor on Sept. 3 in Philadelphia. Carthage and Indian River will clash in its traditional rivalry game at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at Carthage.

Class B has shrunk from 16 to 11 teams but has expanded from two to three divisions with South Jefferson slotted in the five-team Class B North division with Camden, Mexico, Oneida and Veron-Verona-Sherrill. The other B divisions are the four-team B West (Cortland, Homer, Marcellus and Westhill) and the four-team B Central (CVA, Chittenango, New Hartford and Syracuse Tech). South Jefferson is scheduled to open at home against New Hartford at 7 p.m. Sept. 10.

In Class C, General Brown and Lowville will play in the same C2 division after playing in separate divisions in 2019. The Lions and Red Raiders are part of a seven-team division with Canastota, Holland Patent, Little Falls, Mount Markham and Sherburne-Earlville. The C1 division features Bishop Ludden, Cazenovia, Clinton, Skaneateles, Solvay, Southern Hills and Westmoreland as Class C has been trimmed from three to two divisions with three fewer schools.

General Brown opens at Mount Markham with a 7 p.m. game Sept. 10. Lowville is scheduled to begin with a home game at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 against Holland Patent. General Brown and Lowville are scheduled to clash in the final regular season game of the season at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 in Lowville.

Beaver River and Sandy Creek will play in the five-team Class D North-West division with Cato-Meridian, Onondaga and Adirondack. Class D has split into two divisions with D East featuring Dolgeville, Frankfort-Schuyler, Herkimer, Utica Notre Dame, Sauquoit Valley and Waterville.

Beaver River is scheduled to begin with a nonleague home game against Section 4’s Bainbridge at 7 p.m. Sept. 10. Sandy Creek is slated to play Herkimer in its first game at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 in Sandy Creek. Sandy Creek is scheduled to host Beaver River at 7 p.m. Oct. 1.

In the 8-man division, South Lewis and Thousand Islands will play in the North-West as the division has split into two with four teams each. Thousand Islands is scheduled to play South Lewis at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 in Clayton.

Once called the developmental division, an eight-school group will play as independents. Those teams include Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, Fowler, Hannibal, Jordan-Elbridge, Oswego, Phoenix, Port Byron and Pulaski. The teams will play exclusively against each other.

The section in its schedule announcement cited official shortages throughout the section and said games will be affected by the shortages with the potential for schedule changes based on the availability of officials.

2021 SECTION 3 SCHEDULE

Class A National

Carthage: Sept. 4: (scrimmage) at Lowville, 10 a.m.; Sept. 10: at Fayetteville-Manlius, 7 p.m.; Sept. 17: West Genesee, 7 p.m.; Sept. 24: Indian River, 7 p.m.; Oct. 1: Fulton, 7 p.m.; Oct. 8: at Central Square, 6:30 p.m.; Oct. 15: at VVS, 7 p.m.; Oct. 22: Whitesboro, 7 p.m.; Oct. 29: Playoffs/crossover

Indian River: Sept. 3: Proctor, 7 p.m.; Sept. 10: at West Genesee, 6 p.m.; Sept. 17: Fayetteville-Manlius, 7 p.m.; Sept. 24: at Carthage, 7 p.m.; Oct. 1: at Whitesboro, 7 p.m.; Oct. 8: Homer, 7 p.m.; Oct. 15: Fulton, 7 p.m.; Oct. 22: at Central Square; Oct. 29: Playoffs/crossover

Class B North

South Jefferson: Sept. 4: (scrimmage), TBA; Sept. 10: New Hartford, 7 p.m.; Sept. 17: at ITC, TBA; Sept. 24: at Cortland, 6:30 p.m.; Oct. 1: VVS, 7 p.m.; Oct. 8: Camden, 7 p.m.; Oct. 15: at Oneida, 7 p.m.; Oct. 22: at Mexico, 6:30 p.m.; Oct. 29: Playoffs/crossover

Class C2

General Brown: Sept. 4: (scrimmage), TBA; Sept. 10: at Mount Markham, 7 p.m.; Sept. 17: at Holland Patent, 7 p.m.; Sept. 24: Sherburne-Earlville, 7 p.m.; Oct. 1: Little Falls, 7 p.m.; Oct. 8: Bishop Ludden, 7 p.m.; Oct. 15: Canastota, 7 p.m.; Oct. 22: at Lowville, 7 p.m.; Oct. 29: Playoffs/crossover

Lowville: Sept. 4: (scrimmage), TBA; Sept. 10: Holland Patent, 7 p.m.; Sept. 18: at Cazenovia, 1:30 p.m.; Sept. 24: at Little Falls, 7 p.m.; Oct. 1: Mount Markham, 7 p.m.; Oct. 8: at Canastota, 7 p.m.; Oct. 22: General Brown, 7 p.m.; Oct. 29: Playoffs/crossover

Class D North-West

Beaver River: Sept. 4: (scrimmage), TBA; Sept. 10: at Bainbridge, 7 p.m.; Sept. 17: Frankfort, 7 p.m.; Sept. 24: Onondaga, 7 p.m.; Oct. 1: at Sandy Creek, 7 p.m.; Oct. 8: Adirondack, 7 p.m.; Oct. 15: Waterville, 7 p.m.; Oct. 22: at Cato-Meridian, 7 p.m.; Oct. 29: Playoffs/crossover

Sandy Creek: Sept. 4: (scrimmage), TBA; Sept. 10: Herkimer, 7 p.m.; Sept. 17: at Cato-Meridian, 7 p.m.; Sept. 24: at Adirondack, 7 p.m.; Oct. 1: Beaver River, 7 p.m.; Oct. 29: at Dolgeville, 1:30 p.m.; Oct. 15: Onondaga, 7 p.m.; Oct. 22: Delaware Academy, 7 p.m.; Oct. 29: Playoffs/crossover

8-Man North-West

South Lewis: Sept. 4: (scrimmage), TBA; Sept. 11: at New York Mills, noon; Sept. 17: Morrisville-Eaton, 7 p.m.; Sept. 24: at Tupper Lake, 7 p.m.; Oct. 1: West Canada Valley, 7 p.m.; Oct. 8: Weedsport, 7 p.m.; Oct. 15: at Thousand Islands, 7 p.m.; Oct. 22: Bishop Grimes, 7 p.m.; Oct. 29: Playoffs/crossover

Thousand Islands: Sept. 4: (scrimmage), TBA; Sept. 11: at Morrisville-Eaton, noon; Sept. 17: West Canada Valley, 7 p.m.; Sept. 25: at Cooperstown, 2 p.m.; Oct. 1: Bishop Grimes, 7 p.m.; Oct. 8: at Tupper Lake, 7 p.m.; Oct. 15: South Lewis, 7 p.m.: Oct. 22: at Weedsport, TBA; Oct. 29: Playoffs/crossover

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