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Monday, June 10, 2019: Sample shoots a 77 at Bethpage for Federation crown

   Leading off today: Luke Sample of Trevor Day School shot a 6-over-par 77 on the Bethpage State Park Black Course to win the Federation boys golf championship Sunday.

   Shane Broad of St. Joseph's was second with a 78, and Max Van Son of Cold Spring Harbor and Jackson Gaynor of Rye Country Day fired 79s in the 18-hole tournament.

   National recognition: A New York senior has been selected USA Today's boys soccer player of the year.

   Forward Ousseni Bouda of the private Millbrook School was selected for the honor after rolling up 61 goals last fall. The Stanford recruit was selected Gatorade's national player of the year for the 201718 school year.

   The 5-foot-11 native of Burkina Faso was already the leading scorer in school history by the conclusion of his junior season. He finished with 156 goals in 82 career games.

   Switching responsibilities: The basketball head coaches at Monroe-Woodbury are swapping jobs for the upcoming season in a move that Crusaders AD Lori Hock said "just kind of made sense."

   Pat Harris will take over the boys squad and Dave Powers will coach the girls.

   Harris was once the head coach at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Powers spent nearly 30 years coaching girls before accepting the boys position at Monroe-Woodbury three seasons ago. Hock had envisioned the potential for a job swap for awhile.

   "It was always my interest to move back to the guys," Harris said."I didn't know how long it would take."

   Powers, a career 500-game winner, indicated that the transition won't be complicated for him. "I just treat athletes as athletes," he said.

   Still in the hunt: Of the 40 baseball or softball teams still alive entering the final weekend of the NYSPHSAA season, Pierson/Bridgehampton is the least likely hopeful for a state championship.

   When the Whalers faced Tuckahoe on Saturday in a Class C baseball quarterfinal, they were playing their first game since May 17. They were also doing so on the road -- on the day after the prom.


   Nevertheless, Pierson/Bridgehampton (5-12) beat Tuckahoe (21-4) by a 5-2 count to move on to the semifinals against Cooperstown. Junior Matt Hall went the distance on the mound and held steady after allowing an early run.

   "We knew we played better competition all year and we knew we could come in and win this game and that's exactly what we did," said senior shortstop Cooper Schiavoni.

   Said Hall: "It was kind of tough, being off for three weeks, we weren't really in the swing of things. I was just trying to mix up speed and throw strikes. This might be the best game we played all year."

   A track breakthrough: When Sarah Bolton of Cold Spring Harbor faced Elise Hill of South Jefferson on Friday in the 100 meters, it marked the first time wheelchair athletes competed against each other instead of racing the clock at the state championships.

   Hill won in 31.61 seconds, with Bolton finishing in :34.49.

   "When I'm racing by myself, there's no one to chase," said Bolton, who moved to Cold Spring Harbor from Chicago in 2015.


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  •    Bolton, who has used a self-propelled wheelchair since age 3, also posted qualifying times during the season that allowed her to take the starting line in the 200 and 400 at Middletown High School. She was placed in the outside lane as other competitors ran beside her, but she was competing only against the clock.

       "I liked it because I had someone to chase," said Bolton, who posted times of 1:04.39 and 2:11.15, respectively.

       This was the second year of wheelchair races at the state meet. Westmorland's Jason Robinson competed against the clock in the boys 1,600 a year ago to make NYSPHSAA history.

       "We realized that there was a population of kids that we weren't servicing," NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas said. "By recognizing a wheelchair athlete in the same manor that we do able-bodied athletes, it really gives us the opportunity to work on behalf of a whole other group of kids."

       Bolton, who has been racing since age 8, hopes for even more competition in the future.

       "I think it would be cool to have a whole heat of wheelchair racers," Bolton said. "That would be really fun."

       More reading: Regular readers of this blog know that I've not been a fan of high school freshmen and sophomores making college commitments in team sports. These non-binding pledges often don't pan out for a variety of reasons including injuries, coaching changes within the college program and broken promises on the part of either party.

       I'm less opposed to early commitments in individual sports, where coaching changes are less likely to leave a recruit out in the cold at the last minute after having pledged to a college two or three years earlier. A combination of that mindset and recent changes to NCAA rules is why a commitment by Section 4 freshman golfer Bailey Shoemaker to Southern Cal makes more sense than usual.

       You can read about it in my weekly column for the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

       On the move: Queensbury freshman swimming standout David Walton will transfer to The Bolles School, a private school in Jacksonville, Fla., known for developing top-notch athletes in the sport.

       Walton placed fourth in th 200-yard individual medley and fifth in the 100 backstroke at the most recent NYSPHSAA championships in his third varsity season.

        • Rich Romeo is retiring after 26 seasons as the wrestling coach at Canandaigua. He sent 29 competitors to the state championships during his tenure, with four capturing titles.

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