BY MICHAEL KELLY
CLIFTON PARK — The calendar won’t deem it autumn for roughly another month, but that did not stop area high schools from starting up practices for their fall sports teams on Monday.
Most Shenendehowa teams won’t start official competition until early September, but that does not mean it is too early to look ahead to some of the most important dates on the fall sports calendar.
Minus postseason competitions, here are 10 of the most-anticipated sporting events this fall for the Plainsmen, as presently scheduled:
HELLO, NEW FOE
Who: Shenendehowa golf
When: Aug. 24, 2 p.m.
Where: The Edison Club
What: The Plainsmen’s first athletic contest of the year, Shenendehowa golf’s debut also doubles as the school’s first league matchup against one of the Suburban Council’s new schools in the form of CBA.
Who: Shenendehowa girls’ swimming and diving
When: Sept. 2, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Shenendehowa Aquatics Center
What: After an epic rivalry a year ago, the Shenendehowa and Niskayuna girls’ swimming and diving teams take on one another in what will be a pivotal early-season Suburban Council matchup.
Who: Shenendehowa field hockey
When: Sept. 4, 4:15 p.m.
Where: Saratoga Springs High School
What: The Plainsmen take on the Blue Streaks in a rematch of last year’s sectional final that featured a result Shenendehowa will look to atone for in this contest.
TO THE DOME
Who: Shenendehowa football
When: Sept. 5, 5 p.m.
Where: Syracuse Carrier Dome
What: The defending Section II Class AA football champions kick off their season at the home field of the Syracuse Orange against perennial state power Canisius.
A RUN IN THE PARK
Who: Shenendehowa boys’ and girls’ cross country
When: Sept. 8, 4:15 p.m.
Where: Saratoga Spa State Park
What: Against Guilderland and Saratoga Springs, the Plainsmen runners get their first taste of the season of the area’s top distance course.
SUPER BOWL REMATCH
Who: Shenendehowa football
When: Sept. 18, 7 p.m.
Where: Shenendehowa High School football field
What: Head coach Brian Clawson’s group will welcome CBA in Week 3 for a rematch of last year’s Section II Class AA Super Bowl — which Shenendehowa won in a thriller, 25-20.
TAKING ON THE CHAMPS
Who: Shenendehowa boys’ volleyball
When: Oct. 2, 4:15 p.m.
Where: Shenendehowa High School main gymnasium
What: Bethlehem is the five-time defending Section II Division I champion and topped the Plainsmen a year ago in the title match, so head coach John Coletta’s squad will be looking to show it has what it takes to break Bethlehem’s streak this season.
WORTH THE WAIT
Who: Shenendehowa boys’ soccer
When: Oct. 13, 7 p.m.
Where: Niskayuna High School
What: Last year’s Section II Class AA final in this sport went the Plainsmen’s way with a 1-0 decision against Niskayuna, and this game will be the teams’ only meeting this fall — unless they tangle again in the postseason.
UNDER THE BRIGHT LIGHTS
Who: Shenendehowa girls’ soccer
When: Oct. 17, 7 p.m.
Where: Shenendehowa High School soccer field
What: Playing against Monroe-Woodbury in their regular-season finale, the Plainsmen cap their regular season with a rare home game under the lights.
TEST AGAINST THE BEST
Who: Shenendehowa girls’ volleyball
When: Oct. 19, 4:15 p.m.
Where: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School
What: Last year’s Class AA champions, the Plainsmen will travel for their final regular season matchup against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, the perennial Suburban Council champion and defending Class A winner.