The Jamestown Community College Jayhawks have had plenty of rivals who are now gone because they have become four-year colleges.
In the mid-1970s, JCC had some great men's basketball battles with Pitt-Bradford. In the 1976-77 season, the Jayhawks finished the regular season at 21-2 and both defeats were to Pitt-Bradford. The first ended the Jayhawks's home-court winning streak at 67.
Pitt-Bradford eventually became a four-year school and a rival was lost.
In the early 1980s, the men's basketball team had quite a rivalry with Hilbert College. In 1981 they met for the NJCAA Region 3 title and the Jayhawks won for their first of three straight regional championships.
It was the opposite in women's basketball as Hilbert won nine straight regional titles before becoming a four-year college in 1991.
Other former Region 3 opponents that have been lost when they became four-year colleges are Villa Maria College, Cazenovia College, Champlain College, Morrisville CC, Paul Smith's College, Sage Junior College of Albany and SUNY Cobleskill. And now there is another to add to the list as Alfred State College is going four-year this fall.
But some JCC teams may continue to play Alfred State like they do Pitt-Titusville, which is also a four-year college.
''Depending on what sport it is, it's going to adjust the schedules,'' JCC athletic director Keith Martin said. ''Some of the teams will continue to play them next year because they'll only be third-year kids. Some coaches have decided not to play them. We've left it up to the coaching staff to say if they want to play them or not in non-conference. Some of our teams play jayvee teams. I've (when he was the women's basketball coach) played Niagara of Canada, which is a four-, five-year school.''
He added, ''As for the region, it's gone on pretty much status-quo. They re-adjusted the schedules already and everything is set to go for scheduling next year.''
That's because everyone had advance notice about Alfred State's change.
''They approached us two or three years ago and said it was in the works,'' Martin said.
His main concern is Alfred State was a ''nearby'' opponent for the Jayhawks,
''It's a place that's only an hour-and-a-half down the road,'' he said.
Before Martin, Bill Burk was the JCC athletic director for 15 years and in that time Region 3 lost Sage, Morrisville, SUNY Cobleskill and Paul Smith's as they all became four-year colleges. However, those teams were not in the western portion of the region, so it didn't affect the Jayhawks' regular scheduling.
But it did affect something else.
''When Paul Smith's and Sage left it really affected Division II basketball,'' Burk said.
For a few seasons in men's basketball, there were only three Division II teams in Region 3. That meant the No. 1 seed received a bye right into the championship game.
''Then everybody started coming to Division II,'' Burk said, referring to Erie CC, Monroe CC and Niagara County CC dropping from Division I to Division II.
During Burk's tenure, the time-line for opponents' decisions to change to a four-year college differed.
''Sage was very sudden,'' Burk said. ''With Paul Smith's we got about a year advance (notice). Cobleskill, it took them a long time to do it.''
Someone who knows all about going from a two-year to a four-year sports team is JCC men's basketball coach Mike Cordovano. His first head coaching job was at Hilbert for the 1991-92 season when it was still a junior college and it was rather successful as he defeated his alma mater, JCC, in the Region 3 Division II title game.
That was rather remarkable because Cordovano had a very inexperienced team that started the season at 0-9.
''The cupboard was bare, as happens so often with a coaching change in junior college,'' he said. ''We were pretty much all freshmen.''
But for the 1992-93 season, Hilbert was a four-year school playing in NCAA Division III. Also, Cordovano didn't know about the move up when he interviewed for the coaching position.
''I applied for the job before I found out,'' he recalled. ''It didn't matter to me.''
He was just happy to land the job as a junior college coach and the goal for a coach at that level would be to move onto a four-year position. Cordovano didn't know it was going to happen automatically for him.
That could have been looked at as a bonus, but he didn't see it that way.
''Hilbert was a well-respected junior-college program and now all of a sudden you're going (NCAA) Division III and you're starting out at the bottom,'' Cordovano said.
However, things went surprisingly well with the change.
''We won the regional our first year (as a junior college) and our second year (first as a four-year team) I kept that whole team intact and we went 15-10 as an NCAA Division III program,'' Cordovano proudly stated.
He ended up with four Hilbert players competing for all four seasons - one at the junior college level and then three more in NJCAA Division III.
After those four years at Hilbert, Cordovano returned to junior college coaching when he accepted the position at JCC.
''The attraction of coming to JCC was the tradition here,'' he said. ''We had a great tradition and a great facility.''
And there was something else very important,
''That was a full-time position,'' he said about the JCC coaching and faculty position. His coaching at Hilbert was part-time while he was teaching fulltime in the Buffalo public school system.
In his 18 seasons at JCC, Cordovano has lost quite a few opponents when they became four-year schools. However, he noted he will really miss Alfred State.
''I'm personally disappointed,'' he said. ''I always thought Erie's a big game, Monroe's a big game, but it was always the biggest game playing Alfred State home and away.''
Martin feels the same.
''No matter what program it was, the games were always close,'' he said. ''It was Mike and Juice (Alfred State men's coach Jerry Jusuaniec) and me and Gina (Boyd, ASC women's coach), and in baseball we've always had great games. The coaching staffs have had a very good rapport amongst each other.''