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Monday, Nov. 5, 2018: Girls state soccer finals moved to nearby venues

   Leading off today: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has announced new locations for Sunday's girls state tournament championship games in the Cortland area.

   The finals in Classes A, B and C will be played at Cortland High School, The finals in AA and D will be contested at Tompkins Cortland Community College. The semifinal sites remain unchanged from the original schedule.

   The change was necessary because SUNY Cortland will be hosting a four-team bracket Saturday and Sunday with Newbury, Williams College and Elizabethtown. Cortland plays Newbury in the first round.

   The 2017 finals were also moved from their original venues to accommodate a potential conflict with the NCAA soccer postseason.

   Boys field complete: Port Washington and Amityville won Long Island championships on Sunday to complete the NYSPHSAA boys soccer semifinals field.

   Charlie Gilsenan headed home the deciding goal with 9:06 to play as Port Washington pulled out a 2-1 win over Walt Whitman in the state tournament Class AA quarterfinals. Gilsenan converted a direct kick by Savvas Christoforou from 25 yards out.

   "We made eye contact and knew what to do," said Christoforou, who started a comeback from a 1-0 halftime deficit with a tying goal 10 minutes into the second half. "I confidently hit the ball, and thankfully he put it in the back of the net."

   Amityville did all its scoring in the first half of its Class A contest and cruised past Mepham 5-0 to reach the semifinals for the third time in four years.

   Rolman Guardado struck for a pair of goals in the win.


   Assistant coach accused: Archbishop Stepinac assistant football coach Sheddrick Wilson resigned after being arrested Friday, accused of striking a player in two separate incidents about two years ago.

   Wilson, 44, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a minor after surrendering at White Plains Police Headquarters, The Journal News reported.

   Wilson, a one-time Houston Oilers wide receiver who coached at Stepinac for six years and also taught health and physical education, pleaded not guilty before City Judge Brian Hansbury and was released without bail.    The former LSU star is accused of hitting a player on the side of the head on two occasions, once in a locker room on Dec. 2, 2016, and then again in a classroom in early 2017. Videos of both incidents were obtained by The Journal News.

   Police said they first received information about the case in mid-October from the Westchester County District Attorney's Special Prosecutions Unit. The alleged victim is now 18.

   The case was adjourned to Dec. 13 for a pretrial conference.


  • 2018 NYSPHSAA football brackets
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  •    Catching up on stuff: I was AWOL for a few days last week and missed some stuff aside from the above police blotter item:

        • Olean freshman Alexis Trietley was one of the stars of weekend swimming action around the state. That's pretty good considering that she began the fall season with the cross country team while trying to determine if a shoulder injury would keep her out of the pool for an extended time. As luck would have it, the running left her with a stress fracture in her leg.

       On Friday at the University at Buffalo, Trietley earned outstanding swimmer of the meet award after school-record setting performances in the sprint freestyle events, repeating as the champion in the 100 (:52.69) and adding a title in the 200 (1:53.75).

       "Even now, she's putting in some pretty good yardage but not like she put in last year," Olean coach Dan Brown said. "She's driven, she's competitive and she wants to win. She works her tail off."

        • Chris Carlson of wrote a terrific feature on Marcellus runner Jim Farrell, who competed this fall while continuing the agonizing recovery from a stroke suffered in March 2016 after surgery to address a serious neurological condition.

       The stroke left him able to communicate only by moving his eyes up or down. He progressed to nodding, then pointing at charts or the alphabet. He relearned how to swallow, speak and move his arms and legs.

       "It's amazing," said coach Adam Collister, "the amount of guts and sheer determination the kid has."

       The story is an amazing and inspiring read.

       More reading: Fencers are some of my favorite athletes ever. I got spoiled early in my reporting career by getting to cover some future Olympians and developed friendships with them.

       Late last month I attended a weekend tournament in Brockport and met a Grosse Pointe, Mich., teen with a Rochester connection and an interesting take on the challenges of participating in a non-scholastic sport that requires a lot of travel.

       You can read my column on

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