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Tuesday, April 17, 2018: Alabama allowing replay reviews in football

   Leading off today: Having completed my tax returns with hours to spare and not finding much activity on New York's high school playing fields to blog about, I went searching for news from other states.

   Working alphabetically, I didn't take me very long to strike gold in Alabama on a couple of fronts.

   Meeting in Montgomery last week, the Alabama High School Athletic Association's Central Board approved the use of instant replay in football this fall.

   New Jersey and Minnesota have dipped a toe in the water when it comes to using replay technology in championship games, but Alabama is believed to the first state to make instant replay available to schools as an option for regular-season games.

   The AHSAA has been granted a waiver from the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations to conduct a trial for up to three years. The AHSAA will partner with DVsport, a company that coordinates instant replay implementation for the Southeastern Conference among others.

   The system will run in conjunction with existing video capabilities used by teams. Officials will review replays on a handheld tablet on the field. Teams will be allowed two challenges. A coach who wins the challenge will be allowed an additional subsequent challenge.

   The wildcard in determining the effectiveness of instant replay figures to be the amount of money schools are willing to invest in camera equipment. One camera perched atop the press box isn't likely to provide sufficient evidence to overturn rulings on turnovers or plane-of-the-end-zone decisions.

    •Speaking of video, the AHSAA also approved e-sports as a recognized activity on a trial basis. The AHSAA will partner with Playvs, a company specializing in e-gaming.


   Trainer mourned: Funeral services were held Monday for Michele Wink, the athletic trainer for the Oswego City School District.

   Wink, 45, worked for the district for two decades. She died from complications caused by a blood clot.

   "What's so striking about her is that she had an impact on both athletes and non-athletes -- everyone knew her because she was visible at all the events," Oswego Schools Superintendent Dean Goewey said. "It's going to be some time before the district can get over this."

   Already, a petition is asking the district to name the


school's playing fields after Wink. A campaign to raise money to offset funeral expenses has raised more than $12,000 by Tuesday afternoon.

   Wink went into athletic training as a result of an injury of her own while a soccer player at Saratoga.

   "When people asked her if she had kids, she'd say, 'Yes, I have 400 of them,'" said Tim Wink, her husband. ""The kids would talk to her if they were upset about something, and she was a great resource to them."

    •I've yet to see a write-up about it, but I learned over the weekend that PSAL coaching Vince Gargano has died. From the mid-1950s to 1973, Gargano coached four undefeated teams and nine division champions at Abraham Lincoln.

   Swimming and diving: Beginning next year, diving may be conducted either first, last or simultaneously with swimming events during the regular season under a rules change recently approved by the National Federation.

   In addition, teams will be allowed to conduct 11-dive competitions during with the mutual consent of competing teams.

   Softball note: Wayland-Cohocton pitcher Alex Button, second-team all-state in Class B last spring, is sitting out her senior season while trying to firm up her basketball future.

   Button was committed to Monmouth, but an early-season coaching change at the New Jersey school threw things into flux, leaving Button without a definite destination.

   On the move: Keith McGee, sixth-team all-state for Greece Arcadia in Class A basketball in 2016, is about to resurface at New Mexico.

   McGee will be arriving by way of South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, where he started 22 of 32 games at point guard as a freshman this pas season and averaged 7.8 points and 2.7 assists a game for the NJCAA champions. McGee shot 48.6 percent from the field and 44.7 percent on 3-pointers.

    • Jay Hayes is heading to Oklahoma as a graduate transfer after starting all 13 games on the defensive line for Notre Dame's football team last fall.

   Hayes, who finished with 27 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery, was first-team all-state his final two seasons at Poly Prep.

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