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Friday, March 23, 2012: Nazareth might stay open beyond June

   Leading off today: The end may not be near for Nazareth after all.

   The Brooklyn school, which advanced its boys and girls basketball teams to Albany for this weekend's Federation tournament, is slated to close at the end of the current school year, but The New York Post reported Friday that there is a possibility the doors could remain open next fall.

   Principal Providencia Quiles announced last week that the Nazareth board of trustees has given the administration three goals -- raise $700,000, add 80 new students and develop a strategic plan looking three to five years out. Quiles said the East Flatbush school has 66 students registered, has raised $100,000 and is close to completing the long-term plan.

   “A lot of it has been driven from parents, alumni and the students,” Quiles told the paper. “Everyone seems to be completely dedicated to keeping our doors open.”

   Calhoun honored: UConn-bound guard Omar Calhoun of Christ the King was selected Gatorade's New York boys basketball player of the year. The 6-foot-5 senior averaged 25.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals this past season to help the Royals to a 19-8 record. He hold's the school's record for career points at 1,770.

   On the move: Tavon Sledge is one-and-done at Iowa State, opting to look at other schools for a better opportunity to play according to

   Sledge, a first-team all-state pick in Class AA as a Half Hollow Hills West senior last winter, played in just eight games, averaging 2.3 minutes at Iowa State.

   Sledge initially chose Iowa State over West Virginia, St. John’s, Cincinnati, Seton Hall and Rutgers. “He’s wide open,” AAU coach Mike Moore said. “He just got his release today. He just wants to go where an opportunity exists.”

   Cipp resigns: Joe Cipp Jr., Suffolk County's winningest football coach before his retirement last year, resigned as South Country Central School District superintendent Wednesday night in the aftermath of allegations of grade-fixing involving a former player now at Syracuse University.

   The school board voted 5-3 vote to accept Cipp's resignation and will pay him $545,280 -- his salary through May 2, 2014, Newsday reported. The meeting included a confrontation between a board member and Cipp's son, Joseph Cipp III, 42, who is head football coach at Bellport.

   Cipp Jr., 63, was not at Wednesday night's meeting, but said in a statement, "As we move into critical months for testing with our students, I feel as a leader, I must take the appropriate action to put the focus back on our students and academics," the paper reported.

   The controversy stemmed from accusations made last year by fired principal Kevin O'Connell, who said Cipp pressured employees to change Ryan Sloan's grades so the football star could qualify to enroll in college. Cipp has consistently maintained the accusation was false.

   Too busy to defend: Cornwall sophomore tennis star

More N.Y. postseason coverage
All sports
NYSSWA site for brackets of tournaments from the past and present seasons. Boys basketball
Road to Glens Falls for scores and stats.
Federation tourney brackets
NYSPHSAA tourney brackets
Current state rankings.
Girls basketball
Road to Troy for scores and stats.
Federation tourney brackets
NYSPHSAA tourney brackets
Current state rankings.
Ice hockey
NYSSWA site for tournament brackets.
Final state rankings.

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Ernesto Dillon will not defend his Section 9 singles championship this spring, The Times Herald-Record reported.

   The Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association requires players to participate in 70 percent of their team's league matches, and Dillon already has obligations to the Panamanian Junior Davis Cup team as well as International Tennis Federation and United States Tennis Association events.

   Minisink Valley's Paul Hayes, the 2010 singles champ, cited burnout in choosing to not try to defend the sectional crown last spring.

   I'm not making this up: High schools in South Carolina are making a push to make fishing a school-sanctioned sport, FOX News reported this week.

   “They want their picture on the wall just like the football team and the volleyball and basketball and other state champion teams from Camden,” said Daniel Sisk, the fishing club coach at Camden High School in Columbia, S.C.

   Camden and other schools are working with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to make fishing a competitive sport. Students from 14 schools have signed a petition asking the South Carolina High School League to sanction fishing as a sport.

   “If it was recognized as a varsity sport, then your benefits would be you can letter in it, you can get scholarships,” said Camden freshman Catie Charles. “But right now you don’t. You just go out there for fun and nobody really notices.”

   Extra points: The Lindenhurst Middle School baseball field will be named on Saturday after Michael Canobbio, longtime varsity coach in the district. Canobbio, 62, recorded his 500th win as varsity baseball coach last season, and his teams have earned 28 playoff appearances and 10 league titles in 35 seasons.

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