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Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017: Sachem East football team hasn't practiced yet

   Leading off today: Sachem East has seemingly passed the point of no return for its scheduled football opening game, and the team's status for all of 2017 remains up in the air in the aftermath of 16-year-old Joshua Mileto's death during a conditioning practice last week.

   Sachem Superintendent Kenneth Graham told Newsday on Wednesday the district "will assess the status" of the Sachem East team's activities. Though fall practice officially began Monday, Sachem East has yet to conduct workouts that would count toward the state minimum of 15 practices before the scheduled Sept. 1 opener at Longwood.

   With police and internal district investigations still in progress, there is no indication of when practices might start. "At any given point, any findings could potentially affect the team," Graham said in a statement.

   Sachem North had its first practice Wednesday, the paper reported.

   Mileto died last Thursday after a log, estimated to weight 400 pounds, he and four other players were carrying struck him on the head.

   Grand Street player charged: Grand Street Campus football player Luis Moux has been charged with choking his mother's ex-boyfriend to death.

   Police said Moux, 18, choked Stanley Washington, 43, to death as he was attacking Moux's mother, Lorena Sesma. Police charged Moux with manslaughter.

   The incident allegedly occurred early Monday, when Washington showed up at Sesma's apartment. Police told the New York Post that Washington had 26 arrests, two of which were related to domestic violence against Sesma.

   Moux was released on $50,000 bail Tuesday.

   From Section 3 to BC: The news took awhile for the news to get out, but Cicero-North Syracuse football standout Tyler Days has committed to Boston College, where he's expected to line up at safety.

   "I always said the first team that offered me and gave me a chance, I would go with them," Days told Syracuse.com. "It was my dream to play D-I football."

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   Days made 19 catches for 476 yards and three touchdowns at wide receiver as a C-NS junior. He also returned a kickoff for a TD.

   The Days revelation means 25 New York rising seniors have committed to Football Bowl Subdivision programs. (Full list here.)

   Family opposes appointment: A Fredonia distance runner and her parents pleaded with the school board on Tuesday to not reappoint veteran cross country coach Carol Zirkle, the Dunkirk Observer reported.

  
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   The board decided to table the reappointment until its next meeting after hearing from parents Luke and Courtney Gullo and their daughter Hannah.

   The Gullos allege Zirkle bullied Hannah during school hours, once pulling her out of another teacher's classroom to yell at her. Luke Gullo said the high school principal e-mailed Zirkle telling the coach to stay away from Hannah during the school day while out of the season.

   Courtney Gullo said the family has been seeking to have its concerns addressed since January 2016 and cannot be quiet anymore.

   Zirkle has served as Fredonia's cross country coach for more than 20 years. She also coaches girls basketball. Her reappointment will be brought before the board again at Tuesday's school board meeting.

   Changing times: The subtle decline in football participation is beginning to have an impact on even the nation's most powerful programs, as evidenced by the news last week that Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, the launching pad for numerous NFL careers for several decades, was dropping its junior varsity team.

   Coach and former NFL player Antonio Pierce cited a large falloff in participation as the primary reason.

   "Six years ago when my son enrolled they had 130 freshman in that class, and we haven't had close to that number since," Pierce told the Press-Telegram.

   Long Beach Poly will field about 60 players on the varsity. The total program had as many as 200 players at various levels in the 1990s.

   The Poly pipeline has pumped out the likes of quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Matt Leinart as well as receiver DeSean Jackson in the past 15 years. Big names from the previous decade includ defensive back Mark Carrier and linebacker Willie McGinest.


  
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