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Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019: Enigmatic Sec. 5 football star leaves again

   Leading off today: If he changes his mind one more time, a certain high school athlete can apply to change his name from Seven McGee to Seven Transfers.

   The Democrat and Chronicle reported this week that the well-traveled McGee has left Rochester once again to transfer to a California school for which he'll presumably play his senior season before heading off to a major-college football program.

   His departure from East High earlier this month to enroll at Centennial High in Corona, California, about an hour away from Los Angeles, marks the sixth time that McGee has changed schools since the start of junior high. It's also the third time in less than a year that he has pulled up stakes to go coast-to-coast in the middle of a semester.

   The paper reported that East High superintendent Shaun Nelms released a statement Tuesday regarding McGee, lauding the talented running back (an all-state pick in 2018) as "an incredible student, athlete, and teammate who contributed to the culture of East, both off and on the field."

   McGee could only be a spectator this past football season as East reached the Section 5 Class A final. He was ruled ineligible by Section 5 in both football and basketball for being out of compliance with the NYSPHSAA transfer rule after returning from another Narbonne High in Harbor City, California, in May. He had left East early in the 2018-19 basketball season.

   He had previously bounced from Rochester to California to Rochester once before.

   Comment: Go ahead and criticize me for semi-ridiculing a high school kid who by all accounts is talented and likeable. But if you see the problem here as me rather than the guidance he's getting from adults as he bounces from coast to coast, then you're missing the big picture.

   Early signing period: Two obvious takeaways from the early signing period for Division I football prospects:

   (1) We're on our way to another relatively thing list of New York signees between now and February, but somehow six different Big Ten schools have lined up platers from our state.

   (2) Syracuse University has signed more players from Germany (two) -- I think they play in Section 12 of the NYSPHSAA, right? -- this week than from New York (one).

   'Titans' coach dies: Herman Boone, the Virginia high school football coach portrayed by Denzel Washington in the 2000 movie "Remember the Titans" died Wednesday at the age of 84.

   Boone was appointed at Virginia's T.C. Williams High School in 1971, the year Alexandria's high schools were integrated. He promptly directed the squad to a 13-0 record and a state championship.

   "We are truly saddened to hear of the death of Coach Herman Boone today," the Alexandria City Public Schools posted on Twitter. "(The district) and (high school) community will never forget his contribution to bringing our city together post-segregation."


   Buffalo dives into eSports: Two Buffalo high schools are building eSports programs thanks to financial help from AT&T. Bennett and I-Prep at Grover Cleveland will compete in the High School Esports League starting next month. They will play some of the most popular video games online against other schools from around the country.

   "It's way more fun playing with a team than playing by yourself," said Bennett senior Jordan Graves, whose team will compete in Rocket League and Fortnite.

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  •    The Bennett start-up has been so popular that the school had to cap its team at 45 students and split them into varsity and JV squads.

       I-Prep's teams are preparing to take on opponents in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

       Funding from AT&T is helping to pay for league fees and the purchase the some equipment.

       Girls basketball: Solvay has switched from the OHSL Liberty to the OHSL American, which consists of the league's larger schools, in order to balance the divisions after PSLA at Fowler was unable to field a team this season.

       Schedules are unaffected since league members play all opponents from either division once apiece.

        • The Hudson Valley Sports Report had the story late last week that Haldane does not intent to restore Tyrone Searight as coach of the six-time defending Section 1 champs.

       Searight, accused of fraudulently collecting workers' compensation benefits at his full-time job, entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge recently while on leave from coaching, and HVSR reported school district Superintendent Phil Benante told him to resign or be terminated by the school board.

       Policy trips up coaches: Two wrestling coaches at Allentown (Pa.) Central Catholic have been suspended for allowing a male to wrestle a female last week.

       Central Catholic follows the local Roman Catholic Diocese's policy prohibiting mixed gender competition in wrestling other than in the individual state tournament.

       John Bolich and his assistant were suspended after sending freshman Josh Lynds onto the mat to face William Allen freshman Rachelly Montas during a Dec. 11 dual meet. Bolich, a former Lehigh University wrestler, is in his second year as head coach.

       F-M appoints two: Familiar faces will be taking over the baseball and football programs at Fayetteville-Manlius.

       Cory Nelson, who was a varsity assistant and is was an accomplished pitcher in his F-M playing days, replaces Jason Rutkey, who resigned in the fall. Rutkey has new administrative duties at Clary Middle School and is taking classes toward an advanced degree.

       With Paul Muench retiring after 32 years in teaching and nearly two decades as varsity football coach, Dan Sullivan moves up from his role as defensive coordinator.

       Sullivan, 45, has an extensive background in college Division III coaching.

        • tweeted recently that Russ Nixon has stepped down as football coach at Niagara Wheatfield.

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