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Friday, Aug. 11, 2017: Park's Jones will attend Canadian prep school

   Leading off today: The ridiculously long list of New York basketball stars opting to continue their high school careers outside the state grew longer on Thursday. And the latest star opting to leave wasn't content to pick a new state. No, sir. He picked a whole different country.

   Park School standout Joe Jones, a fifth-team all-state pick in Class A last season as a 6-foot-9 junior out of Western New York, is transferring to Orangeville Prep in Mono, Ontario.

   "I just want to get better," he told The Buffalo News. "I think (prep school) will help me with my goals in life."

   Jones, the half-brother of former NBA No. 1 pick Greg Oden, already has 14 Division I offers on the heels of averaging 15 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.6 blocks last season.

   By opting to leave, he joins the likes of Class AA all-state selections Mika Adams-Wood (Bishop Ludden) and Jeenathan Williams (University Prep); Class A picks Buddy Boeheim (Jamesville-DeWitt), Symir Torrence (Syracuse Academy of Science) and Frankie Policelli (New Hartford); and Class C co-player of the year Tyler Bertram (Cooperstown).

   Following up: Newsday reacted quickly yesterday to report thoroughly on the death of Sachem East football player Joshua Mileto in a mishap during a strength and conditioning workout.

   Later, the editorial page followed up with a short opinion piece suggesting "that it's time to reflect, and possibly recalibrate. The high school athletic establishment should pause and ask itself: Are we pushing our kids beyond the line of safety?

   "The log drill used by Sachem East is similar to one employed by Navy SEALS to build cohesion, teamwork and leadership. But is it appropriate for high school kids?"

   You can read it in its entirety here.


   Brighton graduate dies: Owen Thomas, a 2017 Brighton graduate was second-team all-Monroe County as a acrosse defender this spring, was killed in a boating accident Thursday night in Schuyler County, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.

   The incident took place on Waneta Lake, the Schuyler County Sheriff's Office said. Thomas fell overboard and was pronounced dead at the scene, and two other people who were on board were transported to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital in Penn Yan for treatment.

   Thomas was set to attend the University of Rochester this fall.

   Thomas is the son of Christopher Thomas, a partner of the Nixon Peabody law firm highly regarded for his courtroom skills (he represented Aquinas in State Supreme Court in the 2015 appeal of the football team's removal from the Section 5 tournament) and Catherine Cerulli, director of the Susan B. Anthony Center at UR and an associate professor of psychiatry at UR Medical Center.

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   Championship coach exits: Brian Sherwood, who coached Newark Valley to a NYSPHSAA football championship last fall, says he is stepping away to focus more on his family. Defensive coordinator Ted Hardenstine has been named as his replacement.

   "It was a long, thought-out decision," Sherwood told WBNG-TV on Thursday. "I did it in the winter at the banquet. Both my boys are now in the program, and I'd rather watch them as a dad then coach them as a coach."

   Sherwood was the Cardinals head coach for four seasons and was in the sport more than 20 years, capped by the 39-34 win over Ogdensburg for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C championship game.

    • Rich Morton has been approved as the new football coach at Chautauqua Lake. Morton, 35, replaces Adam Erickson, who guided the Thunderbirds to a 2-6 record last season and recently accepted a teaching position at Williamsville South.

   Morton has teaching and coaching experience in Maryland and Virginia as well as a freshman coach at Jamestown.

   Morton is an avid runner who has competed in 11 marathons, including Boston. His personal-best time is 2:49:30.

    • As expected, former Shenendehowa physical education teacher and coach Jen Sykes has been picked to be the field hockey coach at Guilderland.

   Strange Tenn. case: A school board in Tennessee said its investigation found that a former volunteer assistant cross country coach pushed families to pay him in order to have their children remain on the team.

   The Williamson County school board reviewed its policy Monday in the aftermath of the accusation against former Brentwood High assistant Guy Avery. The investigation concluded Avery was attempting to charge as much as $400 a month during his two seasons in the position.

   Avery denied the investigation findings, terming the arrangements as private, offseason coaching agreements with athletes.

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