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Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018: Teammate accused of stabbing all-state running back

   Leading off today: All-state running back Ray Leach was discharged from a hospital following treatment for stab wounds suffered during a dispute with another star athlete on Saturday and is expected to recover.

   Leach, who helped Batavia to Section 5 football championships in 2015 and 2016, was first-team all-state last season as a junior. He scored 28 touchdowns while running 1,888 yards for the Blue Devils last fall.

   The player's sister said Leach was stabbed four times in the back, twice in his abdomen, once in each leg, and also has a couple of other superficial wounds.

   Antwan Odom, 18, was arraigned in Batavia City Court on charges of first-degree attempted assault, a Class C felony; and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a Class A misdemeanor. He was remanded to the Genesee County Jail.

   Odom, a three-sport athlete, is Leach's teammate in football and basketball. Odom was all-league in basketball last season.

   Batavia police said the incident occurred after Leach accused Odom of stealing personal property.

   Following up: Yesterday's blog reported that Section 3 and its game officials are locked in a dispute regarding negotiations on a new contract. The Section 3 officials worked last school year without a contract but don't want to do so again in 2018-19. The matter currently rests with the arbitration panel empowered to make a binding decision that isn't expected to arrive until late fall.

   How it ultimately plays out is going to be an interesting story because there appears to be a heck of a Catch-22 situation. Check out this excerpt from the agreement between the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and the statewide officials organizations:

   "The parties agree to continue all the terms and conditions of any expired contract until such time as a new contract is negotiated and signed."

   That seemingly leaves the sides to abide by a contract that one might think is no longer worth the paper it's written on. If it seems unusual, it's not unprecedented in scholastic matters. Labor negotiations between school districts and teachers unions sometimes drag on for years before being resolved.

   In those instances, though, the teachers typically receive pay increases tied to their additional year(s) of experience along the way. Section 3 is offering to pay its officials more per contest ahead of the arbitration decision. The hangup is over mileage reimbursement.


   National award: Baldwinsville three-sporter Ben Dwyer was selected as the 2018 U.S. Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence winner this weekend in Canton, Ohio.

   The football, hockey and lacrosse player was one of 25 national finalists. He received his honor from a pair of Hall of Famers -- tight end Kellen Winslow and defense back Aeneas Williams.

   Dwyer leaves Thursday for MIT, where the quarterback intends to play football and lacrosse.

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   A pet peeve: I should have written this a decade or more ago, so I'm not sure how much I should be allowed to bitch about the issue now. But here it goes ...

   The Section 5 basketball committee has just announced its latest group of hall of fame inductees who will be honored on Oct. 27. It's one of the oldest halls of fame in the section and I was part of the selection committee for the first few years.

   One of the reasons I left was time constraints since I was hip deep in work and family stuff. The more important reason, though, was that I had grown frustrated by a single committee mem- ber who wielded dispro- portionate power when it came to evaluating female candidates. For all practical purposes he blacklisted potential inductees who lacked one specific line on their basketball resume.

   Consequently, here we are 30 years after her scholastic career ended and Kari Knapp still has not been inducted. Knapp was a dominating player in the low post -- not the equal of 2018 inductee Shenise Johnson, but still superb -- for Pittsford Mendon the mid-1980s while playing for some very good teams that battled state power Penn Yan for Section 5 supremacy.

   Knapp was surrounded by excellent talent, but at the end of the day she was the engine that made Mendon go, a fact acknowledged by her appearance on three All-Greater Rochester teams. Failing to induct her into the hall simply because she did not participate in the Empire State Games boggles my mind to this day, and the selection committee ought to fix this.

   College choice: Forward Hevynne Bristow of Brooklyn Community Arts & Media will continue her basketball career at Providence College in 2019. She was honorable mention all-state last season.

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