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Wednesday, June 6, 2018: Suffern board names replacement for Biddy

   Leading off today: Although there remains a sense that the story has not yet played out to its conclusion, Joe Biddy is now officially out after 49 years of coaching cross country at Suffern.

   The district's board of education voted 4-1 (the board president and vice president were absent) on Tuesday to appoint girls track and cross country coach Jeff Dempsey to also take over the boys program as well.

   The district has not spelled out its problems with Biddy. Dempsey, a teacher in the district, declined comment and was not at the meeting.

   The Journal News reported supporters of Biddy filled the Suffern Middle School cafeteria and had hoped the recent election of three new school board members last month had saved Biddy's job. They expressed displeasure that the board did not wait until the new board took office next month to conduct a vote on fall sports appointments.

   District resident Andrew Dale presented looked back at past coaching appointments and said none had been voted on before July 5 since at least 2007.

   "This board has become tone deaf to students," he said.

   Incoming board member Angus Mackenzie, a Suffern graduate who threw the shot put for Biddy, said he was "shocked" by the vote. Mackenzie added that the board had not afforded Biddy "due process" and had been subject to "innuendo."

   Former Pearl River athletic director and coach Tom Doherty scolded the board and administration, asking, "What is going on? How did you allow this to happen?

   "Nobody had the courage to stop this madness."

   Section 6 QB picks Rutgers: Southwestern junior quarterback Cole Snyder verbally committed to Rutgers University on Tuesday after attending a spring camp at the Big Ten school over the weekend.

   In two seasons as a varsity starter, Snyder has amassed over 3,000 yards passing and 36 touchdowns while throwing only four interceptions. He was selected to the New York State Sportswriters Association first team in Class C.

   Scarlet Knights offensive coordinator John McNulty and tight ends coach Vince Okruch took the lead in Snyder's recruitment.

   "Coach Okruch is my kind of guy," Snyder said. "He told me if I threw well at camp he thought they would offer."

   Twins select Mack: Williamsville East shortstop Charles Mack was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the sixth round of the Major League Baseball draft. As the 184th overall pick, Mack, 18, is in line for a signing bonus of approximately $250,000 if he opts to turn pro.

   "Hardest-working kid I ever coached," said Williamsville East coach Jerry Gasz. "No matter where I put him, he was the best player we had at that position."


   No other New York high school seniors were selected in rounds three through 10. The remaining 30 rounds will be conducted Wednesday. Beacon pitcher Lenny Torres was taken 41st overall on Monday by the Cleveland Indians.

   Mack, a six-year varsity player, batted over 530 with five home runs and 29 RBIs for the Flames this spring. If he doesn't sign with the Twins, who may be looking at him as a third baseman, Mack will enroll at Clemson in the fall.

   MMAA champs: Brett Hilton's two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Michael Hartman from second base and enabled the St. Francis to take home the Georgetown Cup championship with a 1-0 triumph over St.


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  • Joe's. St. Francis swept the Monsignor Martin Association's best-of-three finals.

       "Once I saw the hit go through ... I was just filled with joy and adrenaline," Hilton said. "I can't even describe it."

       Track and field: Seeds have been posted for this weekend's New York State Public High School Athletic Association meet at Cicero-North Syracuse.

       Conn. controversy continues: Bulkeley High sophomore Terry Miller competed as a male during the Connecticut indoor track season earlier this school year but won the girls 100- and 200-meter titles in 11.72 and 24.17 seconds, respect- ively, at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference last weekend.

       It renewed a controversy that broke out a year ago when fellow transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood of Cromwell High scored dominating wins in the same meet before any hormonal treatment.

       "A lot of people have asked, can you run a separate race, can you put an asterisk next to their name, do something that shows there is a standard that is different from that?" said CIAC Executive Director Karissa Niehoff. "When you get into that playing out, you have got civil rights issues.

       "Then within the same gender, you are taking one population of the gender and you're separating them and creating another class. That's what Title IX speaks to. That's what Office of Civil Rights guidelines speak to. You cannot discriminate based on gender. And in our case in Connecticut, gender is gender identity."

       The Hartford Courant reports there are now petitions being circulated to alter the rules for dealing with transgender athletes in high school sports.

       "I think it's unfair to the girls who work really hard to do well and qualify for Opens and New Englands," Glastonbury sophomore sprinter Selina Soule said. "These girls, they're just coming in and beating everyone. I have no problem with them wanting to be a girl."

       The CIAC follows a state law that defines gender as gender identity and not the biological sex. Athletes are required to update school records to have their paperwork reflect the gender with which they identify. CIAC school officials must verify "that the expression of the student's gender identity is bona fide and not for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage in competitive athletics."

       Under NCAA rules, transgender females are required to complete hormone treatment for a year before competing. Internationally, testosterone testing is required.

       "We've had conversations with the Office of Civil Rights, with lawyers, we've looked at policies at the international level and the collegiate level," Niehoff said. "It's a situation that's very complex. Especially when everybody supports kids."

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