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Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017: Mount St. Michael freshman dies at practice

   Leading off today: An incoming freshman football player at Mount St. Michael in the Bronx collapsed and died Tuesday during practice, local media outlets reported.

   Dominic Bess, 14, reportedly was running sprints at about 9 a.m. when he collapsed. Authorities responding to a 911 call found the boy unconscious, and an athletic trainer attempted to revive him using CPR but could not, according to WABC-TV.

   Bess was pronounced dead a short time later at Montefiore Medical Center. reported it was the first practice for Bess.

   Players were practicing in shorts and T-shirts at the time. Temperatures and humidity reportedly were high, but a city-wide heat advisory issued for the city didn't go into effect until noon, WNBC-TV reported.

   "Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, as well as coaches, the team and our student-athletes," the all-male school said in a statement.

   The death is the second football-related fatality of the preseason. On Aug. 10, 16-year-old Joshua Mileto died after a 400-pound log that he and several other players were carrying fell on him during a conditioning camp before the official start of fall practices.

   Sec. 6 teams combine: The Section 6 Executive Committee has approved a merger between the football teams at Frewsburg and Randolph for the upcoming season.

   The Frewsburg program, which does not have a JV team, in particular was at risk after only 18 players practiced with the varsity last week. Randolph, which has five NYSPHSAA Class D championships since the turn of the century, had roughly 20-22 players before the merger.

   Section 6 football coordinator Ken Stoldt told The Buffalo News some of the Frewsburg freshmen and sophomores are likely to be shifted to Randolph's junior varsity.

   The merger drops Section 6 to just eight Class D teams. Frewsburg's scheduled regular-season opponents beginning Sept. 1 now have a bye week unless they can pick up a replacement game.

   Cazenovia's choice: Longtime East Syracuse Minoa assistant Dave Falge is the new boys lacrosse coach at Cazenovia.

   Falge, 56, replaces Jim Longo, who was told at the end of his 12th season that he would not have his contract renewed. The hiring was approved by the Cazenovia school board Monday.

   Falge said one of his priorities will be to install a "program" philosophy at Cazenovia, from its youth lacrosse through varsity to create discipline and consistency.


   Steubenville in the news again: The man who shot a judge before being fatally gunned down by a probation officer Monday was the father of a Steubenville (Ohio) football player convicted of in a high-profile rape case in 2013, authorities said.

   Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. was shot near the courthouse in Steubenville. Authorities said the gunman was Nathaniel Richmond, the father of Ma'Lik Richmond, who served about 10 months in a juvenile lockup after being convicted with another Steubenville football player of raping a 16-year-old girl during a party in 2012.

   Ma'Lik Richmond is currently on the Youngstown State football roster but hasn't been cleared to play amidst football site

criticism surrounding his presence.

   The rape case made headline following allegations of an elaborate attempt to cover up the crime to protect the players. Investigators hadn't found a connection to the rape case as of Monday; a visiting judge from Hamilton County in Ohio handled most of the rape case.

   Courthouse video shows both the judge and Nate Richmond firing about five times each, said Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla. Bruzzese was flown to a Pittsburgh-area hospital for treatment.

   One more on the move: Two-sport standout Rayshawn Boswell will transfer to The Berkshire School in Massachusetts, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.

   Boswell, 17, said he will reclassify to the Class of 2019 and play football, basketball and lacrosse. He was fifth-team all-state in Class A football and honorable mention in basketball last year.

   "I feel that this is a better opportunity to prepare for college, mainly for academics," Boswell said.

   "He competes with everything, even for who has the high grade in a class," Monroe football coach Jason Muhammad said. "We won two games last year, but he was fifth-team all-state in football.

   "He's that kid. If there is any young man who deserves anything, it's him, because he's done everything the right away."

   Konchalski rips reclassification: Big Apple-based basketball talent evaluator Tom Konchalski, once labeled "the last honest man in the gym" in a New York Magazine profile and respected for his reserved demeanor, is fed up with reclassification.

   "Reclassifying is just a fiction perpetrated for recruiting purposes," Konchalski told "You better have your 16-core credits or you won't graduate in your eight semesters in attendance."

   It's stopped working that way. Athletes now routinely repeat a year in school, often doing so at prep schools in order to be able to continue playing. More recently, underclassmen have begun reclassifying but staying at their school for now while knowing they will in all likelihood have to attend a prep school the year before entering college if they wish to keep playing.

   The chicanery raises questions about the cost to public or private schools for what amounts to warehousing the reclassified students for a year.

   "Education is not another extracurricular activity to athletics. It's supposed to be the other way around," said Konchalski, 69.

   Konchalski said athletes reclassify because they're not happy with their college options.

   "Most kids fail to face the reality that they're not a Duke or Kentucky player nor a North Carolina or Arizona player or a Villanova player and they think that if they reclassify it'll give themselves another year that those schools will find them."

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