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Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020: ECIC rejects adding Buffalo schools for football

   Leading off today: Buffalo Public Schools teams will have to look for new scheduling options after members of the Erie County Interscholastic Conference voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to not extend a football-only membership offer in the sport.

   ECIC Athletic Council rejected the proposal to admit South Park, Bennett, McKinley, Burgard and Hutch-Tech in football by a 26-2 margin with one abstention.

   The schools were looking for help after last week's announcement that Section 6 was ending federation-style scheduling and returning that responsibility to the respective leagues. With just five schools and varying greatly in enrollments, the BPS members are reluctant to form their own football league.

   "The ECIC has 28 football playing schools that we still are not sure how we are going to align and schedule," said Mark DiFilippo, executive director of ECIC. "Adding five more teams to the mix only complicates it. We will have spots for non-league games with the city and other leagues."

   Fans' fighting ends game: A halftime brawl in the stands between spectators led officials to suspend the boys basketball game between Wyandanch and Amityville after Suffolk police officers were unable to clear the gym late Monday afternoon.

   Wyandanch Principal Paul Sibblies said no students initiated the altercation, Newsday reported. He said Wyandanch community members ignited the fight and that video will be reviewed to identify the combatants. Sibblies said participants will be barred from attending games at the high school.

   There were no arrests, Suffolk police said.

   Amityville led Wyandanch 40-35 in front of a near-capacity crowd and both teams were in their locker rooms when the fight broke out.

   It was the second time in about a year that violence has broken out at a Wyandanch game. Last January, Mount Sinai's game at Wyandanch was followed by a fracas on the court that involved between 15 to 20 people and resulted in one arrest.

   "We're very disappointed," Wyandanch school board President Shirley Baker said of the latest incident. "We know it wasn't students, but we also know it's going to reflect on the students."

   It was not immediately known when the game would be completed.

   Milestone victory: Little Falls girls volleyball coach Joe Loiacono won his 500th match when the Mounties swept Sauquoit Valley.

   "I love the sport. And I love teaching it to the kids," said Loiacono, 73, who retired from teaching in 2003 but still works at the district's education communications center.

   He began coaching boys volleyball at Little Falls in 1968, the same year he graduated from Cornell University. He started as the girls coach in 1971 and has coached that team for 47 years -- with a two-year interruption when a long-ago administrator didn't think a man should be coaching girls sports.

   He coached both the girls and boys teams -- junior varsity and varsity -- for about 30 seasons.

   "That was back when I had more energy," he said.


   A monster stat line: Sophomore Claire Pikett recorded the first quadruple-double in Holland girls basketball history in an 84-48 win vs. Tonawanda. The 6-foot forward had 20 points, 17 rebounds, 11 steals and 10 blocked shots as the Dutch- women improved to 7-0.

   Dilemma for Kingston: The Kingston school district is holding off acceptance of a donation to the high school wrestling program because the source of the money is a beer distributor.

   The proposed $400 gift was discussed during a school board meeting last week. Superinten- dent Paul Padalino said more information is needed on whether the funding would require publicity for Dutchess Beer Distributors.

   "That's the question that needs to be answered before we accept that donation," he said.    "The concern was ... is there going to be a logo there?" Padalino said. "That's not going to be something we're willing to accept. Would they accept the donation itself if it didn't have it? That's going to be up to the board.

   Officials could not recall having previously accepted a donation from a company closely identified with alcoholic beverages.

   Board President James Shaugnessy suggested the donation would have had an easier route to acceptance if "beverage" instead of "beer" was part of the company name.

   Officials with Dutchess Beer Distributors were not immediately available for comment.

   Football coach appointed: John Stephens, a 2010 Goshen graduate who played running back and linebacker there, has been appointed as football coach at his alma mater.

   Stephens, 28, will take over for Ed Killenberger, who stepped down after eight seasons.

   Stephens guided Liberty to a Section 9 Class B playoff berth in 2017 and was a Goshen JV assistant last fall.

   Goshen has finished 6-2 and made the Section 9 Class A semifinals the past two seasons.

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