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Wednesday, June 13, 2018: Kingston school board opts to keep Kelder

   Leading off today: I took a breather for a couple of days after the NYSPHSAA track, lacrosse, baseball and softball seasons all concluded at once this past weekend, but news didn't stop happening.

   So here's a look at a handful of notes that accumulated over the past few days:

   Kelder coming back: The Kingston Board of Education approved superintendent Paul Paladino's recommendation last week for Ron Kelder to continue as the boys basketball coach. It's newsworthy because first-year AD Rich Silverstein did not endorse returning Kelder for a 23rd season on the bench.

   "I'm glad to be back and I'm moving forward," Kelder, 1 1985 graduate of the school, said in a brief statement.

   Kelder's teams have posted a 289-159 record with four Section 9 championships.

   The Times Herald-Record reported that a number of area coaches had written letters to Kingston administrators in support of Felder.

   Following up: The controversy seems to have died down now, but West Genesee Superintendent Christopher Brown went on the record Monday defending the character of Wildcats boys lacrosse players after outgoing coach Mike Messere had accused them of quitting after a loss to Ward Melville on Saturday.

   Brown blogged an acknowledgement of "a disconnect for sure between the players and coaches" but said the players this season "were given a challenge, accepted it, and showed their heart all season. I wish them the very best, and they have plenty to be proud of."

   More from his blog:

   "When you have a legendary multi-generational coach, public opinion about 'how things should be,' really varies, and it can make for divisive conversations. It also puts kids in the middle. I have known our senior players since they were in second grade, and the underclassmen even longer. I know their character because I have watched them develop it. I have watched them succeed, fail, and learn for a long time. I was not there for the interview after the game because I did not have a field pass, but somewhere in that interview, the players were characterized as being quitters. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I strongly disagree."

   New duties for LuHi coach: Long Island Lutheran boys basketball coach John Buck has been promoted from dean of students to head of school. Buck has been a teacher, coach and administrator at the school for a decade.

   'Hot' topic: Count me amongst the people who have never quite understood the tradition of welcoming home a victorious high school team with an escort from the fire department, complete with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

   There's nothing wrong or improper, I suppose, but it just seems a bit strange to punctuate a celebration with tools that usually indicate some form of danger and lives in peril.

   Don Lehman of The Post-Star blogged the other day about the Glens Falls newspaper getting inquiries late Saturday and Sunday from readers wondering what all of the emergency vehicle traffic was all about in Queensbury as the baseball team returned from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament in Binghamton.


   "In the video I saw," Lehman wrote, "I counted 14 fire trucks and chief vehicles, not including the firefighter personal vehicles with their lights on. There were sirens, air horns and people around Queensbury and Glens Falls were wondering if something major was going on."

   Lehman noted that critics of such displays sometimes ask why students who have outstanding academic achievements don't get this sort of fanfare.

   The answer there remains the same as always: No one races to the local high school after dinner on Friday night to watch the physics final exam.

   A good friend: You've undoubtedly seen or heard about the great moment of friendship and sportsmanship after a Minnesota high school baseball playoff game over the weekend.


  • NYSPHSAA boys lacrosse brackets
  • NYSPHSAA girls lacrosse brackets
  • NYSPHSAA baseball brackets
  • NYSPHSAA softball brackets
  • Past years' brackets

  •    With Mounds View leading Totino-Grace 17-10, pitcher Ty Koehn to closed out the win by striking out Jack Kocon with a well-placed fastball on the outside corner.

       The celebration commenced immediately for Mounds View players, but not for Koehn. He brushed by his catcher to seek out and console Kocon, a childhood friend.

       "I knew I had to say something," he said. "Our friendship is more important than just the silly outcome of a game. I had to make sure he knew that before we celebrated. It was more instinct, it just felt right."

       Getting together? Lockport is considering merging its varsity hockey team with Niagara Falls for the short tern until both schools can get their participation numbers back up.

       The schools estimate that Lockport would have just 11 varsity-ready players next season and Niagara Falls seven if they choose to go it alone.

       The Lockport school board is expected to vote on the proposal at its meeting Wednesday.

       Celebrating the best: I noticed a few weeks ago that was promoting what it's calling the first annual All CNY High school Sports Awards ceremony, which will be held at The Landmark Theatre on Thursday.

       My first thought was that they may have let go of one too many copy editors since "first annual" is oxymoronic. But I digress. The more important takeaway is that and the sponsoring businesses are stepping up to offer additional recognition to Section 3's finest athletes and teams, which I think is terrific.

       At the same time, though, it occurs to me that other media outlets that were sponsoring similar ceremonies in the past apparently have given up the initiative. Neither the Buffalo News nor Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle have been touting 2018 editions of their awards presentations.

       The Buffalo News had been doing theirs for four years, but the paper's management recently informed its employees that their financial picture has become rather bleak -- confirmed by the news of layoffs and buyouts the past few weeks.

       I think Rochester's paper dipped a toe into the awards ceremony last year with a huge splash that brought around 1,000 people to the downtown convention center for a glitzy show that drew near-unanimous praise from those who attended and participated.

       The decision in Rochester undoubtedly was also rooted in dollars and cents, as serving dinner and bringing in speakers (Jack Eichel of the Sabres and Kyle Williams of the Bills) had to run up expenses into the six-figure range. I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing that they had kept the show alive this spring even if it meant just a straight-forward awards presentation in a smaller venue.

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