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Tuesday, Feb. 286, 2019: Baldock leaves Monroe-Woodbury for Cornwall

   Leading off today: Ryan Baldock is making a move from a football team that opened the 2018 football season at the Carrier Dome to one that finished its year there.

   After three seasons of coaching Monroe-Woodbury, Baldock will move on to coach defending NYSPHSAA Class A champion Cornwall. He replaces Eric Holzapple, who is stepping down to a role as an assistant coach.

   Baldock's hiring was made official at Monday's Cornwall school board meeting.

   Baldock, 37, who previously coached one season at Johnstown, was 21-8 as the replacement for veteran coach Pat D'Aliso. A 6-4 season last fall began with a loss to eventual state Class AA champion Aquinas in the Kickoff Class in Syracuse and ended with a loss to Newburgh in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association quarterfinals.

   Washington tells his story: It's safe to say almost everybody assumed Howard Washington's decision to take a medical redshirt in December was because the Syracuse University basketball guard was still recovering from an ACL injury.

   It turns out his medical situation was considerably more serious.

   In a lengthy interview with, the former Canisius High star disclosed that he suffered a stroke on campus on Sept. 26. Amazingly, Washington was playing in a regular-season game a little more than a month later.

   Doctors determined the clots were the result of a small hole in the wall of his heart, an issue corrected by surgery.

   "It's hard to be out again after missing the last part of last season with the knee injury," said Washington, third-team all-state as a high school sophomore in 2014 before transferring out of state. "I'm ready to work my butt off in practice. I'm still competing and I'm looking forward to next year.

   "I'm blessed to be where I'm at today. The stroke was a scary thing to have happen, but I was very fortunate in everything else that happened around me."


   Following up: A few leftovers from last weekend's NYSPHSAA wrestling championships in Albany:

    • Susquehanna Valley junior Mitchell Knapp, taken off the mats on a backboard and stretcher after being injured in the 182-pound wrestlebacks in Division II on Saturday, is OK. In fact, he made it back in time to watch the finals, albeit outfitted in a neck brace.

   The injury happened during a match against Eagle Academy's Brandon Bido.

   "It was just a mat return and my legs went higher than my head," Knapp said. "But it wasn't an illegal slam. It's wrestling and anything can happen."

   Knapp was initially woozy but was starting to regain his bearings within a few minutes.

    • Of the 30 championships, 17 went to top seeds in the brackets and seven more went to No. 2 seeds. The lowest seeds to come home with championships were two No. 6s: Dan Mauriello of Hauppauge in the Division I 152-pound class and Cory Day of Iroquois in the Division II 160-pound final.

    • Phoenix senior Ross McFarland remains stunned by his disqualification in the Division II 182-pound final for biting his opponent. McFarland led Edgemont's Nick Meglino 2-0 when the match was stopped in the second period.

   "I was like, 'What the heck?'" McFarland said. "I was just about to reverse him, and he jumped up (screaming) bloody

murder. I thought he hurt his finger or ankle because he was screaming so loud. All of a sudden they were saying I bit his finger. And I was like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa.' I was winning. Why the heck would I bite his finger? I have no motive to bite him."

   McFarland also said he has strong faith and is moving on.

   "God wants to see how strong I am as an individual," he said. "It's a humbling experience. I've just got to know it's not the end of the world."

   Conn. controversy continues: The issue of transgendered athletes competing in girls track and field championships remains a hot topic more than a year and a half after the controversy came to the forefront in the state.

   Transgender athletes Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood took the top two spots in the girls 55-meter dash at the state open indoor track championships, with Miller being credited with a state record of 6.95 seconds.

   Miller and Yearwood won the 100-meter titles in their classes at the state outdoor meet last spring.

   The state's governing body says its policy follows Connecticut's anti-discrimination law that says students must be treated in school by the gender with which they identify.

   "I don't think this is that different from other classes of people, who, in the not too distant past, were not allowed to compete," executive director Glenn Lungarini said."I think it's going to take education and understanding to get to that point on this issue."

   Female sprinter says the issue is about fairness on the track with wider implications. The junior finished eighth in the 55, missing qualification for the New England regionals by two spots.

   "We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it's demoralizing," she said. "I fully support and am happy for these athletes for being true to themselves. They should have the right to express themselves in school, but athletics have always had extra rules to keep the competition fair."

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