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Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017: Diocese lays down the law on anthem protests

   Leading off today: The Diocese of Rockville Centre has told its three high schools that students and spectators who protest during the national anthem at school events could trigger disciplinary action, Newsday reported Thursday.

   "This is a reminder that all student-athletes and spectators are expected to stand during the playing of the National Anthem at school sporting events, without any gestures of demonstration or protest," the directive from Bishop John Barres said. This is long-standing school policy and applies equally to all participants and audiences at all school events, including those that are not sporting; for example, concerts and plays."

   The directive affects St. John the Baptist in West Islip, Holy Trinity in Hicksville and McGann-Mercy in Riverhead but was not sent to half a dozen Catholic high schools on Long Island operated by religious orders or by lay people.

   Diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan said any possible discipline "will be handled on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the circumstances, by the school according to their means of discipline," the paper reported.

   "If someone wants to demonstrate or protest political or social beliefs, obviously they have the First Amendment right to do so, but there is an appropriate time and place for that," Dolan said.

   Back in action: Lancaster St. Mary's which revived its program this fall after a decade without the sport, scored a win in a triangular boys cross country meet Wednesday.

   The Lancers edged Cardinal O'Hara 28-29. O'Hara's Tom Appenheimer was the first-place finisher but Elijah Lavarnaway of St. Mary's was second on the 5K course in 19:14.

   Back in action: The North Rockland girls soccer team earned a 3-2 victory over Clarkstown North hours after learning of the death of a player on the school's modified team.

   Freshman Hevelin Naranjo, passed away after battling bone cancer.

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   "It weighed heavy on our hearts," North Rockland coach Pete McGovern said. "When a young girl passes at that young of age, we talked about it and we kind of looked at life and what they have and being appreciative of what they have."

   Tuesday action: Ben Migliore scored all three goals for Herkimer as the Magicians beat West Canada Valley 3-2 for their first boys soccer victory since Sept. 17, 2015. Herkimer ended a 34-match losing streak and had last won on the road in October of 2014.

    • Junior striker Adam Enders registered a hat trick during a 4-0 win over Hinsdale to become Belfast's career scoring leader in boys soccer. His final goal, the 91st of his career, moved Enders past his uncle Jeff Enders, who graduated in 1990.

   Rank and file: My latest weekly column for the Press & Sun-Bulletin delves into a topic that's the source of frequent questions each year as new families find themselves following high school sports for the first time: How does the New York State Sportswriters Association go about doing its weekly rankings in 13 sports each school year?

   You can read the full column here.

   Extra points: Longtime Elmira Heights Edison girls basketball coach Terry Day has stepped down, citing a need to spend more time on his job at Mansfield University. Day was an assistant for 10 seasons and the head coach for the past eight.

   Canisius High School has elevated rugby, squash and sailing from club to varsity status.

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