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Saturday, March 31, 2018: Scarsdale still without permanent lacrosse coach

   Leading off today: Nearly two months after dismissing girls lacrosse head coach Genette Zonghetti and her sister Gail, who was her assistant, Scarsdale AD Ray Pappalardi is 0-2 as the interim head coach.

   Pappalardi made the changes Feb. 2. On Thursday, Scarsdale dropped a 10-8 decision to Mahopac with Pappalardi running the team, assisted by Megan Matthews, an elementary school teacher.

   Pappalardi coached both boys and girls lacrosse at Horace Mann School in the Bronx two decades ago. He characterized handling his AD duties and also coaching as "difficult," The Journal News reported.

   "I wanted to make sure the girls had a season," Pappalardi said. "I wanted to make sure we gave them the best possible season and for the seniors, it wasn't a lost year, so I'm doing my best to make the time for them."

   Pappalardi has faced criticism over the number of coaches he has declined to reappoint or lost to resignations in the past two years but said he does not believe prospective coaches are boycotting the district. He said there were eight to 10 applicants for the girls lacrosse job but the search continues.

   More girls lacrosse: There's no need to panic, but girls lacrosse has taken a step backward in Section 5.

   As noted by The Daily Messenger, East Rochester has dropped its varsity for 2018 and the Greece school district has consolidated its two teams into one housing girls from four schools. On top of that, Midlakes has combined with Newark and Mynderse has combined with Romulus.

   That's a net loss of four teams in one offseason.

   Newfane kid makes good: My weekly column for PressConnects.com is on Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein, who picked up his 799th college win Saturday with a 69-57 win over Loyola Chicago on Saturday in the NCAA Division I semifinals.

   Beilein was raised in Newfane where he got his start in coaching as an assistant to Denny Seitz. I caught up to Seitz last weekend in Glens Falls, where he told me Beilein has never forgotten where he came from.

   Coaching changes: Longtime Eastchester boys soccer coach Alfio Carrabotta, 61, was appointed this week to take over the team at Westchester Community College.

   It means Eastchester will have a new coach for the first time in 34 seasons. Carrabotta also coached girls soccer for 23 seasons.

   "Soccer has been everything to me," he said. "I still compete. I still play. I still love the game. It's given me a great life."

    • Chris Mahoney, 89-26 in five seasons including an unbeaten NYSPHSAA Class D champion in 2016, has resigned as the boys basketball coach at Oriskany in order to relocate full-time in the Albany area. He has been commuting from the Albany-Guilderland area over the last few months.

   Mahoney expects to get back into coaching at some level eventually, but the birth of his first child on March 5 will be a factor in when and where he returns.

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    • Gary Swetland has stepped down after 26 seasons as football coach at Portville, where he was 134-96-1 despite a combined 1-15 mark the past two seasons.

   "Lots of times if you do this too long, you wind up dead, divorced, broken or broke," he said, "and I have many colleagues, many people for whom I have tremendous respect, who finished their careers dead, divorced, broken or broke. I'm 57 years old this year, and I've been doing it a long

  
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time. I think I'm healthy, youthful in spirit, mature, competent, capable, proven ... I'm all the right things."

   A hard-luck tale: If not for bad luck, Alec Hoch would have no luck at all when it comes to picking places to continue his career as a swimmer. The former Orchard Park standout, who scored in four events as a senior at the 2017 state meet, is 0-for-2 at picking colleges.

   He was ready to sign scholarship papers a year ago with the University at Buffalo only to see the school drop men's swimming and three other sports.

   That led him to scramble his way to Eastern Michigan, where Hoch competed in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyles. And, just when he was finally settled in and comfortable, Eastern Michigan announced last week that men's swimming was one of four sports it was dropping in an effort to save $2.4 million.

   While finishing up his spring semester, Hoch is also lining up visits to other schools around the northeast.

   "I'm pretty close to walking away from the sport because of all this," he said.

    • One of the other sports Eastern Michigan is dropping is wrestling. That angered Noel Dean so much that the two-sport coach at Lowell High in Michigan informed Eastern Michigan football coach Chris Creighton that he is no longer welcome in his building.

   "Chris, I have to do what is right for the state of Michigan," Dean wrote to Creighton. "As you know, I have coached high school football in the state of Michigan for the past 27 years. I have great respect for you as a coach and a person. You are just under the wrong leadership at the wrong time. ...

   "EMU's Athletic director Scott Wetherbee giving kudos to the team 2 days before giving them the axe. What kind of person does that? ... You are a good man, but you may be at the wrong institution.'"


  
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