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Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017: Low turnout raises concerns for Frewsburg football

   Leading off today: One day into official practice for the 2017 season, the Frewsburg varsity football program already appears at risk after the Bears opened Monday morning with just 18 players -- and two of them are new to the sport, The Post-Journal reported.

   "As a school we had talked about seeing the process through the summer and waiting until this first day of camp to see if we have enough kids to participate," Coach Terry Gray told the paper. "Friday we made a bunch of phone calls to kids that had signed up somewhere throughout the year and this is it."

   After sign-ups throughout the winter and spring resulted in Class D Frewsburg projecting a turnout of 21 or 22 players (rules require a minimum of 16 for games) following a 2-7 season with a roster of 27 players, school administrators began discussions about a possible football merger with Randolph. The merger request was rejected by Section 6 because it came far after the Nov. 30, 2016 deadline, the paper reported.

   "The numbers have been going down slowly the last couple of years. We spent our year recruiting and trying to get kids out here," Gray said. "Our summer conditioning and summer workouts were three, four or five kids. Usually there are 23, 24 or 25 kids. Right now it feels like survival."

   Gray said the roster as currently constituted probably has only four legitimate linemen.

   Frewsburg's BEDS number for the upcoming school year is 169, down from 208 as recently as the 2014-15 school year and 245 in 2009-10.

   On the move: James Bouknight, the New York State Sportswriters Association boys basketball player of the year in Class B last season, is leaving LaSalle Academy to attend MacDuffie School in Massachusetts, where he will reclassify to the Class of 2019.

   The 6-foot-4 guard scored 19 of his 27 points in the first half and finished with 10 rebounds, leading LaSalle Academy past Westhill 80-67 for the Federation championship.

   According to, Bouknight currently holds offers from at least seven schools including Rode Island, Saint Louis and Siena.

   College choice: Shenendehowa guard Cameron Tooley is entering her senior season with the college decision out of the way. Rather than waiting on possible Division I offers, the eighth-team all-state selection committed to Division II LeMoyne last week.

   Following up: Funeral services for Sachem East football player Joshua Mileto, 16, who died last week during a workout, were held Tuesday morning on Long Island.

   Mileto was killed Thursday when the 10-foot log he and teammates were carrying during a training exercise struck him in the head. Police said the log weighed about 400 pounds.

   A GoFundMe page set up by friends in the Farmingville community had raised over $77,000 as of Tuesday morning.


   More football: East Rochester/Gananda coach Dennis Greco said this will be his 25th and final season.

   Quite a penalty: A private school in Florida has been hit with an immense financial penalty by the Florida High School Athletic Association following an investigation unearthed multiple instances of impermissible benefits being provided.

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   The Providence School of Jacksonville faces forfeiting wins in multiple sports and a $117,500 fine after committing numerous violations, including using ineligible players. Most of the fine -- $105,750 -- an be returned to the school at the end of the school's probation next summer provided the school isn't cited for further violations.

   Violations allegedly included Providence allowing an athlete to enroll despite the student not meeting the admission requirements and allowing ineligible athletes to participate in boys varsity basketball and girls JV volleyball contests.

   The investigation started after the FHSAA received an anonymous tip.

   Ex-player sues coach: A former player at Los Altos (Calif.) High is suing the baseball coach, claiming his repeated benching during his senior season was a form of bullying.

   Robbie Lopez, 17, is seeking a minimum of $150,000 from now-former baseball coach Gabriel Lopez (no relation) on the grounds that his repeated benching constituted a pattern of bullying and harassment.

   According to the lawsuit, Lopez was a three-year starter at Los Altos before his senior year falling out that saw him benched for 14 games. Michael Ponce, the lawyer representing Robbie Lopez and his parents, said the benching was "an abuse of the coach's discretion."

   Preemptive warning: The Journal News posted a heads-up to readers over the weekend to let them know that deadlines for the print product are being moved up, which will lead the staff to produce more of its content online in the form of analysis, features, columns, lists and rankings and "rich video."

   The change in deadlines perhaps stems from a recent announcement that parent company Gannett is consolidating its design centers, where newspaper pages are assembled and then transmitted back to the paper for printing.

   Gannett also publishes in Rochester, Binghamton, Elmira and Ithaca. I have not seen an indication yet that changes are coming to those newspapers.

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