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Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020: Tuohy three-peats as national runner of the year

   Leading off today: North Rockland senior Katelyn Tuohy has been selected Gatorade's national female cross country runner of the year for the third consecutive season.

   The North Carolina State recruit has been undefeated since the start of her sophomore season and won the Nike Cross Country championship the past three years. She was presented her latest award Thursday at school.

   Tuohy is the all-time winningest Gatorade player of the year with five national awards: 2017 thru '19 in cross country, 2018 in track and field and 2018 as Gatorade's national female athlete of year covering all sports.

   Gatorade spokesman Alli Novak termed Tuohy's third straight Gatorade cross country award "truly an incredible feat."

   LaSalle replaces hoops coach: LaSalle Institute's boys basketball coach Jon Desso has been replaced by the school despite a 12-4 start to his second season, The Times Union reported.

   The school's website lists Joshua House, an assistant under Desso, as the interim varsity coach.

   "I don't feel comfortable talking about it," Desso said when reached Wednesday.

   LaSalle AD Craig Ward did not offer an explanation. In a statement, he said, in part: "Mr. House is a positive influence on our student-athletes and impart the Lasallian values that are a cornerstone of our educational philosophy."

   Desso coached the team Saturday during a 62-61 loss to Schalmont.

   Milestone victory: Depew boys basketball coach Larry Jones won his 300th game with a 70-63 triumph against Lake Shore.

   "We came into this game excited," junior Christian Pagano said after finishing with 26 points. "We tried to act like we didn't know about it but, really, we did know about it and we used that as motivation. We wanted to get it for him."

   Jones has been at Depew since 1991. This year's team is 9-6.

   C/S/P on the move: Section 6 has moved the Clymer/Panama/Sherman football team up the Class C for the 2020 football season on the recommendation of its Competition Committee.

   C/S/P is the two-time defending New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D champion. C/S/P will be in a division with Southwestern, which made the state semifinals last season in Class C.

   "We're OK with it," coach Ty Harper said. "It'll be a nice challenge for us."


   New eight-man team: Royalton-Hartland is expected to combine with Barker and Lyndonville to form an eight-man football team this fall.

   Roy-Hart will be the host school under the plan, which is set to be approved next week at the school's respective board of education meetings.

   Roy-Hart fielded a varsity team last season that finished 0-7. Barker had about 10 junior varsity and varsity players who played at Medina last year. Lyndonville had a handful of athletes who played at Medina.

   Roy-Hart and Barker were a merged 11-man program for seven years, with the agreement ending after the 2017 season.

   Football rule revisions: The play clock will be set to 40 seconds when an official's timeout is taken for an injury to a defensive player or a defensive player has an equipment issue next season as the National Federation of State High School Associations removes a potential timing advantage gained by the defense.

   This change was approved by the NFHS Football Rules Committee last month in Indianapolis.

   In an effort to establish more consistent timing between downs, the play clock was expanded from 25 seconds to 40 seconds last season in many cases.

   "The rules committee was provided situations in which the defensive team was gaining a timing advantage late in games with a defensive injury or an equipment issue with the defense," said Todd Tharp, assistant director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association and chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee. "Under the current rule, if a play ended with less than 40 seconds left in the game and a defensive player was injured which resulted in an official's time-out, the play clock would reset to 25 seconds and another play would need to be run. With the new rule change, another play would not need to be run."

   In a nod to the changing nature of offenses, the committee also changed a rule regarding intentional grounding. Previously, it was legal to conserve time only by intentionally throwing the ball forward to the ground immediately after receiving a direct snap while lined up under center. Beginning next fall, a quarterback in shotgun formation can kill the clock in similar fashion.

   Also notable: If the game is interrupted due to weather during the last three minutes of the second quarter and the delay is at least 30 minutes, coaches can mutually agree to shorten halftime to as little as one minute plus a three-minute warm-up period.

   Filed hockey rule revisions: High school field hockey games will be played in four quarters instead of two halves beginning with the 2020 season, the NFHS announced.

   The NFHS Field Hockey Rules Committee decision moves the game to four 15-minute periods from two 30-minute halves. There will be two-minute breaks after the first and third quarters.

   "From an educational athletics point of view, a standardized break between quarters to address health and safety of athletes provides consistent opportunity for coaching, all while enhancing the excitement and flow of the game," said Sherry Bryant, associate director and chair of the NFHS Field Hockey Rules Committee. "It seems like a true win-win scenario.:

   With two additional breaks now built into the game, the committee abolished timeouts.

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