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Monday, Sept. 30, 2019: North Rockland girls blank Albertus Magnus

   Leading off today: North Rockland reeled off its seventh straight girls soccer victory after an opening-game loss by defeating Albertus Magnus 1-0 on Sunday.

   North Rockland senior Kelly Brady was credited with the lone goal in the second half on what appeared to be an own goal by Albertus Magnus. Junior Allie Spong made six saves to earn the shutout in the finale of the inaugural Rockland Challenge, a two-day boys and girls event featuring 16 teams from around the county.

   North Rockland is ranked 10th in Class AA in the most recent state rankings. Albertus Magnus is No. 3 in Class A.

   "We know this is not an easy team to play," Brady said. "We had to keep the intensity up and not let back."

   Albertus Magnus (9-2) lost sophomore defender Josie Cavallo to an injury early into the first half that kept her out for all but a couple minutes the rest of the game.

   Protecting officials: A state senator from the Rochester area has re-introduced a bill increasing protections for officials who are harassed or assaulted on the job.

   Sen. Rich Funke is sponsoring the bill in which physically assaulting an official would be a Class D felony, punishable up to seven years behind bars. Harassment would qualify as a Class B misdemeanor, which could result in a three-month sentence.

   The bill was previously introduced in 2012, but the growing trend of hostility toward officials made this the right time to try to enact it into law, Funke said. He cited a survey conducted by the National Association of Sports Officials showing 13 percent of respondents had been assaulted and 47 percent have feared for their lives while working a game.

   "If we are going to teach our young people the value of good sportsmanship, we first have to model it ourselves," Funke said in a statement. "Unruly spectators should not be allowed to intimidate referees, umpires, or other sports officials. My legislation delivers that message loud and clear"

   In a statement, Section 5 Executive Director Kathy Hot supported the bill.

   "Sports officials are essential to interscholastic athletics and valued members of any sporting event," she said. "Without officials, student athletes would not have an opportunity to participate in the sports they so enjoy. With everyone working together, we need to ensure that sports officials are treated respectfully."

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   College plans: Maho- pac junior softball star Shannon Becker com- mitted to the University of Notre Dame over the weekend.

   Becker pitched every game for her team last spring, going 19-4 with 15 shutouts and 369 strikeouts. She also hit a team-high .420. She struck out all 21 batters May 7 in a perfect game vs. Carmel.

   Latest appeal rejected: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has upheld Section 5's decision declaring Roch- ester East running back Seven McGee ineligible for the current season.

   The three-person panel heard the appeal on behalf of the all-state player last week and handed down its decision Thursday.

   "We continue to pursue the case on Seven's behalf to create this opportunity for him and to continue an important discussion of the way the rules and rule-makers may not fully understand the complexities of the lives and choices some of our young people face," East Superintendent Shaun Nelms said in a statement.

   New column: We unveiled a new occasional column on the website today. Western New York resident Skeet Whitlow is putting his phychology degree and background in basketball to use to offer strategies and insights into coaching.

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