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Friday, Nov. 22, 2019: Sayville QB sets Long Island mark for TD passes

   Leading off today: Sayville quarterback Jack Cheshire set the Long Island record for touchdown passes in a season on Thursday while leading a 28-10 win over East Islip in the Suffolk Division III football championship game.

   Cheshire completed 15 of 23 passes for 257 yards and two TDs. The junior's 31-yard pass to C.J. Messina with 1:03 left in the first half was his record-breaking 41st pass of the season, surpassing the mark of 40 set by Sayville's Jack Coan in 2014.

   Cheshire, who has thrown for 3,052 yards this season, hadn't practiced all week due to an abdominal injury suffered in the semifinals last weekend. He engineered a 15-play, 92-yard drive capped by Alex Millwater's 4-yard touchdown run to open the scoring.

   "I didn't want to miss this game for anything," Cheshire said.

   Freeport still perfect: Makhai Jinks had a huge offensive night with 169 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries as Freeport beat Farmingdale 30-7 in the Nassau Conference I title game.

   Freeport extended its winning streak to 23 games with its third Section 8 championship in four years by limiting Farmingdale to 102 yards of offense.

   Jinks had TD runs of 15, 14 and 10 yards for Freeport, which led from the third snap of the game. Terrance Edmond was 7-for-10 passing for 127 yards and threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Dakairi Stevenson (five catches, 100 yards).

   New Rochelle update: Coach Lou DiRienzo, who was reassigned before last week's game NYSPHSAA playoff game, won't coach New Rochelle this weekend in the state semifinals either.

   New Rochelle plays Shenendehowa at 6 p.m. Saturday.

   Superintendent Dr. Laura Feijoo said in a statement sent to parents that the administration still hasn't met with DiRienzo and won't until Monday, The Journal News reported.

   In a response email, the New Rochelle High School Football Parents Association said, "This is an outrageous, mean-spirited travesty of justice."

   The superintendent's decision to reassign DiRienzo from teaching and coaching duties has riled students and the community. More then two dozen speakers criticized Feijoo and the school board during this week's meeting.

   The school board and superintendent produced a three-minute video thanking the players for keeping their focus saying they're proud of the student-athletes. The video says the board can't comment on speculation surrounding DiRienzo's reassignment but is "truly sorry the team has been placed in this situation."

   Deal reached in Section 5: Boys basketball referees for the majority of Rochester and Finger Lakes-area league are likely to sign off Friday on a deal between Section 5 and IAABO Board 60 to head off widespread postponements next month.


   The sides reportedly reached an agreement Thursday on a one-year compromise in the process for making initial officiating selections as well as reassignments when referees need to hand back games they had previous been assigned to work.

   If reassignments become a shared responsibility between the officials and the section, it will be interesting to see how the process plays out. Board 60 has been adamant about reducing travel since referees are no longer reimbursed for mileage, but making initial assignments or reassignments with distance as a primary criteria would seemingly lead to some schools having their games worked by a small pool of officials throughout the season.

   Leave of absence: Six-time defending Section 1 girls basketball champion Haldane has lost its coach for the time being.

   Tyrone Searight has taken a leave of absence as coach

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  • after he was arrested in October on fraud charges stemming from his former job as a bus driver for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, The Journal News reported this week.

       Haldane AD Chris Salumn said he and Superintendent Philip Benante met with Searight on Nov. 5 "and had a very constructive conversation" leading to Searight taking a leave of absence while he works to resolve the legal issues.

       Searight, 49, has coached the Blue Devils since the 2009-10 season. Haldane has won the last six Section 1 titles in Class C.

       JV coach Jessica Perrone will lead the varsity team for now, Salumn said. The district was still seeking a new JV coach this week.

       Searight was charged in October by the Rockland County District Attorney's Office. He worked as a bus driver for the MTA from 1996-2017. The allegations against him concern workers' compensation benefits collected from December 2016 to May 2017 after reporting a job-related knee injury.

       More coaching news: Robin Maycock has retired as the girls volleyball coach at Randolph, where she won seven Section 6 titles, three NYSPHSAA championships and more than 500 matches.

       Maycock will handle a final season of JV basketball this winter and then retire from teaching at the end of the school year.

       "I love the competitiveness of the matches, but overall I'll mostly miss the girls," she said. "I've had the pleasure of working with some of the best."

        • Oneonta football coach John Mushtare announced we won't be returning to the sideline next fall. Mushtare said he is finishing his administrative degree course work and would be applying to school administrator positions.

       "I didn't want the program waiting around to see what I would do next fall," he said. "I thought it was best that we get the news out to players and parents so the school could take the next step early."

       After a 4-23 start at Oneonta, Mushtare finished with an 18-47 record. There were just four seniors on a team that went 2-7 this season.

       Always have a plan: One of the things I wondered about last week after the early-season snow storm was what sort of contingency plans were in place for the NYSPHSAA cross country championships last weekend at SUNY Plattsburgh if the course could not be readied in time for the meet.

       I got an answer to that in an email this week from Section 7 coordinator Brian Kiely, who was the longtime coach at Ticonderoga.

       Kiely said we went so far as to measure out a road course five days before the meet. In the meantime, a crew of past and present Section 7 coaches carved out an improvised course on the trails with snowblowers and shovels. Even that required a Plan B after a path on a hill froze over the night before the race, causing one final alteration to the course.

       "Section 7 has been very fortunate to have such dedicated and helpful coaches," he wrote.

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