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Friday, Sept. 1, 2017: Burnt Hills coach notches milestone win

   Leading off today: A three-set victory Thursday made Gary Bynon the winningest coach in the history of Section 2 girls volleyball.

   Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake defeated Mohonasen a 25-14, 25-12, 25-13 for the 674th victory of Bynon's 30-year career. Cathy Stanilka of Lake George won 673 times in a 40-year run that ended in 2015.

   Burnt Hills has won 15 straight Section II and regional championships, and his Spartans have earned six NYSPHSAA titles. The squad won 390 consecutive Suburban Council matches before falling the Shenendehowa last season.

   "I feel blessed," Bynon told The Daily Gazette. "I feel so fortunate. So many people have put so much energy into this program."

   Coach sidelined: North Rockland football coach Tom Lynch expects to miss the season after being diagnosed with kidney cancer shortly before the start of preseason practice last month.

   Lynch, 56, told The Journal News said severe knee pain in June and July led to the discovery of a tumor and surgery to perform a knee replacement. Doctors pinpointed the root of Lynch's cancer when they discovered spots on one of his kidneys, and he will have the organ removed during surgery scheduled for Sept. 18.

   "The first three or four nights after I was told what I have, there was no sleep in involved," he said. "You have to make sure all your i's are dotted and your family is taken care of first. Then I was worried about the team. As you go on, you learn to live with it. I can't change anything. I can only do my best and pray for the best."

   Lynch has been a member of North Rockland's coaching staff for 17 years, taking over as head coach in 2011.

   Greg Grasso, who has been a varsity assistant for 22 years, is serving as the interim coach.

   History made in Florida: Hollywood Hills (Fla.) junior quarterback Holly Neher had never thrown a pass in a high school football game. When she finally did in the third quarter of a 21-7 loss Thursday, she certainly made it count.

   On the third snap of her career, Neher hit Alexander Shelton about 20 yards downfield and the receiver took the ball the rest of the way for a 42-yard scoring play.

   It made her the first female player to throw a touchdown pass in Broward County history.

   Neher played for the school's girls flag football team last spring.

    • On the subject of girls playing football, Section 2's Cohoes has two females on the varsity and Hoosic Valley has one.

   In the news again: The Ball family made headlines again this week when patriarch LaVar Ball rolled out the MB1 basketball shoe, making Chino Hills (Calif.) star point guard LaMelo Ball the first high school athlete with his own signature footwear. football site

   Interestingly enough, the development probably does not jeopardize the teen's high school basketball eligibility -- even if he benefits financially -- as long as he doesn't wear school apparel in ads for the $395 sneakers. NCAA eligibility in two years could be a different matter.

   "We'll worry about it when we get there," LaVar Ball told ESPN. "Who cares? If he can't play, then he can't play. It doesn't mean he'll stop working out and getting better. ... Maybe in two years they'll change the rule and he'll be able to the NBA straight out of high school."

   It's more likely that the Ball family will have to back down and end sales of LaMelo's shoes in 2019 if he wants to play in college, likely at UCLA.

   "I think (LaVar) just cost his son a chance to play college basketball," an unidentified college compliance officer told Yahoo Sports. "The receipt of money based on name/image/athletic skill and his father acting as a marketing agent would impact his amateur status and collegiate eligibility."

   Extra points: This observation from a News 12 Varsity veteran before Friday's opening kickoff:

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