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Friday, July 28, 2017: Giammattei steps down at Scotia-Glenville

   Leading off today: There's easily been enough news in the past 24 hours to fill two blogs without even trying to follow up on leftovers from the NYSPHSAA Central Committee meetings, so let's get started ...

   400-game winner retires: Jim Giammattei has stepped down as the boys basketball coach at Scotia-Glenville, intent on not missing the basketball and lacrosse games of his son Jaden, who'll be a freshman at Niskayuna in the fall.

   "I'm becoming a full-time dad," Giammattei, 54, told The Daily Gazette. "I'm not going to miss my son's games."

   He coached 26 seasons at his alma mater, going 400-174 with NYSPHSAA Class A championships in 2014 and '15. Scotia-Glenville's 53-game winning streak during that run was the state's longest since the Roosevelt Bouie-led Kendall teams on the mid 1970s ratted off 57 in a row.

   Giammattei's first four teams won just one, six, eight and nine games, but he built from the ground up and went on to five Section 2 championships.

   "We went through all the trials and tribulations, but each year we came back with a clear definition of what was essential to reach the summit," he said.

   Said AD Jamian Rockhill: "He not only produced good basketball players, but good men, and the things he's done have transcended to other programs at our school. We're happy for him, but sad to lose him."

   With the resignation only formalized on Tuesday, Scotia-Glenville has not yet names a replacement.

    • Greg Jones has left as the boys basketball coach at Syracuse Nottingham High School and will be succeeded by fifth-year Onondaga coach Derek Jackson, the former Corcoran star.

   In turn, Jackson will be replaced at Onondaga by 2011 graduate Ryan Gavin, reported.

   Jones isn't going anywhere, staying on as dean of students. He coached the girls varsity from 2000-10, winning a NYSPHSAA Class A championship in 2005. He coached the boys from 2011-17.


   Western N.Y. developments: The dominoes continue to fall following the recent turmoil at Bishop Timon-St. Jude.

   Desmond Randall, who recently resigned after three seasons at Timon, is the new boys basketball coach at West Seneca West, his alma mater, The Buffalo News reported. He replaces Matt Marinaro.

   "I weighed what I wanted to do and everything," Randall said. "I'm still living in West Seneca, and there's the whole 'going back home' thing. I'm about two minutes from the school."

   Randall's younger brother, football and basketball standout Juston Johnson, will also attend West Seneca West for his junior year after departing Timon.

   In addition, the speculated departure of Timon quarterback Matt Myers has come to fruition. He's been working out with West Seneca West players recently and will return to that school (he attended WSW as a freshman) in the fall. Myers, already committed to the University at Buffalo for 2018, told the paper that uncertainty over the viability of the Timon program this fall after the abrupt departure of coach and AD Charlie Comerford was a factor.

   "Making this decision was tough but I chose what was best for me and my family," he said.

    • New coach and AD Joe Licata told The Buffalo News that Timon does in fact intend to play varsity football this fall despite the loss of several players since Comerford left.

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   Also on the move: Guard Tykei Greene, who averaged 24 points a game for Thomas Edison in Queens A league action last season, will play his senior basketball season at Long Island Lutheran.

   Greene, who has an offer from Tulane, was eighth-team all-state last season. New Hartford star Frankie Policelli recently said he also is transferring to LuHi.

   What a jump: I never thought I'd have reason to use Heike Drechsler's name in a New York high school sports blog. Then again, I never expected Lanae-Tava Thomas to challenge the 22-foot barrier in the long jump more than a year before she'll depart for college.

   Thomas, the rising senior who has already had a stellar career for Rush-Henrietta, won the long jump Wednesday in the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Lawrence, Kan. Her leap of 21-11 broke the U.S. Youth (i.e., under the age of 18) record of 21-7.75 by Carol Lewis in 1980.

   Thomas is closing in on the U.S. high school record of 22-5 by Kate Hall of Maine in 2015 and Drechsler's world Youth record of 22-8 from 1981.

   For the uninitiated, all that Drechsler did was win Olympic gold in the long jump in 1992 and 2000 plus World Championships in 1983 and '93, not to mention top-notch performances in the sprints.

   Thomas' monster effort, which set a New York high school record, came on her third attempt of the day. She's back in action in the 100 meters semifinals Friday after qualifying in :11.69.

   Alumni news, pro division: John Urschel, a first-team all-state lineman for Canisius who went on to a distinguished athletic and academic career at Penn State, is cutting short his NFL career at the age of 26.

   The fifth-round draft pick in 2014 made his retirement from the Baltimore Ravens official on Thursday ahead of a training camp at which he was in the running to start at center. He started 15 games for the Ravens and played in part of 27 others.

   Agent Jim Ivler said Urschel was overwhelmed with interview requests but would not be speaking to reporters, but the players wrote on Twitter that "there is no big story here" and that the decision was not an easy one to make.

   Urschel is pursuing a Ph.D in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but there were indications that family life -- his fiancee is expecting their first child in December -- and the latest brain-disease study, in which all but one of 111 brains of former NFL players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), played significant roles in the decision.

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