Deposit and Hancock have merged for the 2020 high school softball season as the neighboring Delaware County school districts look to ensure the future of the sport while cutting costs.
“This is about opportunity, sustainability and stability,” said Hancock Central School District Superintendent Terry Dougherty, who also serves as president of Section IV Athletics. “We’re thrilled to have another opportunity to collaborate with Deposit.”
The districts have shared services related to athletics and academics since 2012 and announced their joint initiatives for the 2019-2020 school year this past November. Already working together on a code of conduct, coaches’ handbook and official logo for their combined sports programs, Deposit and Hancock will now share the softball diamond as the Deposit/Hancock Eagles.
“When our athletes come together, they have proven to be an unstoppable force,” Deposit Central School District Superintendent Denise Cook said. “We're happy that our combined success continues to allow us to offer solid athletic experiences for our students and community.”
The combined softball squad will have the benefit of two experienced coaches in Deposit’s Dan Briggs and Hancock’s Kim Makowski. Briggs will serve as the Eagles’ head coach after leading the Lumberjacks to the Class D state title last season. Deposit won four state championships over the last five seasons, including three in the last four years under Briggs.
He will be assisted by Makowski, Hancock’s head coach from 2007-2019. The Wildcats never made it to the state tournament, going 0-5 in sectional title games. Makowski’s 2012 squad came the closest, suffering a 5-4 loss to Deposit in the sectional final.
The Eagles will don new uniforms while competing as a Class C program in the Midstate Athletic Conference. Their season starts April 2 at league-rival Unatego (schedule online at https://www.schedulegalaxy.com/schools/124/teams/45271).
The softball merger leaves one Hancock-only athletics program as boys and girls still can bowl for their respective districts. Merged D/H teams that have had recent success include the 2018 Class D state baseball champions and the 2019-2020 Class C girls basketball team, which finished this MAC season in a three-way tie for first place.
In reference to the girls basketball program, Cook recently tweeted: “Together we are stronger. The power of merged teams is amazing. Two towns...one dream!”