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Saturday, May 6, 2017: NYSPHSAA shuts down discussion for new sections

   Leading off today: A 14-8 vote Friday by the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee has effectively ended the possibility of moving sports programs at non-public schools into newly formed sections.

   A New York State Public High School Athletic Association committee formed last summer had been studying the concept for adding two new geographic sections overlapping the 11 existing sections as a new home for 71 private and charter schools.

   The committee had worked out many of the logistics that would have been the basis for a formal proposal, but some of the remaining hurdles were more daunting. Friday's vote was about whether it would have been worthwhile to look at how to resolve the remaining issues. The "no" vote effectively mothballs the committee's work until the next time the public vs. private issue flares up.

   NYSPHSAA schools are classified for postseason competition based on enrollment numbers submitted each year. Teams at non-public schools remain subject to being moved up to a higher class based upon their recent history of success in the sport and the number of athletes projected to return to team.

   In other action taken Friday:

    • Middletown will hang on to boys soccer and Glens Falls to girls volleyball through 2020 under three-year bid proposals for the final fours OK'd by the Executive Committee.

    • A drone policy was approved for scrimmages, regular-season and postseason competition.

    • Revisions to the classification cut-off numbers for boys and girls cross country were approved, but the changes will take affect in 2018 rather than the upcoming season.

    • A request to recognize team champions for girls and boys swimming was defeated.

   Triple digits: The New Hartford boys golf team extended its NYSPHSAA-record winning streak to 100 during Friday's triangular with Utica Proctor and Camden at Crystal Springs Golf Course.

   New Hartford defeated Proctor 186-275 and Camden 186-273. Fox Humphrey's even-par 35 led the way, and Ryan Zogby fired a 36.

   "It's a pretty cool feeling," Zogby told "A lot of guys have been on this team during this streak and we've worked hard for this. I'm happy for everyone. Going back to Derek Bard ... he was a senior during my first year and they (leaders) helped me work hard and improve my game over the years."

   The Spartans are seven-time defending Section 3 champions.

   King of the hill: Jake Cotter scored six goals on Friday as Medina defeated Wilson 22-4 in boys lacrosse. The goals raised Cotter's career total to 183 goals, breaking the school record set by former teammate Kyle Barna.

   Medina improved to 9-3 with the win.

   Thursday notes: For the second time in less than two weeks, the Liverpool softball team stunned Cicero-North Syracuse with a late comeback, taking a 7-6 victory.

   C-NS led 6-0 through two innings. In the previous meeting, Liverpool rallied for an 8-6 victory.     • Darien (Conn.) defeated St. Anthony's 9-4 to extend its boys lacrosse winning streak to 42 games.

   Darien swept four New York foes this spring -- Yorktown (ranked third in Class B by the NYSSWA), Niskayuna (fifth in B), Manhasset (second in B) and St. A's (fifth in A).

   Colorado tragedy: A Denver-area girls lacrosse player died Tuesday after collapsing during a game. Aurora (Colo.)


Smoky Hill freshman Kristin Callbeck, 15, was taken to a hospital after collapsing and died a short time later.

   Arapahoe County officials said their investigation might take eight to 10 weeks.

   Local schools showed support for the Smoky Hill community by using the hashtag #OneHerd on Twitter.

   A memorial service for Callbeck is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

   In the news: A New York City basketball legend from the 1970s was arrested along with a dozen others in a massive heroin ring, Brooklyn authorities announced Thursday.

   James "Fly" Williams, who played streetball in the Bronx, was selected NYSSWA all-state in 1972 out of Glen Springs Academy and was a standout for Austin Peay before a brief stint in the pros, allegedly was part of a ring that sold some $2 million worth of heroin-filled glassines in the past three months alone, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said.

   Those considered major traffickers, including Williams, face up to 25 years to life in prison. Six firearms were also recovered during the investigation.

   Williams, 65, acted as a community advocate and was public about his own battle with addiction, The New York Post reported.

   "That someone with his stature in the community with his influence with young people would run such a narcotics operation is truly sad and reprehensible," Gonzalez said. "These are the worst kind of drug dealers because they were selling to neighbors and other communities."

   Following up: Though I certainly know the cast of characters, I don't have any inside connection to Rush-Henrietta track star Sammy Watson or the Royal Comets staff.

   However, I do keep in touch with people who know their way around the inner workings of college and professional track. Based on chatting with some and trading correspondence with others, I can vouch for the staggering numbers thrown around in reporter Jeff DiVeronica's story after Watson signed a letter of intent Thursday with Texas A&M.

   Watson, who set three national indoor records this winter, could have pulled down in excess of $250,000 a year in shoe contract and endorsement payments for a lengthy period had she opted to join a recent trend by some track elites to bypass college.

   If she runs sub-2:00 in the 800 meters on a consistent basis at A&M and gets to the 2020 Olympics as a 20-year-old, the $250K will look like tip money in a good restaurant.

   Extra points: Bishop Kearney has named Rick Gause as its new varsity football head coach. Gause, the father of former Kings standout and current Denver Broncos linebacker Quentin Gause, previously worked at Bishop Kearney from 2008-14 as a track coach and football assistant.

   Gause replaces Eddie Long, who guided Kearney to state semifinals the past two seasons. Long left Kearney to return to Greece Olympia, where he was a star running back before graduating in 1991.

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