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Thursday, June 8, 2017: Wedding will keep Westlake coach from state final

   Leading off today: Having to choose between attending the prom or being there for your team became an issue again last week, and valid points were made by observers coming down on all sides of the argument.

   There will be no debating Hunter Burnard's absence from the biggest boys lacrosse game in school history. The Westlake boys coach is getting married.

   Burnard is marrying Ali Steinberg Saturday in the Poconos in a ceremony that begins 30 minutes before Westlake is scheduled to take on Syracuse CBA in the NYSPHSAA Class D final at St. John Fisher College, outside Rochester.

.    The wedding plans were finalized last fall. At the time, the coach knew he had a talented team but ...

   "I didn't realize there could be a conflict until we got closer to the season, maybe January or February," Burnard told The Journal News. "Ali's twin sister, Jessi, is getting married in September and we didn't want to overwhelm the family, plus the camp didn't have a lot of dates open."

   The paper reported the school asked the NYSPHSAA about the possibility of flipping game times with the Class A game that starts the championship quadrupleheader. But doing so would set a precedent that could create issues down the road, so the idea went nowhere.

   Varsity assistant Mark Castellano and JV coach Bryan Begala will run the sideline on Saturday.

   "We're not upset. We understand," All-America midfielder Rob DiNota said. "We know he'll be there with us in spirit. He's got to choose family on this one."

   Following up: Somers Superintendent Dr. Raymond Blanch said he did not intend to implicate the entire Yorktown boys lacrosse team in regards to a May 25 incident and looks forward to maintaining a positive relationship with the neighboring school district.

   His remarks came by way of clarification after the local website reported Tuesday that both school districts were investigating what transpired May 25 before the Somers girls lacrosse team played a sectional game at Yorktown.

   On Tuesday, Blanch issued statements critical of the alleged actions by members of the Yorktown boys lacrosse team. In one of the statements, he said the championship game between Yorktown and Somers was "marred by the rude and disrespectful behavior of certain students."

   Blanch said the subsequent investigations indicate that members of the Yorktown boys team entered the locker room unaware that the Somers girls lacrosse team was using the facility. He said the district's investigation also indicates there was no evidence of "sexual harassment," which he labeled as a rumor arising on social media.

   In his latest statement, Blanch said he jumped the gun in releasing his statements earlier in the week.

   "I would like to say that in hindsight, I did not provide the Yorktown administration with the opportunity to fully complete their internal fact-finding related to the incident before I communicated the information from our fact-finding to the Somers community," Blanch said. "In no way was it my intention to implicate the entire Yorktown boys lacrosse team."

   Yorktown will play Victor on Saturday for the NYSPHSAA Class B championship.


  • NYSPHSAA boys lacrosse brackets
  • 2017 statewide boys lacrosse playoff summary
  • NYSPHSAA girls lacrosse brackets
  • NYSPHSAA baseball brackets
  • NYSPHSAA softball brackets
  • Past years' brackets

  •    Staying home: Bishop Timon-St. Jude junior quarterback Matt Meyers announced on Twitter that he will enroll at the University at Buffalo in September 2018.

       Meyers, named to the NYSSWA Class AA all-state fourth team as a punter last season, had also recently picked up an offer from the University of New Hampshire.

       Combining forces: Lake Placid's school board has unanimously approved two sports mergers with Saranac Lake, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reported.

       Lake Placid athletes will be able to play football for Saranac Lake at the modified through varsity levels this fall. In the winter, the two schools and Tupper Lake will field a combined girls hockey team. Lake Placid and Tupper Lake were a combined hockey program last season.

       Extra points: The Poughkeepsie City School District is searching for an interim AD, The Poughkeepsie Journal reported. Bob Murphy held the job on an interim basis the last two years, and the paper said his status with the district is unclear.

       The school still has not announced a replacement for football coach Matt Relyea, who resigned after one season.

        • Ted Lee confirmed on social media that he is stepping down as boys lacrosse coach at Grand Island with a 45-27 record in four seasons. Lee cited a new job and plans to finish a Ph.D at Niagara University as factors in his decision.

       His 2017 squad won the Section 6 Class C championship last month.

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