Leading off today: Al Monaco
, the boys basketball coach at Williamsville South for 24 years, has been removed from that position as well as golf coach, The Buffalo News reported Saturday.
Sources told the paper that second-year Superintendent Scott Martzloff informed Monaco of his decision Friday. Monaco, who owns a 364-211 record and is the sectional basketball co-chairman, declined comment to the paper.
Williamsville South won Section 6 championships as recently as 2010 and '11.
Shocking and sad: Tyrell Thompson, one of the big names in Section 1 boys basketball less than a decade ago, has died at the age of 23 after collapsing during a game.
The 2006 Somers JFK graduate was first-team all-state in Class B in 2005 and 2006. He went on to a solid career on the court at West Point and was stationed at Fort Lee in Virginia at the time of his death Wednesday.
Thompson, a first lieutenant, began to feel faint while playing. He returned after a water break but collapsed after shooting a jump shot, The Journal News reported.
“It’s just a terrible loss,” former JFK coach Tom Nelligan told the paper. “He was just a fantastic kid. As good a player as he was, God, he was just as good a person.”
Thompson played three seasons for Nelligan, scoring more than 1,300 points and helping his team to three straight NYSPHSAA finals and one Federation championship. The 6-foot-2 guard appeared in 86 games over four seasons for the U.S. Military Academy.
Heading upstate: Running back James Coleman of Christ the King is the 10th New York senior football prospect to commit to a BCS program, recently selecting the University at Buffalo.
Coleman ranked third in the CHSFL in total offense with 2,108 yards to go along with 20 touchdowns as a junior.
Out-of-state football, part I: Second-year West Mecklenburg, N.C., kicker Juliana Costantini had never attempted a field goal in a game until she booted a 31-yard winner Friday to edge West Charlotte 23-21.
Earlier, Costantini had gone 2-for-3 on converting extra points, but her miss on a blocked attempt loomed big after West Charlotte drove to a go-ahead touchdown with 2:04 to play. West Mecklenburg marched to West Charlotte 5 before a holding penalty pushed the Hawks back and left them with little choice but to kick on fourth down.
“This is my first game-winner actually ever,” Costantini told The Charlotte Observer. “I never even attempted a field goal – it’s always been extra points. It was really dramatic.”
Out-of-state football, part II: Folson, Calif., High appears to have found its quarterback for the next three seasons.
Making his varsity debut, Jake Browning threw 10 touchdown passes during a 68-28 win over Woodcreek, Calif., on Friday. The 10 touchdowns ties a national record held by six players, most recently Tucker Israel of Orlando, Fla., Lake Nora last season.