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Friday, July 26, 2019: West Seneca West coach is off to college

   Leading off today: West Seneca West boys basketball coach Des Randall is leaving his alma mater to take over as the men's coach at Villa Maria.

   Randall, 30, takes over the fifth-year program from Don Silveri, who guided the team to back-to-back 25-win seasons and an appearance in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. The USCAA consists of mostly small four-year colleges and junior colleges.

   "It's been my aspiration to coach in college. I couldn't pass up this opportunity," Randall said. "Coach Silveri laid out the blueprint for success. I just want to continue what he started."

   Randall turned West Seneca West into a championship program during his two seasons. The 2017-18 team rattled off 24 straight wins to open the season before falling in the NYSPHSAA Class A quarterfinals. Last year, WSW shook off a slow start after star guard Juston Johnson was ruled ineligible, won the Section 6 Class A-1 title and finished 13-12.

   He previously coached two seasons at Bishop Timon-St. Jude.

   Marsh steps down at Corcoran: Jim Marsh met with his team Thursday to inform players that he has resigned after 35 years leading the Syracuse Corcoran girls basketball program.

   "It's bittersweet," Marsh said in a statement in which he acknowledged he is not ruling out a return to the sideline down the road.

   Marsh coached Corcoran to NYSPHSAA championships in 1993 and 1998 as well as eight Section 3 crowns en route to more than 500 career victories. He missed the 2015-2016 season while undergoing treatment for liver cancer.

   Corcoran finished 9-11 last season.

   All-state player injured: All-state selection Baylee Teal will miss most or all of the upcoming Penfield girls basketball season after tearing an ACL this spring.

   Teal told the Democrat and Chronicle she was injured in a May AAU game in Virginia.

   Teal averaged 18 points and five assists a game to help Penfield reach the Section 5 Class AA championship game as a junior. She was selected sixth-team all-state by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   "They (doctors) can't give me a specific timetable for when I'll be recovered, usually it's around nine months, but mine is whenever I feel 100 percent," she said. "I couldn't really move at first, but we started with some small stuff and I had to wait for my quad to wake up and my range of motion was behind a little."

   Teal has been in communication with coach Stephanie Gaitley at Fordham University, where she'll enroll next year.

   "She told me nothing changed, and they still want me," Teal said. "It told me she cared a lot."


   Collateral damage: Decisions have consequences.

   That's apparent within the baseball community in Western New York, where the decision to not renew a high school coach's contract appears to have contributed to the demise of a long-established summer program for the district's students.

   A story in the East Aurora Advertiser this week tracks the fallout from a July 1 school board decision to let Iroquois coach Marv Matteson go after 19 seasons in charge of the varsity. Unrelated to his school duties, Matteson had been coordinating or coaching three summer baseball teams serving approximately 50 players in the Iroquois program.

   The team competing in the Erie County Baseball Association was able to get started while Matteson was still the Iroquois coach, the paper reported. But the two teams scheduled to participate in the Police Athletic League had to be scraped after Matteson said he was too frustrated by his firing to move forward with them himself or find new coaches.

   The ECBA team subsequently forfeited three straight games due to lack of participation and had to withdraw from

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the league. The reason? The paper reported that majority of that team's players wanted nothing to do with players who complained about Matteson and JV coach Jim Snyder, who quit in response to Matteson's firing.

   Snyder, who coached 49 years at Iroquois, believes more dominoes may fall next spring, when there may not be enough candidates to field varsity and JV teams. He said some students are looking at the possibility of transferring.

   Back off -- or else: Louisiana has had enough of out-of-control fans and parents badgering high school game officials.

   Elected officials have passed a bill making it a crime for anyone to harass officials working games at the high school or recreational level. The bill's wording covers verbal abuse and any physical encounters during the game and afterward.

   Coaches, school administrators and game support staff are also protected under the measure, which takes effect next week.

   A person found in violation faces the possibility of up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. They'll also be subject to community service and be required to attend an anger management program. An individual who fails to leave the grounds after being ordered to do so can be fined up to $500 and sentenced to up to six months in jail.

   Prolific putting: Roslyn teen Alex Freeman has been awarded a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records after sinking 972 15-foot putts in one hour.

   The feat was accomplished at Glen Head Country Club last September.

   "It was a record that nobody had done before. I just thought it would be unique, plus it pertains to golf and would be somewhat similar to what my dad did," Freeman said. "Back in the '90s, he set a record for most holes played, two different times in two different years."

   There was no existing record, so Freeman negotiated standards with Guinness officials ahead of time.

   "At first, they wanted me to do eight hours, but I thought it was too much time. After going back and forth with them, we agreed on one hour. The Guinness guy gave us a benchmark of what I needed to pass, which was about 400. To get in Guinness, I had to go over 400."

   Guinness set the 15-foot minimum on putts and required the session to be videotaped. Freeman then enlisted Glen Head pro Scott Hawkins and superintendent Ken Lochridge to work out logistics on the practice green.

   Freeman estimated that he putted 3,000 times in the 60-minute session.

   Extra points: The all-state team in boys lacrosse will be announced Monday. Work on the all-state baseball and girls lacrosse teams continues.

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