Longtime football rivals Thomas R. Proctor High School of Utica and Rome Free Academy are back where most feel they belong -- together, again.
Whitesboro's Warriors are playing only three league games.
And Notre Dame and Mount Markham are among those reclassified schools.
Those are just a few of the many changes local high school football fans can expect when Section III kicks off its regular season - yes, once again - before Labor Day and the first day of classes.
Section III's 2018 football schedules were released on Monday, and one of the many moves has Proctor's Raiders and RFA's Black Knights playing in the same Class AA-2 division for a change. Proctor opens up with a nonleague, Kickoff Classic game against Binghamton of Section IV at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, and the Raiders travel to RFA Stadium for a Friday night league game on Oct. 5.
RFA and new head coach Jake DerCola open up with two nonleague home games - against Nottingham on Aug. 31 and Whitesboro on Sept. 7.
After winning a third straight Section III Class A title and reaching the state semifinals for the second year in a row, Whitesboro's Warriors are in a Class A South Division with Auburn, East Syracuse-Minoa and Jamesville-DeWitt. Auburn and Central Square - now one of five Class A North teams - played Class AA football last year, when there was only one, nine-team Class A division.
"This is nothing new - change is just something the As have learned to live with," said Whitesboro's Tom Schoen, who will return his 46th season as the head coach of the Warriors.
Schoen became the winningest football coach in Section III history last fall, and his Warriors will open the 2018 season at home against Auburn on Friday night, Aug. 31. The Warriors also have home games against Central Square and Pine Bush, a Section IX school in Orange County, at Chiz Frye Memorial Field.
Class A will return to eight-team playoffs, with the top three teams in each division and two wild-card teams advancing to the Section III quarterfinals.
There are still eight teams in the Class B East Division - including holdovers Camden, Cazenovia, Central Valley Academy, Mexico, New Hartford, Oneida and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill - but newcomer Chittenango has replaced Notre Dame High School's Jugglers, now playing Class C football in the Southeast Division.
Two Class B East openers will be played at the Carrier Dome - New Hartford vs. Oneida and VVS vs. Central Valley Academy.
Two newcomers - Notre Dame from Class B and Mount Markham from Class D - join Adirondack, Canastota, Clinton, Holland Patent, Little Falls and Sherburne-Earlville in an eight-team, Class C Southeast Division. Notre Dame's Jugglers are searching now for a replacement for DerCola, who is taking over at RFA after four years as Notre Dame's head coach.
Defending Section III champion Dolgeville remains in the Class D East with familiar foes Frankfort-Schuyler, Herkimer and West Canada Valley. Sauquoit Valley, Waterville and Westmoreland - Class D Central members a year ago - are back in the Class D East, and Morrisville-Eaton will play in the Class D Northwest.
Cooperstown, New York Mills and Oriskany will again play in an eight-man football league with Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, Bishop Grimes, Pulaski and South Lewis.
There also is a new Section III 'Developmental League' that includes Fowler, Oswego, Phoenix and South Jefferson.