Leading off today:
The executive directors of the Long Island sections of the NYSPHSAA aren't ready to throw in the towel on spring high school sports. Tom Combs of Section 11 and Pat Pizzarelli of Section 8 say Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decree that schools will remain closed through at least April 28 doesn't mean there can't be school sports by some time in May
"If we can come back in the beginning of May, we are fine," Combs said. "Even the middle of May is OK. I don't know all the answers, but I'd say if we come back June 1, we're done."
Said Pizzarelli: "It's a waiting game now and you try to plan out for different scenarios. The state championships were scheduled to go through June. Baseball has doubleheaders, so you could play four games a week for four weeks and that's 16 [conference] games."
Most spring sports require six practices before competition begins, though baseball requires 10.
What might a modified season look like? In baseball, Suffolk Class AA teams might play two-game series against league opponents instead of the normal three to trim the regular season from 18 to 12 games. If state tournaments are not held and with Regents exams canceled, sections could extend the regular seasons and playoffs into late June.
LuHi's Slater steps down: Rich Slater has stepped down after 12 seasons at Long Island Lutheran and four girls Federation championships. Slater rolled up a 234-58 record despite demanding schedules.
Slater cited a convergence of circumstances as influencing his decision. Among them were the death last week of Joe Lewinger, the athletic director at The Mary Louis Academy, and the leukemia treatment that LuHi assistant Taylor Kenney has been going through.
"I think everything going on now with the coronavirus humbled me because I saw Joe Lewinger lose his life and I have two friends in the ICU right now and while I still love coaching, and will coach again, I just felt it was time," Slater said.
Slater, who coached previously at East Meadow and Locust Valley, spoke to school administrators Monday and had a team meeting online last night to inform his players of his decision.
"Most people leave a job for a job but I'm leaving a job for no job," Slater said, laughing. "I have so many unforgettable memories though and that's what means the most to me."
• John Jay Cross River hockey coach Alex Smith says he is retiring from coaching and teaching this spring. Smith, 57, was the first coach in the program's history and won 185 games since 1999.
During his tenure, JCR won Section 1 championships in 2013, 2018 and 2019.
"It's going to be really hard to replace him. What he brings to the table is huge," said assistant coach Joe Posadas, who's also leaving.
Too much sad news of late: As mentioned earlier, athletic director Joe Lewinger of The Mary Louis Academy died last week at the age of 42. His coronavirus-related death came just days after the pandemic also claimed the lift of assistant basketball coach Dave Edwards.
Lewinger, whose teams won Federation basketball championships in 2002 and 2007, had stepped away from coaching in 2012 as this young twins, Madison and Jack, continued cancer treatments. Lewinger had served on the Franklin Square Union Free School District school board since 2015.
Edwards was a dynamic point guard at Andrew Jackson High in the PSAL and played college ball at Georgetown and Texas A&M.