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Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018: Marlboro's Ward dismissed as football coach

   Leading off today: Marlboro football coach Rich Ward said on Monday that he's been told by Superintendent Michael Brooks that he has been relieved of his duties and should not apply to coach next season.

   The news came in a text that Ward, whose teams won Section 9 titles in six of his eight seasons, sent to parents and players according to Hudson Valley Sports Report.

   "This is a text I wish I was not writing," Ward wrote. "This afternoon I met with the Superintendent of Schools, Principal (Ryan) Lawler, and Athletic Director (Jonnah) O'Donnell. I was informed today by Superintendent Brooks that I would not be appointed as the football coach the 2018 season. The reason for this is that there was a text exchange between myself and a parent of a JV call up at the end of this season. There was an exchange of words where I was asking for a banquet response and I was called a 'jerk.' In turn I responded in an inappropriate way. With that being said, for this comment I was told to not apply for the head coach position for the 2018 season."

   Ward, who teaches in the Cornwall district, wrote that he asked for forgiveness regarding the text exchange with the unnamed player's mother -- "She said I was a jerk. I told her to go to hell and kiss my ass" -- but was told by Brooks that it was time for the program to move on.

   Ward, who compiled a 74-13 record and twice reached the NYSPHSAA semifinals, was the subject of a federal lawsuit filed in December 2013 by several parents and players accusing him of physical and verbal abuse. The suit was thrown out by a federal judge a year later.

   More football changes: St. Peter's coach Mark DeCristoforo is stepping down after five seasons and a 29-21 record but will remain at the school as director of football operations and dean of discipline.

    • Matt DiCarlo has stepped down after eight seasons at Central Square. He had a 26-46 record, but Central Square was 6-3 last fall.

   "The program's in a great spot," he said. "I'm very proud of it."

   DiCarlo will also give up his teaching job at the end of the school year o focus more time on his family and a financial business.

   Veteran Jamesville-DeWitt offensive coordinator Kevin Kalfass will replace DiCarlo. His appointment was approved by the school board Monday night.

   Brown makes his decision: Archbishop Molloy senior center Moses Brown committed Monday to UCLA. He picked the Bruins over Florida State and Maryland.


   Milestone victory: Steve Garner's teams lost 54 of the first 57 girls basketball games he coached at Kingston, but things have gotten quite a bit better since.

   Garner has directed Kingston to 15 Section 9 finals and six Class AA titles in 30 seasons. He recorded his 400th win in 30 seasons with a 40-39 win over Pine Bush back on Jan. 12.

   Weather woes: The biggest girls hockey game of the season in Western New York was called off midway through

the first period after fog on the outdoor rink at Riverworks made conditions too dangerous to continue.

   Frontier/Lake Shore/ Orchard Park (more on that in a moment) and Monsignor Martin were scoreless. No makeup date has been set for the game.

   "You hate to have someone get hurt or have a good game between two good teams decided because one of the goalies couldn't see the puck," said Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park coach Bob Klimowicz.

   Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park is in first place in the league with a 10-1-3 record. Monsignor Martin is second at 9-1-2.

   Name-calling, Part 1: I wrote out "Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park" in all three references to the team above, but there's another name for that combined girls hockey squad. It's come to be known as FLOP, which doesn't seem to be all that endearing a moniker but is certainly one that the people associated with the program have embraced.

   The Buffalo News did a story a few weeks back about that name and CASH (Clarence/Amherst/Sweet Home).

   Name-calling, Part 2: You can't wander more than about 1 thousand yards anywhere in Section 5 without running into school that call their teams some form of Eagles (10 of them), Blue Devils (7), Knights (7), Blue Devils (7), Red Raiders (4), Wildcats (4), Tigers (4).

   The Democrat and Chronicle offered up a feature on nicknames getting to the origin of some of the nicknames that are unique to the area, include the Naples Big Green Machine, Pavilion Gophers and LeRoy Oatkan Knights.

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