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Friday, Jan. 19, 2018: Fed-up Maple Grove coach relinquishes duties

   Leading off today: Curt Fischer's days of coaching apparently are over at Maple Grove, where he has won a total of five NYSPHSAA championships in three sports.

   Fischer confirmed to media outlets Friday that he had resigned as the school's football and boys basketball coach effective immediately.

   Fischer, 54, who has won two state titles apiece in football and basketball plus one in baseball, had previously surrendered his position as the softball coach. His resume includes a 221-45 record in football, and his final two teams played in New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship games.

   "They say with every ending there is a new beginning, and after 25 years it is time for a change," he wrote in an email to reporters. "It is with a heavy heart that I announce the end of my coaching career at Maple Grove High School."

   A statement from Bemus Point Board Education President John Novotny and Superintendent Michael Mansfield characterized Fischer's departure as initially an unpaid leave of absence from basketball requested by the coach and approved Jan. 8, The Post-Journal reported. That development is included in the posted draft of minutes from the meeting, and Fisher subsequently resigned from the position.

   The statement indicated an understanding that Fischer, who is not a teacher or district employee, was also surrendering the football duties "to spend more time with his family."

   Fischer made a reference to changes he has seen over the years.

   "Accepting blame and ridicule is part of coaching and something I took in stride for many years, but now that my children are part of the process it is time for me to become a father and not a coach," he wrote.

   He thanked the district's administration, but added somewhat cryptically, "[T]he future success of the football and basketball programs will take support and backing of the administration as well as our student-athlete (families), so I hope changes can be made."

   Later Friday, Fischer elaborated in interview with The Buffalo News.

   "The parents don't care for me here so I don't know what else to say," he said. "I guess I'm intimidating to the players. ... It wasn't a good thing.

   "It's been a year-long thing. ... It's coming to the head because it's hurting my children."

   Maple Grove AD Kathy Burnett referred questions to the superintendent.

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   Mansfield said the district is working on finding a permanent appointment to complete the basketball season. JV coach Jordan Gould has been running the team in the interim.

   Boys hockey: Brennan Brown recorded a hat trick and James Merkley chipped in with four points as McQuaid rolled past Baldwinsville 9-1.

  
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   McQuaid is ranked sixth and Baldwinsville 12th in this week's New York State Sportswriters Association ratings.

   Girls basketball: Chautauqua Lake tied a school record for scoring with the help of 14-for-30 shooting on 3-pointers during an 85-37 win over Dunkirk.

   Katelyn Fardink made six 3-pointers on the way to 26 points.

   Lily Woodis had 11 points and 11 rebounds in the win.

   Gatorade award: Connetquot senior Mackenzie Cole was named Gatorade's New York player of the year in girls volleyball this week.

   Cole, an outside hitter who helped Connetquot to the NYSPHSAA Class AA championship, will attend Duke in the fall.

   Weekly column: Records are made to be broken ... but sometimes it takes digging to figure out whose record it is that's being broken.

   You can see what I mean in my weekly column for PressConnects.com.

   Fighting back: Coaches at a school in Ohio have had enough of being bad-mouthed, so they've filed suit against an undisclosed group of parents they allege have defamed them as part of a spat over playing time.

   WTVG-TV in Toledo reported four Maumee Valley Country Day School basketball coaches filed the suit. They are seeking more than $25,000 in compensatory damages.

   "They just want it to stop. They're getting slammed from every angle," attorney Bob Bahret said on behalf of the plaintiffs. "It all started over playing time. This is your classic parents being disgruntled because Johnny isn't playing more minutes."

   The coaches contend they were unable to hold a summer camp because of innuendo about their coaching methods and treatment of players. They say unfounded criticism has continued online.


  
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