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Sunday, April 7, 2019: Thousand Islands spins no-hitter in varsity return

   Leading off today: The Thousand Islands baseball team made its return to varsity baseball in eye-catching fashion Saturday.

   Playing their first game since 2017, the Vikings rode a combined no-hitter to an 8-1 victory over host Sandy Creek.

   Connor MacKay and Wyatt Parliament combined for a no-hitter.

   Parliament also singled and doubled at the plate for Thousand Islands, which broke the game open with a seven-run seventh inning.

   Nice start to season: The first week of April is just too early in the season for people to be breaking long-standing sectional track and field records, but Anthony Harrison apparently didn't get that memo.

   Two days after throwing a relatively modest 173 feet, 10 inches in a dual meet to open the outdoor campaign, the Ramapo discus thrower ripped off a 190-5 effort at the Pearl River Pirate Relays. That broke the Section 1 record of 189-6 by North Rockland's Phil Caraher in 1987.

   "I was shocked -- in disbelief," said Harrison, who will throw next year at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

   As Milesplit noted, we could be in for some real fireworks in the event this spring because reigning state champ (177-7) Steven Vasile of Commack is also back this season. Andy Bloom (Niskayuna) set the state record of 202-9 in 1991.

   Harrison's day didn't end with just a discus victory and record. The runner-up at last month's state indoor championships won the shot put with a throw of 56-10, tacking more than four feet onto his personal best.

   Pair of milestone victories: Kenmore West defeated rival Kenmore East 3-1 in a Niagara Frontier League softball game, marking the 400th career victory for 26th-year coach Matt Chimera, who has already announced his intention to retire from teaching and coaching at the end of the school year.

   "It's been a lot of years and a lot of great players I've had the opportunity to coach," said Chimera, who also coached football for 38 seasons in the district and wrestling for 20. "I'm very lucky to have had a lot of quality assistant coaches around me. Between Joe Catalano, Dennis Sarow and Kim Leggett, they're the most recent ones that have worked with me, ... you don't win 400 games without help like that."

   Chimera's teams have won for Section 6 and one NYSPHSAA championship in softball.

    • Skaneateles girls lacrosse coach Bridget Marquardt notched career win No. 300 as the Lakers defeated Cazenovia 18-3. Marquardt is in her 17th season, having already picked up 12 Section 3 and four NYSPHSAA titles.

   Dept. of interesting reading: This doesn't pertain to high school sports in a direct fashion, but it nevertheless gives prospective college students -- whether they're athletes or not -- something else to think about.

   Green Mountain College, Southern Vermont and the College of St. Joseph in Vermont are all closing at the end of the spring semester, which will displace a number of undergraduates, including some recruited athletes.

   "While more true of Division I athletics, not like these Division III and United States Collegiate Athletic Association schools, the old adage is that your coach may not be there all four years," writes Post-Star reporter Will Springstead.

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   You can read more about what some of the athletes are going through.

   Dept. of dubious editorial writing: I sensed a failure ahead when I read the headline ("Stop penalizing female athletes for being girls"), and the editorial board of Syracuse.com did not disappoint.

   I'd blogged a brief item last month about parents of some junior-high lacrosse players in Skaneateles who are upset

  
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that their daughters did not clear the requirements under the Athletic Placement Process (APP) to move up to junior varsity or varsity teams this spring.

   APP is a New York State Education Depart- ment regulation. There is some room for flexibility on the part of school districts when it comes to deciding whether seventh- and eighth-graders meet the APP criteria, specifically the Tanner Scale scores that have admittedly been contro- versial for some time, but districts are permitted to have their own, stricter standards. For instance, Corning-Painted Post adopted a policy in 2015 that doesn't allow seventh-graders to play varsity sports.

   In the Skaneateles case, the district is giving the Tanner Scale (which measures physical development based on external primary and secondary sex charac- teristics) full weight, which has become a disqualifying factor for four girls.

   There are 17 sports in which the minimum required Tanner Score for girls is higher than for boys. Not so coincidentally, the minimum performance standards in all of the corresponding physical fitness tests such as sit-ups, pull-ups and times distance runs are more stringent for boys.

   That is the great equalizer in the debate that the editorial board does not sufficiently acknowledge at the same time that they failed to recognize their own contradiction.

   As noted by the editorial board, NYSED sets the Tanner score higher for girls because they generally develop earlier than boys, raising the possibility otherwise that a "less physically mature female could be approved to play at a higher level against physically matured females, and therefore be at greater risk of injury."

   That's really all the explanation that the Skaneateles school board should have to offer, but this has all the makings of a fight that will reach State Supreme Court and prove needlessly expensive for taxpayers.


  
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