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Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019: Niskayuna, Albany CBA play to 2-2 soccer tie

   Leading off today: Neither team came away particularly happy with the result, which means Wednesday's 2-2 boys soccer tie between Section 2 rivals Niskayuna and Albany CBA was the perfect outcome to whet appetites for a rematch down the road.

   "We will definitely be seeing them later this season. We will be looking forward to that," Niskayuna senior defender Oscar Mirkovic said after the Suburban Council contest.

   Niskayuna (3-0-1) led 1-0 at the half on a goal from Toby Goldner. The Brothers (6-0-1) tied less than three minutes after the intermission as Paul Abatiello scored his sixth goal of the season. CBA senior striker Jack Mendrysa, who transferred from Niskayuna after his sophomore year, made is 2-1 less that four minutes later with his seventh goal this season, but Jackson Bishop squared it on a penalty kick with 24:18 to go in regulation.

   "That was a good back and forth game," Niskayuna coach Terrence Sloan said. "In the first half, we held the possession advantage. In the second half, they came right out after us."

   More boys soccer: Senior Owen Sutton scored twice, including with 3:43 to play, as Lake George rallied past North Warren 2-1 in more Section 2 action.

   Sutton had equalized eight minutes into the second half as the Warriors, ranked fourth in the state in Class C improved to 5-0. North Warren had its three-game winning streak snapped.

    • Kohl Morgan's penalty kick in the 78th minute lifted Holley past Kendall 3-2. Kayden Servais had tied the game for Kendall a minute earlier.

   Girls soccer: In a rematch of last fall's Section 1 Class A semifinal, Kate McNally scored midway through the first half on an assist from her sister Kylie as Pearl River edged Albertus Magnus 1-0.

   Pirates netminder Corinne Meidreich made 16 saves for the shutout.

   Albertus Magnus was coming off a victory in an early-season showdown with Arlington.

   Section 6 tiff update: The Section 6 Executive Committee has ruled unanimously in favor of rescheduling last Friday's football game between Kenmore West and Buffalo McKinley.

   The game was called off early that day out of safety concerns, and Buffalo Public Schools officials were seeking to claim a forfeit victory on behalf of McKinley, arguing that there was no mutual agreement on the circumstances and resolution.

   The sectional ruling gave the schools until Friday to come up with a date in which the contest could be made up, Section 6 football coordinator Ken Stoldt said. However, BPS intends to appeal the decision, Stoldt said.

   "We're not surprised by the committee's decision and we're going to appeal it," said Nathaniel Kuzma, general counsel for BPS. "I don't know what evidence they relied upon in making their decision."

   Ken-Ton school district spokesman Patrick Fanelli said this week that a social media message allegedly threatened violence to someone who was suspected of being the shooter in a homicide over the summer and expected to be at the football game. Fanelli told The Buffalo News that district officials from Buffalo were informed of that, as were Buffalo Police.

   Said Kuzma: "This is a railroad all the way by Ken-Ton and Section 6 and it's a complete misrepresentation of what actually occurred here."

   Rescheduling will require some logistical gymnastics since there is a requirement for four days off between contests. Both schools would have to play contests on the same Friday one week and then play Saturday the following week in order to play the makeup game on a Tuesday in the interim.

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   More on the topic: Kudos to the Niagara Gazette for adding some excellent perspective to the Kenmore West-McKinley dispute. Reporter Khari Demos retold the story of a very serious incident at a game between two other Section 6 schools a couple of years ago and the common-sense measures that the respective districts took to dial back the tension and minimize the possibility of additional trouble.

   It's not just N.Y., folks: Between the Kenmore West-McKinley dispute, the eligibility ruling involving a star Section 5 football player and the investigation into a Shoreham-Wading River coach for an incident during a scrimmage late last month, it feels as though more news is being made off our state's playing fields than on it.

   Don't despair, New York. The situation is a tad worse elsewhere. Don't believe me? Try these off-the-field dramas on for size:

    • Cheerleaders at New London (N.C.) North Stanly High have been placed on probation for the remainder of the season by the North Carolina High School Athletics Association after they posed with "Trump 2020" campaign banner at a recent football game.

   Officials from the Stanly County school board emphasized they were not attempting to limit free speech. Rather, they wanted to ensure that students in official school uniforms -- thereby using public funds -- did not engage in political activities.

    • A Tempe, Arizona, assistant football coach, resigned from that position and his teaching job after an investigation showed he was supplying opposing teams with his team's game plans.

   Justin Hager, also the girls basketball coach, had been at Mountain Pointe in 2016.

   The school district discovered numerous emails from Hager's email account to opposing coaches over the last three years. The emails included details of formations, signals and player eligibility concerns.

   The findings were sent to the Arizona Interscholastic Association, whose executive director said schools receiving inside information are being instructed to investigate.

   Extra points: Cardinal O'Hara is one of 10 football programs nationally to be awarded $10,000 grants by Riddell and retired NFL star Peyton Manning as part of the 2019 "Smarter Football" promotion. O'Hara can use the funds for Riddell's latest helmets, pads and blocking equipment.

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