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Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019: NFHS will use Saranac Lake video in campaigns

   Leading off today: A great bit of work masterminded by a Section 7 school district is about to go national.

   A humorous public service announcement video (see it on YouTube) that began as an idea from Saranac Lake AD Eric Bennett encouraging better fan behavior is being picked up by the National Federation of State High School Associations and incorporated into its "My Reason Why," and "Becoming and Official" campaigns.

   NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas introduced Bennett to Mark Koski, a former colleague in New Mexico who is now executive director of the NFHS Network. Koski loved the video, which is built around bad audience behavior at a band concert.

   "I was really excited about what they were doing on a local level and I wanted to look into expanding it to a national level," Koski said. "It is important to get fan behavior under control for officials, for coaches and for the better overall experience for the students on the field and in the stands."

    • For more background on the video, you can check out a column I wrote for The Press & Sun-Bulletin earlier this year.

   Basketball milestone: Archbishop Stepinac guard R.J. Davis scored his 2,000th career point in a 70-64 boys basketball loss to Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville in a consolation game at the City of Palms Classic in Florida on Monday.

   The North Carolina signee finished the game with a team-high 32 points. He broke the 2,000 barrier on a layup with eight seconds remaining.

   Sec. 6 may reverse course: Section 6 officials are in the midst of voting on a proposal that would end federation-style scheduling in football and return teams to geographic leagues rather than aligning by state tournament classifications.


   Members of the Section 6 Athletic Council have until Jan. 3 to cast their votes. Each of the five leagues has four votes, and the council also has a superintendent representative, principal rep and boys and girls sports rep who cast votes, football coordinator Ken Stoldt told The Buffalo News.

   A return to geographic alignments would mean that some leagues would have a mix of teams from different classifications. That would necessitate using a points system to determine qualifiers and seedings for the sectional playoffs.

   Stoldt said some support for the change comes from schools wanting to promote more interest by renewing rivalries that exist in other sports throughout the year. Reduced travel mileage would also result.

   Sec. 5 school expands program: Bishop Kearney High School is adding a boys squad to its Selects Academy residential ice hockey program beginning next school year.

   The teams will not compete in Section 5 of the NYSPHSAA. Instead, three age-group teams stocked by players living in dorms at the school will compete regionally and nationally at the Tier 1 level.

  • 2019 NYSPHSAA football brackets
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  • 2019 NYSPHSAA boys soccer brackets
  • 2019 NYSPHSAA girls soccer brackets
  • NYSPHSAA cross country: 2019 boys meet | 2019 girls meet
  • Girls swimming: Swimming | Diving

  •    Kearney began its girls program in the fall of 2016. Its U-19 team in Tier 1 is off to a 22-7-4 start this season, and the U-16 squad is 11-13-6.

       "Combining Bishop Kearney's high-level aca- demic standards with the modern Academy hockey curriculum will provide our student-athletes an un- paralleled development platform to chase their dreams," school President Steve Salluzzo said in a statement.

       Kearney announced that Doug Holewa has been appointed program oper- ations director and Chris Collins will serve as hockey director of the new boys program.

       Ossining picks up award: The NYSPHSAA has selected the Ossining football team as the winner of its Fall 2019 Community Service Chall- enge. The team was selected by the NYSPHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Com- mittee comprised of two student-athletes from each of the 11 sections.

       Last August, the football team spearheaded a drive to help raise money for employees of the Landmark Diner, which had been destroyed by fire two days earlier after years of supporting the football team with meals. The football team also accepted donations at its first home game of the season to help the cause.

       "As coaches we are always teaching sportsmanship, teamwork, and commitment. But the greatest lesson we teach are life lessons," football coach Larry McRae said in a statement. "Things they can take with them when the air is out of the ball. Helping out the less fortunate is the biggest one of all."

       Extra points: Greg Schiano, recently lured back to Rutgers, will present at the New York State High School Football Coaches Association clinic Feb. 7 at Turning Stone.

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