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Monday, Oct. 30, 2018: Arbitman, Ursuline duo earn tennis championships

   Leading off today: Hewlett star Rachel Arbitman took the final step on Monday and scored a straight-sets victory in the singles title match at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls tennis championships at the Tri-City Tennis Club in Latham.

   Arbitman defeated Yorktown senior Caitlyn Ferrante 6-3, 6-0 in the final, having advanced a day earlier with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Rebecca Lim of Briarcliff.

   Arbitman reached the 2017 championship match before bowing to Julia Andreach of Our Lady of Mercy in Section 5. Andreach did not return to defend her title, instead leaving the state earlier in the year to attend AMG Academy in Florida. Ferrante rallied for a three-set victory over Andreach in the 2016 NYSPHSAA final and placed third as a junior.

   In doubles, defending champs Laina Campos and Vanessa Ciano of Ursuline dispatched teams from Pittsford in the final two matches to capture a title in their fourth state tournament appearance together.

   After downing Josie Libby and Gwenneth Mattia of Sutherland in Sunday's semifinals, they returned Monday to score a 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-4 win over Mendon's Sarah Bodewes and Jessica Bodewes.

   Campos and Ciano won the 2017 crown without dropping a set. They were finalists in the 2015 and '16 championships. The Bodewes sisters were the first Section 5 team to play in the finals since 2004.

   Girls soccer: Senior Erin Walsh struck or the winning goal with just under two minutes left in the fourth overtime period to lift John Jay Cross River over 2017 state co-champion Pearl River 2-1 in the Section 1 Class A final.

   It was JJCR's first sectional title in the sport and ended Pearl River's run of two straight titles.

   "It happened so fast," said Walsh, who assisted on the game-tying goal with six minutes left in regulation. "I want to go watch it and remind myself that it's real."

   Pearl River had taken a lead in the first minute of the game on a 40-yard blast by senior Sarah Donovan. The Pirates missed another opportunity when a penalty kick midway through the second half hit a post.

   College decision: Record-setting Lockport wide receiver Malik Brooks has committed to the University at Buffalo.

   Brooks announced his decision Sunday on Twitter. Brooks set the Section 6 record for receiving yards in a season, making 47 catches for 1,244 yards and 3 touchdowns this fall.

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   Offensive fireworks: Rozel (Kan.) Pawnee Heights senior fullback Kade Scott rushed for 14 touchdowns in a six-man football contest Friday night, setting a state record.

   Pawnee Heights defeated Bird City (Kan.) Cheylin 118-85. Cheylin got 13 touchdowns from quarterback Colton McCarty, including seven while rushing 29 times for 252 yards and one on a kickoff return.

Scott's scoring spree is believed to have set a state record set 106 years ago.

   Honoring a former coach: The Hudson Falls football team wore helmet decals Saturday with the initials of Jack Toole, who died Oct. 20 at the age of 68.

   The former Hudson Falls and Granville assistant coach was a longtime elementary school teacher and respected in the football and running communities.

   "Jack's kindness always shined through, and he had a very analytical side about athletics," said Hudson Falls football coach Bill Strong, who played for and coached with Toole. "Any question I had as a young coach, he was always there to answer. I enjoyed many conversations with him over the years. He was very philosophical about athletics, teaching

  

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  • and everything. It's sad to see someone like that go."

       Toole still holds Hudson Falls' record in the mile and earned a track and field scholarship to the University of Nebraska, where he won a Big Eight championship, The Post-Star reported.

       On the move: Dom Zanot has resigned after five seasons as football coach at Harrison, where his teams went 22-23, including 3-6 this fall.

       "This was completely my decision," said Zanot, a teacher and varsity track and field coach. "I had complete support of the administration and the program. I just need a fresh start. I've given everything I could possibly give to Harrison football. I really have nothing left to give."

        • Stewart Hanson, most recently interim athletic director in Harrison, will serve as the interim AD at Pearl River, where Todd Santabarbara is leaving to become Section 1's next executive director on Nov. 26.

       The district anticipates having Hanson serve out the remainder of the school year while a search for a permanent replacement is conducted.

       A fundraising idea (hint, hint): If you're on the plus side of 50 years old (like me), you may remember the TV commercials made by businessman (and then-New England Patriots owner) Victor Kiam pitching Remington electric razors. His catchphrase was, "I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company."

       I had a somewhat similar experience early last year, though I only bought the product rather than the company. A friend gave me a SaveAround Local Coupon Book as a Christmas gift, and I found myself using the discount offers for local restaurants and stores (including national retail chains) immediately and frequently.

       By chance I noticed that SaveAround sells the books and several other products in communities across the state as a fundraiser in conjunction with sport boosters, school clubs and other organizations. Well, the light bulb clicked on over my head as I realized they're trying to team up with many of the same people who read this blog each day.

       An email led to a phone call, followed by more communication. As a result, we're now in a collaboration. The New York State Sportswriters Association can get a small cut from SaveAround for products sold by organizations that sign up by following this link.

       If your team or school club is looking to try something other than candy or popcorn sales, please give SaveAround a look.


      
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