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Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019: Delaney retires after 43 seasons at Watertown IHC

   Leading off today: Five hundred-game winner Mike Delaney has retired after 43 seasons coaching boys basketball coach at Immaculate Heart Central.

   IHC Athletic Director Tom O'Brien confirmed the decision to the Watertown Daily Times.

   Delaney had stepped down as athletic director and a guidance counselor, two positions he has held for 36 years at IHC, in the spring.

   A Frontier six-shooter: Junior Jon Czajka set a Frontier single-game record with six goals in an 8-2 boys soccer victory over Jamestown in Monday.

   The previous record was five by Sotir Tanevsky multiple times during the 1989 and 1990 seasons.

   Stricken driver dies: A bus driver who suffered a medical episode and drove off an I-84 ramp while transporting the Warwick girls tennis home from a match on Friday has died, The Times Herald-Record reported.

   Denise Schmidt, 53, of Warwick, slumped over the steering wheel with the bus on the westbound I-84 exit ramp from Route 208, State Police said. The bus went off the road and into a grassy ravine before hitting a tree.

   Emergency responders converged on the scene shortly before 8 p.m. to find 22 students and one adult safely off the bus and uninjured, with Warwick coach Bill Zwart performing CPR on Schmidt.

   The driver was transported Schmidt to Orange Regional Medical Center in Wallkill, where she died Sunday.

   Double duty: With the emphasis that so many athletes place on specialization, schools sometimes have a difficult time getting top talents to play two sports per year.

   And then there's Stillwater junior Keelyn Peacock, who's playing two sports in the fall season -- and doing quite nicely in both.

   Already a standout on the soccer field, where she was all-state as a sophomore, Peacock recently began her second year of kicking duty for the varsity football team.

   On Saturday, Peacock recorded a goal and two assists in a 5-1 victory over Nardin Academy. Later in the day, she connected on two extra-point attempts in the third quarter of a 35-0 football triumph vs. Voorheesville.

   "I think I was more excited, and it may sound weird, going from one to the other," she said. "The change was really quick. It was exciting to do.

   Soccer was her original go-to sport, but football got into the mix a couple of years ago when she tagged along to practice with her brother.

   "[A]s a joke, I started kicking with the ball boys and then coach (Ian) Godfrey got really interested," she said. "It is kind of what started it."

   'It's just crushing' Samantha Prahalis doesn't hide her disappointment at the decision by the Ward Melville administration to not bring her back for a third season as girls basketball coach.

   The former Commack and Ohio State star, who went on to a WNBA career, learned of the decision over the summer, not long after leading the team to the Section 11 Class AA semifinals.

   "It's crushing because I know the bonds I created with these girls are real, and it's just crushing," she told Newsday. "It's crushing for me and these girls. It's their senior years. They're never going to get this back. I'm never going to get this back with them."

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   Several players reportedly lobbied the school board to reconsider after the decision became known last month, but to no avail. Prahalis, who will complete her degree in criminology from Ohio State in December, said she'll always remember her time at Ward Melville.

   "I've been around the world and played basketball with a lot of people on a lot of different teams. But these girls impact me more than anything," she said. "You can strip me from being their coach, but what we created here is real. I'm just so thankful and grateful I had the time I did with them."

  
RoadToSyracuse.com
RoadToSyracuse.com football site





   Score one for coaches: High school coaches may sometimes rise to the level of local celebrity, but that doesn't make them a public figure, a ruling in Minnesota Supreme Court determined recently.

   As a result, former Woodbury (Minn.) High basketball coach Nathan McGuire can proceed with a defamation lawsuit against parents who made allegations against him in 2015.

   Justice Natalie Hudson wrote that even though McGuire was a public employee, his coaching duties "are ancillary to core functions of government; put simply, basketball is not fundamental to democracy."

   The case began when two parents filed maltreatment reports on behalf of their daughters, but court documents say there was no evidence the girls were mistreated. A lower court tossed out McGuire's case but he pursued an appeal against one parent, Julie A. Bowlin, who argued that because McGuire standing as a public official meant he must meet the standard of actual malice and prove that the defendants made their statements with reckless disregard for the truth.

   The Minnesota high court rejected that line of defense in a unanimous decision, presenting McGuire with a less difficult threshold to meet in making his case.

   Social media tip: I saw this tweet earlier today and have to agree that it's an outstanding idea for high school athletic departments to add to their best practices standards for Twitter.


  
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