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Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018: Irvington's Maher records 700th basketball win

   Leading off today: Irvington coach Gina Maher recorded her 700th girls basketball victory when the Bulldogs defeated visiting White Plains 65-50 on Saturday.

   Maher, who is in her 43rd season, has rung up 18 Section 1, five NYSPHSAA and four Federation championships along the way toward becoming the winningest girls basketball coach in New York State Public High School Athletic Association history. Statewide, Cardinal Spellman coach Jane Morris reached the 700-victory level late in the 2013-14 season.

   "It's the girls that I've coached that have done it all," Maher said. "Without them, I'm nothing."

   Maher's grandchildren unveiled a banner commemorating her achievement, drawing tears from the coach. She addressed the packed Irvington gym to thank players, fellow coaches and the Irvington administration.

   "I've been blessed," she said. "You don't do it by yourself. You never, never do it by yourself."

   Running community mourns: There was an outpouring of online tributes Saturday to veteran Section 5 coach and administrator Bob Goodell, who passed away five years after a prostate cancer diagnosis.

   Goodell, a 1967 Red Jacket graduate, started the cross country program at his alma mater in 1995 and coached track and cross country for 46 years, most recently at Victor.

   The Daily Messenger profiled Goodell in September and the list of those praising him was lengthy and distinguished.

   "His devotion to the sport, first as an athlete, then as a coach, official and coordinator resonates throughout all of Section 5 and beyond," Marcus Whitman coach Jody McLaughlin said in that story. "Marcus Whitman has chosen to attend many invitationals at Victor over the years where Bob was coaching, knowing that these would be well run, organized and exciting. ... He truly is a champion of the sport."

   Power of the press: An Arkansas school district has suspended its high school newspaper and threatened to fire the faculty adviser after student journalists wrote a story criticizing the transfer of five football players to a rival school.


   Five varsity starters transferred from Har-Ber High School to Springdale in late 2017, leading the student journalists to conduct a month-long investigation into the legitimacy of the transfers. The story published Oct. 30 documented an


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  • admission by two players that the transfers were rooted in athletics rather than for academic purposes.

       "Once it dropped, everyone was talking about it," said Halle Roberts, 17, editor-in-chief of the Har-Ber Herald. "Parents were mad, students were mad. It just caused a chain of events."

       Springdale Public Schools district officials demanded that the story be removed from the school website, flying in the face of an Arkansas state law protecting the rights of student publi- cations. On Tuesday, Har-Ber Principal Paul Griep announced the newspaper was suspended from publishing pending the development of new protocols for student publications.

       Soccer title at risk: A Pennsylvania state champion in boys soccer has self-reported an eligibility violation, putting the recent title at risk.

       West Lawn (Pa.) Wilson High had an overage player on its Class 4A state-title winning team, the school district's superintendent disclosed last week. The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association is investigating the school's determination that Wilson used a 19-year-old player in its 1-0 win vs. Wayne (Pa.) Radnor in the final.

       Superintendent Richard H. Faidley said a review found that the student and his guardian failed to disclose his correct date of birth on several required documents.

       No. Just, no: Ten football players at an Illinois high school were suspended from the team for three games last month after they ran across a field naked with Oreo cookies wedged between their buttocks.

       The last game of the suspension was a 24-20 loss to Monticello in the Illinois Class 3A state championship game.

       The Rockford Register Star reported that the Byron High athletes in the Oct. 26 incident were suspended for indecent exposure but that school administrators concluded they participated in the "Oreo Run" at the school's football field voluntarily and were not as victims of hazing.

       "We take any allegations like this very seriously, and we have a system in place to address it," Byron Superintendent Buster Barton said. "But this had nothing to do with hazing."

       The incident is reminiscent of hazing shown in the college football-themed comedy "Blue Mountain State."

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