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Friday, July 12, 2019: Catano leaves O'Neill to coach at Hendrick Hudson

   Leading off today: It's been awhile since I blogged, so we'll start off with some developments on the coaching front.

   Catano crosses the river: After two seasons at James I. O'Neill, John Catano will coach this fall at Hendrick Hudson, where he played the sport and began his coaching career.

   School board approval came Wednesday, leaving little time to prepare for the 2019 season.

   "I've got a lot of work to do," said Catano, whose coaching career began in 1983.

   Catano's 2018 team at O'Neill went 7-3. Hendrick Hudson is coming off three consecutive 5-4 seasons under Michael Lynch.

   Goshen lands a pinch-hitter: Goshen AD Matt O'Brien has turned to his former physical education teacher at Monroe-Woodbury to fill in this fall as the girls soccer coach.

   With Anthony Monti having left after five sectional championships in six seasons, girls lacrosse coach Kiersten Swayne was lined up to take over. However, she is projected to be on maternity leave through the end of the season.

   O'Brien bumped into Leslie Ahlborn at a recent concert and was struck by a thought: Allborn has the credentials to handle the job after 17 years as the head coach at Monroe-Woodbury plus the willingness to step aside when Swayne returns.

   "I'm excited to get back into it," Ahlborn said.

   Goshen's school board is expected to approve the arrangement Monday.

   More changes: Cicero-North Syracuse is looking for a new girls lacrosse coach after Lloyd Hamilton stepped down following a 1-15 season.

   Hamilton, 61, was 96-62 in nine seasons, reaching Section 3 finals three times.

   "It's one of those situations where it was time to go. I was ready," Hamilton said.

   Ex-Victor standout injured: A GoFundMe account in support of Ryan Maloney had raised almost $150,000 for the Cornell lacrosse attackman by Friday morning.

   Maloney, a senior-to-be from Victor, injured his spinal cord while vacationing with friends last week in New Jersey, according to the GoFundMe page.

   Maloney has sensation below his waist but no movement in his legs following emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his spinal cord last weekend.

   Maloney served as a Victor captain in his senior season as the Blue Devils won their second consecutive NYSPHSAA championship.


   Dolac to prep school: Shaun Dolac, a first-team all-state linebacker and running back for West Seneca East last fall as a senior, will do a post-grad semester at Milford Academy in New Berlin.

   Dolac hopes the visibility will translate into more college scholarship offers. He made 145 tackles, rushed for a school-record 1,993 yards and scored 36 touchdowns.

   Dolac was also a standout in lacrosse at West Seneca East.

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   College commitments: Rochester East running back Freddie Brock says he'll continue his football career at UMass following his senior year. Brock rushed for 779 yards and scored 11 touchdowns last fall.

    • Lindsey Lawson, an honorable mention all-state basketball player last season for Caze- novia, has committed to Harvard. The 6-foot-3 forward averaged 20.5 points and 14.1 rebounds a game as a junior.

   Track and cross country changes: Nat- ional administrators for track and cross country have done the right thing by ending a potential disqualification for ath- letes who do the right thing.

   Meeting last month in Indianapolis, the National Federation of State High School Associations Track and Field and Cross Country Rules Committee amended rules in both sports to clarify that an athlete providing assistance to an injured or ill competitor should not be disqualified if neither person gains an advantage as a result of the intervention. The final decision will be up to the meet referee.

   "Previous changes to the NFHS rules created the exception that allows a competitor to assist an injured or ill competitor without being disqualified when medical staff is not present," said Julie Cochran, the NFHS liaison to the rules committee. "In a clear majority of these types of situations, the action is intended to be an act of good sportsmanship and not an attempt to circumvent the rules or gain an advantage."

   In a significant change on the track, exchange zones in the 400- and 800-meter relays are being expanded from 20 to 30 meters.

   "The acceleration zone is now incorporated into the existing exchange zone, thus a 30-meter exchange zone for relay races with legs of 200 meters or less," Cochran said. "The rule change does not require that tracks be repainted or resurfaced in order to follow the new NFHS rules. Existing acceleration zone markings, such as triangles, squares or colored tape, placed at that location may be used to denote the beginning of the exchange zones on a track."

   Baseball changes: The NFHS has adopted a baseball rules change nearly identical to the one that NYSPHSAA teams began using this spring.

   In a revision to its designated hitter rule, the NFHS baseball committee is allowing the starting designated hitter to also be a starting defensive player. For all practical purposes it mirrors the NYSPHSAA rule allowing a pitcher to remain the game as the DH.

   "With the change adding pitch-count restrictions to high school baseball, this will allow pitchers to remain in the game as a hitter while removing them from pitching," said Elliot Hopkins, the NFHS liaison to the committee. "Typically, pitchers are stronger hitters as well. However, the intent of the rule is not for it to become strictly a pitcher-designated hitter role. The rule provides additional avenues for other position players as well. The change allows coaches to strategize how to keep players in the game to contribute offensively while allowing another player a chance to participate on defense."

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