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Friday, June 8, 2018: Court case over mandatory suspension winding down

   Leading off today: Though the case appears to be winding down, no decision was made Thursday regarding a challenge in State Supreme Court to Section 5's lack of an appeals process for athletes who are ejected from high school games.

   Justice J. Scott Odorisi said he will issue a ruling in writing on June 22. In addition to calling into question "procedural defects" of the original filing of an injunction, Odorisi said Thursday he was "reluctant to get involved" in Section 5 rule interpretations. Odorisi said it would be unwieldy to allow people to challenge decisions by referees, given the number of games taking place on a daily basis.

   Matt Wilbur obtained the injunction shortly after his daughter, Red Creek freshman guard Izzy Wilbur, was ejected during a sectional girls basketball tournament quarterfinal victory Feb. 24. Wilbur fouled a Byron-Bergen player who was attempting a layup, and a referee deemed the foul "intentional" and "disqualifying," resulting in ejection and a mandatory one-game suspension.

   The court case is a challenge to the lack of an appeals process in Section 5. It began with the virtually unprecedented injunction that allowed Wilbur to play in the ensuing semifinal loss.

   According to the Democrat and Chronicle, Odorisi was critical of the any notion that calls by high school sports game official should fall under such scrutiny, citing the sheer number of potential complaints.

   Alumni news: It's rare that I dip a toe into college sports stories. But it's also rare when one of the top athletes in a sport -- one perhaps on his way to being the greatest ever in his specialty -- seeks to explore a transfer on the heels of a sensational season.

   With rumors having heated up since early in the week, University at Albany men's lacrosse coach Scott Marr confirmed Thursday that faceoff specialist TD Ierlan had received his full release and the rising junior plans to transfer.

   The former Victor star's sophomore year was the best statistical season for a faceoff specialist in NCAA history. Ierlan set single-season records for faceoff winning percentage (79.1), ground balls per game (13.4), total faceoffs won (359) and total ground balls (254).

   "He's the most formidable challenge in the country," Maryland-Baltimore County coach Ryan Moran said earlier this year. "He's the most dangerous weapon in college lacrosse right now."

   Ierlan's motivation for leaving is unclear. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful, and Marr was unwilling to offer up much more about the situation.

   "It just wasn't the right fit for both of us,” Marr said Thursday. "It is what it is."

   Much of the speculation has Ierlan resurfacing at Cornell, where his brother and current Victor goalie Chayse Ierlan will be enrolling in the fall. Syracuse University is also frequently mentioned as a destination.

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   Also on the move: Former Christ the King girls basketball star Sydney Zambrotta has joined the George Washington women's program after having left Louisville following her sophomore year. The guard will sit out the 2018-19 season and then have two years of eligibility remaining.

  

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  •    GWU is coached by former UConn great Jennifer Rizzotti.

       Zambrotta averaged 3.4 points and 1.2 rebounds over 10.4 minutes in 33 games last season, helping Louisville to a Final Four berth.

       Also on the move: NYSPHSAA champion- ships in lacrosse, track, baseball and softball have center stage this weekend, but one of the state's fastest growing club sports is conducting its tournament this weekend as well.

       The New York State High School Clay Target League says 641 competitors representing 54 schools will participate Saturday at the Bridgeport Rod & Gun Club in Cicero.

       "This league is the fastest-growing activity in New York schools," NYSHSCTL President Jim Sable said in a news release. "The participation for the State Tournament has more than doubled since last year. It's very exciting to see New York embrace the clay target league as it has."

       Speaking of growth sports: Acknowledging a continued rise in participation, New Jersey's governing body for high school sports announced Wednesday it intends to propose the formation of a statewide girls wrestling division.

       The girls division would be the first step in girls wrestling becoming its own high school sport, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association officials said.

       There were 128 girls competing on boys teams across the state last season.

       "It's time we start to look at it," said Bill Bruno, assistant director of the NJSIAA . "Why not now? Why wait any longer? If we can generate the interest and see if the sport blossoms the next five years, it's worth trying."

       Bruno said the plan is to create distinct weight classes for the girls and have them compete at one regional site, with four to eight wrestlers in each weight class advancing to the state championships. The girls would compete as they do now during the regular season -- mostly against boys -- until the girls division potentially becomes popular enough to have them compete solely against each other.

       The proposal will be submitted to the NJSIAA Program Review Committee in September. Barring complications, approval could come in time for the upcoming wrestling season.


      
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