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Saturday, April 8, 2017: Susan Wagner's Paturzo announces retirement

   Leading off today: Susan Wagner coach Al Paturzo announced his retirement Friday afternoon after 33 seasons as the Falcons' football coach and six PSAL city championships.

   Paturzo, 72, became the PSAL's all-time leader in victories in 2011 and finishes with a record of 223-131-2.

   "I still love coaching," Paturzo told The Advance. "The question was: When was it going to end?"

   Paturzo cited a desire to spend more time with his seven grandchildren, but also acknowledged that he was frustrated with the Department of Education, the PSAL and other outside forces, the paper reported.

   He criticized the reduction of the regular season to nine games in order to add another layer to the playoffs and said he was concerned over rumors the New York City Department of Education could add restrictions to practice schedules.

   "We start practices on August 20 and have to get kids ready to play by September 3. You don't want to put kids into games right away," Paturzo said. "If you;re worried about kids' safety, you wouldn't be doing that. The idea of practice is all about safety. Knowing how to block, how to run and how to catch are all safety factors."

   Part of the Paturzo legacy will be his early use of computer software in the 1980s to identify and exploit opponents' tendencies.

   "We were scripting plays before anyone knew there was such a thing," he said. "We would input our terminology and type in what plays were run on downs ... then from what hash mark ... and from what formation."

   Though the resulting data was valuable, the work was tedious.

   "Coaches would be in there for hours, putting in data," Paturzo said. "A lot of people lost their minds in that room."

   Bill Casey dies: Former Journal News sports reporter Bill Casey, who went on to coach baseball at Ossining, died Friday after battling cancer for several years. He was 46.

   First diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in 2014, Casey continued to teach and coach baseball while undergoing treatment. Following a recurrence of the disease in 2015, he stepped down to undergo experimental treatments in the Philippines.

   Casey worked as a reporter at The Journal News from 1993-2000.

   Current coach Scott Deleso said Ossining would play Saturday's game at Mahopac as scheduled.

   "We saw Bill last Saturday," Deleso said. "All he kept talking about was the team and what the lineup was going to look like."

   Casey's death was the second blow to Section 1 baseball in a week. Last Saturday, veteran Eastchester coach Dom Cecere died at the age of 75.

   Winning the hard way: Canastota's boys tennis team fielded the minimum number of players necessary to win


and came away with a 3-1 triumph vs. Herkimer on Friday. Sam Cesario, Adam Burbank and Zach Blanchard all won in straight sets in singles matches for Canastota.

   AD selected: Brian Anken has been selected by St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute to replace Pete Schneider, who recently became executive director of the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association.

   Anken, a Cheektowaga native, is currently the assistant AD and men's lacrosse coach at Division II Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, W.Va. He will take over at St. Joe's on May 1.

   South Bend-bound: Sachem East junior Danielle Cosgrove has committed to continue her basketball career at the University of Notre Dame in 2018, Newsday reported.

   The 6-foot-4 post player held numerous other offers, including Florida, Louisville, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

   Cosgrove has led the Flaming Arrows in scoring the past three seasons. The four-year starter has averaged a double-double three straight years, producing 17.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game as a junior.

   A breakthrough: The pieces have been coming together slowly but steadily for the Palmyra-Macedon boys lacrosse program over the years. And the Red Raiders may have had their watershed moment Thursday with an 8-7 win over perennial Section 5 small-school power Penn Yan.

   Pal-Mac had been 0-11 all-time against the Mustangs.

   Senior Brian Burger, one of four seniors who were part of the first youth program in the district, scored three goals and assisted on a fourth. Jared Hurlbutt made eight saves in goal.

   "It's huge," 10th-year coach Joe Hill told the Finger Lakes Times after the team improved to 4-0. "One of the goals this year, and we have bigger goals, was to compete with Penn Yan. The teams I've had that have been pretty good have never been able to get over the hump."

   Extra points: Ray Gallagher of The Examiner News tweeted that Mahopac will not be bringing back Mark Langella for a second season as head football coach. Langella, previously a longtime defensive coordinator at the school, went 3-6 in his rookie season.

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