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Golden Bombers vs. Magicians for the last time?

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Herkimer Magicians took on the Ilion Golden Bombers Friday night. The two football teams are rivals but also two teams that could soon be one if the merger combining the Mohawk, Ilion and Herkimer school districts is approved.

The Magicians facing the Golden Bombers possibly for the last time, brought mixed emotions from the crowd.

"It's tough because you're looking at two teams right now, if they merge, it's down to one team, so it's half the kids," said Todd Gookins the father of an Ilion cheerleader.

With the first 3 district school merger vote just days away, Gookins wonders how all the students will still play sports if a merger is approved or where and who the teams will play as one combined district.

The questions and concerns filled the heads of parents and students.

"I'm really nervous because I don't know what teams I'm gonna make," said Herkimer 8th grader Codi Gay. "I mean I'm not that bad at sports but I feel bad for like a lot of my friends we are really nervous we don't know what teams we're gonna make or anything."

The merger is anticipated to bring more opportunities in sports, extracurriculars and classes for students in the Herkimer, Ilion and Mohawk school districts. But, do the benefits outweigh losing the Golden Bomber, Magician, or Mohicans identities is something the residents will soon have to decide.

"I would like to see my son get the best education he can you know I want to support it but in the same sense they are Magicians and you'd like to see everybody stay their own identity," said Jamie Luppino whose son is on Herkimer's Modified Football team. "I've heard good and bad I just take it all in and just wait and see what happens to move forward."

The three district school merger Advisory Referendum (straw vote) is Wednesday, September 12th, followed by a Statutory Referendum October 18th.

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