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Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018: Allegations of spying add intrigue to Ohio playoff game

   Leading off today: Here's a spy thriller that the sports version of Ian Fleming or Tom Clancy would be proud to pen and one or two NFL coaches have probably tried:

   Though the suspicions cannot be proven, officials of an Ohio school believe that an opponent placed a spy on their sideline during a football playoff game last weekend.

   On the advice of lawyers who cited insufficient evidence, Lisa Tuttle-Huff, superintendent of Madison High in Madison Township, has decided against pursuing legal action in the aftermath of Saturday's 24-16 loss to defending state champion Wheelersburg in the Division V Region 20 playoffs.

   At issue is the presence on the Madison sideline of a man who had a Wheelersburg team sideline pass and appeared to have radio or cellphone equipment. Madison officials suspected Derrick Mosley II was relaying Mohawk information to Wheelersburg's coaches.

   Tuttle-Huff was on the sideline and said she heard Mosley say, "Two man wide," into a microphone as Madison broke its huddle for a play in the final seconds. She said she wasn't the only person who heard those words.

   "It's interesting because I can't tell you if the boys had even moved to 'two man wide' at that point," she said.

   Madison coach Steve Poff said when Mosley was approached by his coaches, he said he was talking to his wife. Mosley said he was at the game to shoot video.

   Tuttle-Huff and Poff were part of a contingent that made an unannounced visit to the Ohio High School Athletic Association on Monday to relay their suspicions. The OHSAA had already contacted several Wheelersburg officials after an email from Tuttle-Huff. Though Mosley sent video clips to the OHSAA, Madison officials said relevant portions were edited out.

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   Mosley denied any communications with the Wheelersburg staff during the game and also said he did not doctor video supplied to the OHSAA.

   Wheelersburg officials issued a statement Tuesday denying that any communication between Mosley and the Wheelersburg coaching staff took place during the game, but the Madison coach wasn't having any of it.

   "It seems like every time we run into Wheelersburg, it's something else shady," Poff said. "We know that they had more than one person wearing Wheelersburg passes and clothing on our sideline. We know for a fact that Derrick Mosley had a microphone in his sleeve and earbuds in his ears.

  

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  •    "When he was on our side, he had a camera in his hands. All the pictures we have where he's on the other side, he's just watching the game. He doesn't have a camera in his hand at all, and he's supposed to be the videographer and all that for Wheelersburg. It's kind of odd that their head coach said, 'We don't even know who that is.'"

       Strange but true: We've all seen stories about teams in various sports having to disband before the state of the season due to a low turnout, but I cannot ever recall it happening in cheerleading until now.

       The Massena High cheerleading team was scrapped for the season after the program declined from 12 members to the fall to four for the winter.

       "It does come down to a lack of interest for this season anyway. We only had four students that signed up for the winter season cheerleading," Superintendent Patrick Brady said. "We had 12 or so cheerleaders in the fall. That was a good squad."

       School officials hope the decline was an anomaly brought on in part by the sudden departure of the coach in the fall. Massena officials had already appointed a replacement and three assistants for the winter season.

       Coaching changes: Brian Bellino has stepped down as the Hyde Park FDR football coach after nine seasons and three playoff berths.

       "I think we took a non-competitive program and made it competitive," said Bellino, who will focus on coaching his daughter's basketball and softball teams.

        •Ryan Naccarato, who won a state Class B championship in 2016 in his first year, has resigned as softball coach at Marlboro to take the reins at Kingston, where he lives and teaches.

       Ray LeDuc will replace Naccarato, AD Jonnah O'Donnell said.


      
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