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Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019: Football coaching changes around New York

   Leading off today: The new year is starting with a wave of developments in the ranks of New York's high school football coaches.

   Among those stepping down is Dobbs Ferry's Jim Moran, a state championship winner in 2011 in his debut and owner of four Section 1 championships in eight seasons. Stepping away will allow him to watch his own kids as they continue their sports endeavors.

   "I'm getting updates, getting texts about my son's games, my daughter's games because I"m not there," Moran said. "You want to be able to see your kids play. I don't want to look back and say I never saw them."

   At Spackenkill, it was Clinton DeSouza announcing his departure, citing a desire to spend more time with his infant daughter.

   "It's almost hard to put into words. Having a child changes your perspective and priority on things," he said. “When I was younger and didn't have a kid, one of my biggest priorities was Spackenkill football. This past fall, I felt like I was doing a disservice to my daughter. It ate at me."

   DeSouza has been associated with the program for 22 years, first as a player and the last nine as head coach. He took Spackenkill to three Section 9 championship games, including this past season in Class C.

   At Greece Athena, Mike Husdan has been appointed to take over following the retirement of Rob Cerone after serving as an assistant since 2002.

   Husdan is a physical education teacher in the Rochester City School District.

   "I coached Mike as the JV coach and we came out to the varsity the next two seasons," Cerone said. "He's been a loyal Athena guy. "Mike really wanted the job, We're in good hands. He's been our defensive coordinator the last eight years."    At Greece Athena, Johnson City is going with a native son as its new coach. Todd Place was appointed to replace Dave Robinson, who resigned after a 1-7 season.

   Place is a teaching assistant at Johnson City as well as modified wrestling and modified baseball coach. He was on the football staff last fall.

   Sectional boss sets departure: Ben Nelson, the longest-serving executive director in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, will step down from his Section 4 responsibilities in June 2020.

   Nelson, 77, has been Section 4 athletics' chief administrator since May 1998.

   "Ben Nelson is an institution in the interscholastic athletics administration field," said Section 4 President Terry Dougherty, superintendent of Hancock Central Schools. "Section 4 athletics have thrived under his outstanding leadership over the past 21 years. Due largely to Ben's visionary management style, our section is well positioned presently and in the future to offer first-rate competitive opportunities to student-athletes across all program levels.

   "Most important, he is an outstanding person and we wish him well in his retirement in June of 2020."

   Following up: The story earlier this week about Jamesville-DeWitt benching basketball leading scorer Teleak Robinson following his third arrest since July also included questions about whether he lived in the school district.

   If there is a residency issue, it will be up to J-D to investigate, Section 3 officials told this week.

   "The residency only comes in when you register into the school as a ninth-grader, or if you have a change in registration,” Section 3 Executive Director John Rathbun said Wednesday. "It's when you change registration, or when you initially register in that district, that's where our rules come in."


   Rathbun and Michael Carboine, chairman of the section's transfer committee, said J-D apparently followed the correct procedures when Robinson transferred from Syracuse Corcoran in September 2017.

   "The section is not an investigative body," Carboine said.

   The section also will not have any stand with respect to the pending criminal charges.

   "That's a school district thing, not Section 3," Rathbun said.

   More police blotter: The teen accused of stabbing state Class B football co-player of the year Ray Leach of Batavia last August pleaded not guilty Tuesday at an arraignment hearing.

   Former Batavia football and basketball player Antwan Odom, 18, faces charges of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Odom is scheduled to return to court for a hearing March 18.

   And still more: Former Syracuse CBA and SU football receiver Marcus Sales was arrested along with 14 others today as part of a federal drug bust this week. Sales was charged with conspiracy to possess more than 500 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute. He faces up to 40 years in prison, a prosecutor said in court.

   Sales, 29, was remanded to jail with the charges pending after being arraigned before U.S. District Court Magistrate Andrew Baxter. According to court papers, the group conspired to sell cocaine, crack and fentanyl.

   Ex-swim star dies: Jeff Gabriel, who competed in a pair of state swim meets for Jamesville DeWitt/Syracuse CBA, died Jan. 3 from injuries suffered in a one-car accident Nov. 30 in Pittsburgh.

   J-D Principal Paul Gasparini said Gabriel "was a terrific young man from a wonderful family." The faculty and staff are "saddened and brokenhearted," he said.

   Gabriel helped the J-D/CBA boys swim team set three school records and made the All-Central New York swim team. He was part of the sixth-place 200 freestyle relay at the state meet as a sophomore in 2015.

   He had been attending Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.

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