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Thursday, April 27, 2017: Monroe-Woodbury will keep its hockey program

   Leading off today: If you think I'm out of line here, feel free to send me an email and tell me so. And if you make a well-reasoned counter-argument to what I'm about to say, I'd like to publish it in a blog over the weekend.

   So here it goes:

   Would the "solution" to the situation at Monroe-Woodbury be considered acceptable if it was the boosters for a girls hockey team that was being told that they had to cover a certain percentage of the expenses if they wanted to keep the program alive?

   The Times Herald-Record reports that the Monroe-Woodbury administration, which had previously announced that the boys hockey program was being shut down, has reached a compromise to keep the team alive: Hockey parents and other supporters will have to cover an estimated 25 percent of costs, which booster Steven Pelosi said he expects to amount to $10,000-$12,000 for next season.

   A similar compromise to save the field hockey team instead of the ice hockey team would never have been proposed out of fear of a Title IX challenge -- the same sort of concern that has caused the NYSPHSAA to discontinue the tradition of presenting sponsor-supplied gifts to athletes in some sports such as boys basketball. Nor does the argument about hockey being such an expensive sport fly -- not when the school also fields a football program and not when some of the anticipated savings for the school district would be applied toward adding a freshman football team.

   It's no more appropriate to selectively apply fees within the interscholastic sports program than it is to tack on a fee for 10th-grade biology class because science labs are more expensive to operate than the geometry or European history classrooms. A school district either supports its program or it doesn't. They should not be playing one set of students and parents against another. Do parents of students in the drama club get asked to pony up more money because the rights fee to perform this year's musical is $2,500 more than last year's fee?

   A close second on the list of concerns with what's happening at M-W is a passing reference in the story that says "the parties have also received promises from state government officials for aid."

   If that's an earmark to be applied specifically to M-W rather than part of the broader education allocation approved in the state budget, then taxpayers from across New York are being asked to help pay for someone else's hockey team at the same time that their own school district may be chopping its own athletic or academic offerings.

   Honestly, I'm very happy for the hockey players at Monroe-Woodbury. But this is no way to run a school district or a state government.

   Girls lacrosse: Middle Country, ranked third in the state in Class A, dominated No. 10 Smithtown West 18-6 as North Carolina recruit Jamie Ortega scored seven goals and added two assists.

   Middle Country won 20 of 27 draws. Rachel Masullo, Ava Barry and Sophie Alois scored three goals apiece for the Mad Dogs, who have outscored opponents 178-78 this spring.

    • Bridgit Connors scored in overtime to give Fox Lane a 16-15 win over Yorktown, rated 12th in Class B.

   Fox Lane had dropped six of its first nine games this season.

   "We've had an up-and-down season, but this is the kind of game I knew we could get to eventually," coach Bill Broggy told The Journal News. "I think this will help us a lot the rest of the season."

   Catharine Schreiber scored four goals and assisted on six others for the winners. Olivia Dey also scored six goals.

    • Junior Jesi Oswald set a school record with 11 goals for Westlake in a 21-13 victory over Keio Academy.

   Softball: Winning pitcher Erin Wong slugged a grand slam for No. 7 Victor in a 14-0 win over No. 12 Rush-Henrietta in Monroe County softball between state-ranked Class A teams.

   Let's go to the video: We're a little bit late to the party -- the play took place in an April 13 game -- but the save made by East Syracuse Minoa goalie Drew Steigerwald in a boys lacrosse game vs. Oswego was so good that it's worth acknowledging this long after the fact.

   The play started with a rush down the crease to Steigerwald's left. The goalie was in position to defend the attack, but a cross-crease pass through traffic put the ball in another attacker's stick with a wide-open target.

   Knowing he had no time to react differently, Steigerwald lunged across the goal mouth and somehow snared the shot.

   "I knew I was beat," Steigerwald told "I threw everything I had on that side and tried to match his stick and pick it off. I don't know."

   Clarification: I did some reporting in Monday's blog on financials from recent NYSPHSAA championship events.

   I went back into that entry Thursday morning and edited that note to lower the profit figures for boys and girls basketball (and remove a note about cheerleading) to reflect the fact that the numbers I was working from were nearly complete but nevertheless did not reflect a few outstanding revenue and expense items that have since been received.

   The conclusion of the original report -- that Binghamton's debut as the boys basketball host was a financial success -- remains accurate, but I wanted to clean that up after the discrepancy was pointed out.

   On the move: The Aquinas football team that won the 2015 NYSPHSAA Class AA championship was so loaded -- Jake Zembiec (Penn State), Jamir Jones (Notre Dame), Earnest Edwards (Maine), Taylor Riggins (UMass), Conrad Brake (Pitt) -- that Shemar Hayes was somewhat overlooked even though he was selected fourth-team all-state as a defensive back.

   I felt at the time that Hayes was good enough to play Division I football -- good reaction to the ball and never hesitant to hit -- but I knew his 6-foot-1, 172-pound frame was going to make coaches shy away.

   Well, after a year at Alfred University, Hayes is getting his chance in Division I at the University at Buffalo.

   Fed up: A Michigan basketball coach who recently was named the best in his class, has resigned amid frustration with parents.

   Clayton Castor submitted his resignation to administrators at Gladstone High on Friday despite recently completing an 18-6 season that included a Class B regional championship. It was the program's highest win total in 20 years.

   "I really, really enjoy this," Castor said. "But parents have taken the fun and enjoyment right out of it. Maybe some of this is on me. I just don't have thick enough skin or the will to put up with it. For that amount of time, it's just not worth it."

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