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Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019: Why does concussion info law only apply to football?

   Leading off today: Good news for parents of some high school athletes: Albany's elected officials are looking after your sons with respect to concussion awareness and management in football.

   As for your hockey players, lacrosse players, soccer players and your daughters ... well, not so much.

   Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Tuesday requiring the Department of Health to produce an informational packet on concussions and sub-concussive blows to the head. Tackle football programs throughout the state will be required to provide the information to the parents and guardians of their players.

   The new law takes effect in early December and applies to any players participating in practices, games or other activities related to tackle football played by children, whether organized by a school or any other entity.

   The legislation was sponsored by Manhattan Democrat Liz Krueger in the state Senate and Bronx Democrat Michael Benedetto in the state Assembly.

   "Each year we have learned more and more about the hazards to the brain caused by multiple blows to the head," Benedetto said. "It is imperative that families realize the danger to their children when playing high-contact sports."

   Perhaps Benedetto, who has long pushed unsuccessfully for a bill that would ban tackling in youth football, suffered multiple blows to the head himself. That might explain why the new law deals only with football. A decade-long study released in 2017 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons concluded that high school girls have a significantly higher concussion rate than boys, with female soccer players suffering the most concussions.

   "While American football has been both scientifically and colloquially associated with the highest concussion rates, our study found that girls, and especially those who play soccer, may face a higher risk," said Dr. Wellington Hsu, professor of orthopaedics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "The new knowledge presented in this study can lead to policy and prevention measures to potentially halt these trends."

   The sports studied included football, soccer, basketball, wrestling and baseball for boys; and soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball for girls. In sports played by both sexes, girls had much higher concussion rates than boys, Hsu's team found.

   Milestone: LaFayette girls soccer coach Andy Hazeltine booked career victory 300 with a 3-2 win over Bishop Ludden.

   Hazeltine coached boys soccer the previous 33 seasons at Syracuse Nottingham. He retired last year with 299 wins.

   The Lancers got goals from tri-captains Tori Albro, Kenji Frazier and Claire Virnoche.

   Coach withdraws name: Felix Nicodemo won't get the chance to build on a 37-9 record over his first two seasons as Horace Greeley's boys basketball coach. Nicodemo said he withdrew his name from consideration for re-appointment out of frustration with the process.


   "After a rewarding two years, I was informed that I would have to be part of a hiring process by the administration," Nicodemo said. "I am not willing to endure an unfair process after dedicating my life to the program over the past two years."

   Prior to this decision, Nicodemo coached the team during summer league games and held workouts at the school twice a week. However, The Journal News reported that his position as a physical education teacher was eliminated this summer.

   Hall of Fame class announced: The 2020 induction class for the New York State High School Softball Hall of Fame was announced this week, with the ceremony scheduled for football site

May 2 at the Mudville Sports Complex in Herkimer in conjunction with the 40th annual James "Ace" Morabito Invitational.

   Those being honored are:

    • Tammy Wray, Somers shortstop (2006- 10), a Class A player of the year who went on to play at Louisiana State University.

    • Lisa Buckley, Pelham catcher (1987- 91), a five time all-Section 1 selection with a career .677 batting average.

    • Katie O'Flynn, Pearl River pitcher (2008-11), A three-time all-state pick and the pitcher for the Pirates' 2010 NYSPHSAA Class A title team.

    • Mary Beth Dombrowski, Bethlehem shortstop, a 2011 state player of the year in Class AA and three-time all-state pick.

    • Carol Welch, East Syracuse-Minoa catcher, a four-time all-league selection in the late 1980s.

    • Margaret Yerdon, Sandy Creek pitcher/infielder, appeared in the NYSPHSAA semifinals three times and made first-team all-state three times in the mid 1990s.

    • Mike McCrobie, Oswego coach, compiled a 431-214 career record from 1989 to 2017 and captured three Section 3 championships.

    • Peg Bush, Deposit, 1986-88, a career .431 hitter with a .970 fielding percentage.

    • Amy Vredenburgh, Chenango Forks catcher, a .462 hitter as a senior who surrendered no stolen bases over her final two seasons in 1989-90.

    • Quincy Lewis, Corning pitcher, a five-year starter with a 63-15 record, 0.93 ERA and 533 strikeouts in 583 innings.

    • Julia DiMartino, Northstar Christian and Brockport pitcher (2010-14), the state Class AA player of the year as a senior after finishing with 1,079 strikeouts career strikeouts, a 0.42 ERA and .437 batting average.

    • Gerry Gentner, Williamsville South coach (1997-2011), a three-time state champion with eight sectional titles and a 259-65 record.

    • Caitlin Attfield, Niagara-Wheatfield shortstop, a five-year starter with 248 hits and 128 stolen bases before heading to the University of Alabama-Birmingham in 2012.

    • Dave Miller, Smithtown West coach, a 507-game winner whose teams won 11 sectional titles in 38 seasons.

    • Donna Thompson, Smithtown East, a 420 career hitter with 100 runs batted in before moving on to the University of Virginia in 1988.

    • Melissa Byrne, Connetquot pitcher (1990-1993), a three-time all-state pick with a 21-5 mark over the final two seasons.

    • Diana Consolmagno, St. Joseph by the Sea infielder (1997-2000), a three-time all-state selection with a .471 career batting average.

   Football: Week 1 got underway Tuesday as Penfield downed Rochester Edison 44-0. You can see the rest of the Week 1 schedule here.

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