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Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019: Gloversville drops girls basketball for upcoming season

   Leading off today: In the course of compiling my gratitude list for the day, I decided I'm thankful that I don't have to be the person who has to explain how my school with a Class A enrollment cannot field a girls varsity basketball team.

   That's what the folks at Gloversville have been up against this week after confirming that there will be no team for the third time in nine years.

   "Our numbers don't dictate us having a varsity program," said Mike DeMagistris, the school's athletic director. "We had a setback."

   "Setback" is putting it mildly. The Daily Gazette reports that Gloversville won 17 games two years ago and 16 last season under coach Molly D'Arcy, who stepped down in the offseason for family reasons and was replaced by former Fonda-Fultonville star Emily Parslow.

   Gloversville previously did not field a team in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

   "We talked to the kids and we talked to our coaches," DeMagistris said. "It was a collective decision. We wanted to make the best decision. We believe this is the best thing to do for the kids."

   Gloversville graduated four seniors from last season's 10-player roster, including Harmony Philo, the program's all-time scoring leader.

   "We lost some talented kids, and some kids decided not to play," DeMagistris said. "We lost another girl with an injury."

   Parslow will help coach the junior varsity, and the school will field two modified teams.

   DiRienzo accepts process: Suspended New Rochelle football coach Lou DiRienzo said in a statement Wednesday that he accepts his reassignment during an investigation and does not want public criticism of the school district to distract from the team's NYSPHSAA championship game Sunday.

   The Journal News reported that DiRienzo said he recognizes that he can't lead the team while he and the district work toward a resolution of his Nov. 13 reassignment from coaching and teaching.

   "I do not want this ongoing matter to serve as a distraction to our outstanding football team and coaches, all of whom I am extremely proud of," DiRienzo said.

   The team has won two New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament games in DiRienzo's absence. New Rochelle plays McQuaid for the for Class AA state title on Sunday at Syracuse University.


    • The Journal News reported earlier this week that Yonkers police last week began looking into allegations made by a former local high school student who accused DiRienzo of incidents involving "unlawful contact" in the late 1980s.

   "Due to the nature of the allegations and the amount of time elapsed, any potential criminal charges would not be eligible for prosecution," said Yonkers Detective Lt. Dean Politopoulos, who would not comment further or answer questions about the investigation.

   Politopoulos said more information may be released after detectives investigate further.

   New Rochelle district officials did not respond to a question on Tuesday about whether their suspension of DiRienzo is in any way related to what the Yonkers police are reviewing. Board of Education President Amy Moselhi said Wednesday that she could not comment on DiRienzo's situation.

   Case resolved: A Section 1 girls basketball coach pleaded guilty Tuesday to disorderly conduct in a case stemming from his employment with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

   Tyrone Searight, 49, of Peekskill, pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct before Hon. Rhonda Schoenberger in Ramapo Justice Court, said state Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro. He was coaching at Haldane while collecting almost $17,000 in workers' compensation benefits, according to Tagliafierro's office.

   Searight, placed on leave of absence by Haldane three weeks ago, was sentenced to one-year conditional

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  • discharge and has paid full restitution of $16,912.92 to the MTA Bus Company.

       "This individual claimed an injury left him unable to work, but was actually coaching on the basket- ball court," Tagliafierro said. "As this case shows, we continue to fight fraud and abuse of the worker's compensation system."

       Blasz cleared to wrestle: Seventh-grader Trista Blasz has been cleared to begin practicing with her male teammates on the Lancaster JV wrestling team.

       Blasz was initially not cleared by the district's medical officer under its guidelines for mixed competition. The school board subsequently fired Dr. Michael Terranova, an independent contractor with the district for nearly 40 years.

       "She passed her physical with the Tanner 4 (score) and she passed both of her tests," said Trista's mother, Danielle Blasz. "Those are mandated New York State testing. If she was a boy she would have been on the team."

       Calling all helpers, Part I: We've begun work on the 2019 New York State Sportswriters Association all-state football teams, and this is our annual request for assistance.

       As usual, we are asking reporters to send in their selections (we will not publish your picks, just use them in the selection of our teams) by Dec. 15. Since the all-area teams picked by various publications tend to be dominated by players from the skill positions and from large-school teams, getting lists of top players from the five classes plus eight-man football, including linemen, will help speed up our process.

       Similarly, it would be helpful if the respective league or sectional chairmen could send copies of all-league teams. It would be helpful if the info included the players' height, weight and year in school.

       All material should be emailed to Printed information can be mailed to: Steve Grandin, 28 Orenda Spring Drive, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

       If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to let us know by email.

       The all-state teams will be announced in early January.

       Calling all helpers, Part II: I'm still looking for someone willing to take on the role of assembling the weekly statewide girls basketball rankings in Classes AA, A and B.

       I can assist the editor in lining up some weekly helpers from around the state, but the requirements of my new job -- 65-hour weeks from late December to early March -- would make it impossible for me to do all of the necessary work each Sunday. I'm really worried that we might not have rankings this winter if no one is able to step up to help.

       Contact me at if you're interested in helping.

       Extra points: Jon Bota, 26, is the new boys lacrosse coach at Mahopac, where he was part of the school's last team to win a Section 1 championship in the sport in 2011. Bota was on staff at Putnam Valley the past three seasons.

       The former all-section attackman replaces Joe Bucello, whose teams went 23-14 in three seasons.

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