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Friday, June 23, 2017: Rally planned to support ousted Pearl River coach

   Leading off today: Pearl River parents and athletes were expected to hold a rally Friday morning in support of Mike Oliva, who was informed that he will not be retained as the football and baseball coach.

   "Can we save his job?" asked Steve Kinnally, whose son, Steve, played both sports for Oliva. "I don't know, but we're going to try. That's for sure."

   Oliva coached the baseball program the last four years and football for three. Last month, the baseball team won its first sectional championship since 1984. His record in football was 13-15.

   Oliva, a physical education teacher for Rockland County BOCES, told The Journal News he didn't believe his interview a day earlier for the Nyack football job had anything to do with Pearl River's decision.

   "They gave me no reason. They didn't even mention the Nyack job," Oliva said. "All they said was that the district was moving in a different direction."

   Pearl River AD Todd Santabarbara cited district policy to not comment on personnel matters but noted that coaching positions are year-to-year appointments.

   Football destination: Add Kessawn Abraham to the list we compiled yesterday of rising seniors in New York heading to Division I football. The Erasmus Hall defensive back committed to Rutgers during an unofficial visit this week.

   Exploring fresh options: Makaila Wilson is about make a whole bunch of new acquaintances.

   The Section 5 girls basketball standout, a fifth-team all-state selection in Class AA as a junior last season, has re-opened her recruitment, the player's AAU coach told The 5-foot-11 wing had committed to Binghamton University last September and then went on to a huge season for Penfield.

   "It wasn't necessarily not to go to Binghamton, it was just so that Makaila could see the recruiting process more," City Rocks' Keith Danzy said. "She committed early and didn't really get to see other schools so it's really about seeing other schools and making sure she is making the best decision."

   Wilson reportedly is involves with at least two Ivy League programs, but the July live period is likely to open the door to some higher-profile Division I offers. Don't be surprised if much of the Atlantic 10 and at least a couple of ACC or Big East schools get involved.

   Changes at the top: Boys soccer coach Scott Martin is the new athletic director at Sweet Home, reported Thursday on social media.

   Martin replaces Chris DeMarco, 55, whose retirement after 21 years on the job takes effect June 30.

    • There are also changes ahead at Goshen, where Greg Voloshin just wrapped up his fourth year as AD.


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  •    Voloshin, a former lacrosse and diving coach, already had assistant principal duties in the district and recently received his doctorate from St. John Fisher College.

        • John Cifonelli is stepping down as the Bishop Grimes AD but will remain as girls basketball coach and pick up duties as baseball coach. Paul Hemsley retired as Grimes' softball and girls soccer coach.

       Coaching moves: South Kortright AD Bob VanValkenburgh is relinquishing his duties as the school's boys basketball coach but will stay on in soccer and baseball.

       South Kortright was 20-1 in basketball last season, losing in the Section 4 semifinals.

       "This was a real tough decision, probably tougher than retiring from teaching," VanValkenburgh told The Daily Star. "I just didn't know if I had the drive to put into the offseason, which needs to be done in the spring and summer."

       VanValkenburgh, a 500-game winner, was the JV coach for three seasons before being named varsity basketball coach in 1986. The 2009 team won the NYSPHSAA Class D championship.

       Watertown's Jerry Levine has retired from teaching and as girls basketball coach. He coached the Cyclones for 28 seasons, winning 279 games.

       Levine said he hopes to continue coaching other sports.

        • Assistant Justin Loeber will replace football head coach Ray Stoldt at Pembroke, tweeted Thursday. The website also said former Albion, Alden and Pembroke head coach Dick DiMinuco may be returning to Pembroke as the offensive coordinator.

        • Port Byron football coach Dan Robbins is leaving for a teaching and coaching position at Canandaigua, much closer to where Robbins, his wife and their four young children live.

        • Cedric Stevens is replacing John Cosgrove as head football coach at the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central. Also in Section 3, Brad Keysor will be the football coach at Southern Hills -- the combination of Tully, LaFayette and Fabius-Pompey.

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