Parents at Dryden High School have demanded changes from school officials and even created a Facebook page to rally support for their cause. Their grievance is with the new athletic uniforms. Our Tamara Lindstrom tells us what has these Dryden Lions alum fighting mad.
DRYDEN, N.Y. -- When it comes to what the Dryden Lions should be wearing, there is no shortage of opinions.
"From a style standpoint, the coaches are right on with it," said Dryden athletic director Ralph Boettger.
"I've heard this from pro sports that black is powerful and creates that image and that's just hogwash to me," said board member Karin LaMotte.
Parents and alumni gathered at the school board meeting to voice their opinion on the controversial use of the color black on new uniforms. For some, it's an issue of safety.
"If someone has a seizure, you can tell by the color that kid has on who you need to go find," one mother said.
But for most, it's about returning to the heyday of Dryden athletics.
"I tell you what, in the 70s, you were there and you were dressed and if you stepped out of your place you were put back in line," said alumnus Bob Vantine.
"Back in the 70s, it was the true purple and white and it was the winning years," said parent Renee Marquis.
The new uniforms have inspired parents to create a Facebook page calling for a return to traditional purple and white, bearing the brunt of the online criticism are the coaches.
"When I have a coach that's wearing all black to an event that my child's participating at at another school, I really can't see them wearing black representing our colors," Marquis said.
"I do think the coaches deserve a lot more credit and I don't think they're trying to take over," said Superintendent Sandy Sherwood. "I think they're really trying to represent their athletes."
Four of the 16 teams wear uniforms that are primarily black. Many of the players purchase their own uniforms. Officials also explained that matching shades of purple is hard to do and hard to sell.
"Some of the kids don't like all purple. A lot of the kids don't like the all purple look," Boettger said.
Particularly the wrestlers.
"I'm not saying people are coming out just to wear a black singlet, but it does add to it. I have had people say I don't wrestle because of the singlet," Boettger said.
But some say that's just too bad.
"I really believe that it's the taxpayers and I really feel that the kids should have a say, but tradition is tradition," Marquis said.
But officials said one tradition everyone can appreciate are the Dryden alum who care so much about their school.
While the teams are finished purchasing uniforms this year, officials said they will work on bringing back more of the traditional school colors.