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Friday, Jan. 17, 2020: Storm brewing over Section 6 football change

   Leading off today: It doesn't really matter what your actual motivation was behind a decision or what the process was for arriving at the decision. Once the ensuing outcry evolves into accusations of racism and discrimination you have a big public relations problem on your hands.

   That's where Section 6 sits heading into the weekend following the recent decision to scuttle federation-style scheduling for the 2020 football season and return that responsibility to the respective leagues.

   Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash is expected to meet with federation leaders on Friday in hopes of convincing them not rescind the decision, The Buffalo News reported.

   If the federation doesn't reconsider the change, which leaves the five Buffalo schools without an easily workable league because of the disparity in enrollments, the city's school board has signed off on taking legal action.

   "This is a racial injustice," said board member Terrance Heard, whose son plays football, "and I will stand firm on that."

   "There are significant equity issues. There are issues of isolation that I don't feel is a step forward. I feel it's a backward step for us," Cash said.

   Returning scheduling to the leagues after many years of aligning schools by playoff classification reduces travel in many cases and plays off of rivalries that already exist in another sports.

   "If this isn't discrimination, what is?" said Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore. "It may be hard to prove it, but you know something, it's obvious what's going on here."

   BPS sought to be included in the 28-team Erie County Interscholastic Conference but was turned down this week.

   Coaches from the five Buffalo schools met Thursday to discuss possible options.

   "We will meet again with administration to determine what will make city of Buffalo football as strong as possible," South Park coach Tim Delaney said. "We are trying to determine what is best for our kids and our programs to strengthen our level of competition as we will strive to play for sectional and state titles."

   Speaking of squabbles: It doesn't take much in the internet era for a story to go from zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds. That's the case this week following an interview that former McQuaid star Isaiah Stewart did with national college basketball writer Jeff Goodman.

   Stewart, having a superb freshman season at the University of Washington, apparently held a grudge against Jim Boeheim because he couldn't get a picture taken with the Syracuse coach as an eighth-grader.

   Stewart said he was attending a tournament as an eighth-grader and was snubbed because Boeheim said he he was busy watching his son play. Stewart then said his friends made fun of him for the snub.


   "I remembered that," Stewart said. "It hurt me for sure."

   Stewart added that he told his friends, "It's cool, I'm gonna make him regret it one day."

   Boeheim responded Thursday, saying it was a group of people who came over for the photo, and that he suggested taking the photo after the game ended.

   "I never turn down pictures for anybody," Boeheim told Goodman.

   Stewart told Goodman the interaction with Boeheim made an impact, especially because he was so young.

   "Not to throw dirt on anybody, he's a great coach, I respect him," Stewart said. "When you're choosing a school of course you're going to remember something like that, especially when you're a little kid."

   National award for L.I. coach: Northport's Carol Rainson-Rose has been selected as the 2018-19 national coach of the year in girls lacrosse by the NFHS Coaches Association.

   The National Federation of State High School Associations announced winners in 23 sports Thursday.

   Northport went 21-1 last spring and won its first NYSPHSAA championship since 2011.

   Done for the season: Jamesville-DeWitt has lost senior guard Gabby Stickle to a knee injury for the remainder of the season. The seventh-team all-state player in Class A from a

season ago was injured in the Red Rams' final game before the holiday break.

   She was averaging 15.7 points in J-D's first four games.

   Tribute to a pioneer: Hudson Valley Sports Report creator Rich Thomaselli wrote a nice tribute to Brian Moore, who died Monday after a lengthy series of illnesses.

   Moore got in early on the creation of niche high school sports sites, launching the now-defunct Northern Dutchess Sports website more than a decade ago and in the process creating a blueprint for others to follow.    As Thomaselli launched his website in 2010, Moore gave him perspective that still holds true.

   "Nothing has changed since yesterday, or the day before, the month before, the year before, the decade before or the generation before," he said. "Maybe even generations beyond that. When it comes to high school sports, you have the kids and you have their family. And at the end of the day, no matter what era it is, kids and their parents and their friends and their classmates still like to see their names in the paper or online. It's important."

   Following up: The New York State Sportswriters Association released its all-state football team selections over the past two Wednesdays.

   As usual, such a massive undertaking requires plenty of help, so a thank you goes out to Andy Slawson (Long Island), Mike Libert (New York City), Josh Thomson (Westchester), Sal Interdonato (Middletown), Jim Schiltz (Schenectady), Pete Tobey (Glens Falls), Keith Lobdell (Elizabethtown), Marques Slaughter (Utica), Nolan Weidner (Syracuse), Phil Sanzo (Watertown), Kevin Stevens (Binghamton), Andrew Legare (Elmira), James Johnson (Rochester), Steve Johnson (Rochester), John Likanje (Rochester), Bob Chavez (Canandaigua), Chris Metcalf (Batavia) and Dick Gallagher (Western New York).

   It was inevitable: Some 56 percent of eSports competitors experience eye fatigue, 42 percent report neck and back pain, 36 percent wrist pain and 32 percent hand pain according to limited research from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine.

   A team led by Hallie Zwibel surveyed eight universities with eSports teams and received 60 individual responses. The research showed 40 percent of eSports participants get no physical activity in any given day.

   "I think the most surprising aspect was the limited amount of exercise and, in turn, the amount of sedentary behavior," Zwibel said. "We knew they practiced a lot. We knew they weren't exercising a lot. But just the fact that fewer than 50 percent of players got up every two hours to just take a standing break really was a shock to us."

   Zwibel recommends that athletic training staffs talk to online gamers about proper posture, and limiting the amount of bright lights and screen time before bed as it lowers melatonin levels.

   Extra points: Mexico wrestler Dean Shambo picked up career win No. 200 last weekend at the Eastern States tournament.

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