Leading off today:
So far this summer, we've seen an enormously successful softball coach at Cicero-North Syracuse and a boys basketball coach at Williamsville South fired for undisclosed reasons amid accusations of some levy of bullying voiced by parents of players.
I've documented both cases in recent blogs. Based on what I've seen and heard, I stand by my initial belief that it's doubtful either coach did anything that merited anything more than an informal "let's try to avoid that in the future" suggestion from the respective ADs or principals.
Others are much more riled up by the firings and spoke passionately in defense of the coaches at recent school board meetings.
I rehash all this because I want to pass along a story from a friend whose child -- and pretty much the entire team -- was subjected to stunningly boorish and insensitive treatment in the early going this season.
I'll stay away from specifics since I haven't spoken to anyone in the school district, but I'm confident of the details. The short story is that the coach in question was conspicuously absent from practice last week after another tongue-lashing that was supposed to pass for a post-game talk a day earlier.
It's pretty obvious that one or more parents -- my friend was not one of them -- took their concerns to the AD or possibly even higher, and the message came across loud and clear. Another coach from the staff ran practice the following day and undid a considerable amount of the damage via words and deeds.
If the offending coach returns to practice tomorrow, then hopefully their comments will be of a more constructive nature; criticizing performances is both fair and necessary, but complete rip jobs accomplish nothing except help athletes decide to try a different sport or activity next fall.
My message here is a simple one: Sometimes the accusations aren't about revenge for appropriate discipline or providing cover for a child's lapse in judgment. Sometimes it really is justifiable for a parent to intervene at the expense of a coach.
And sometimes change can be implemented without publicly tearing down good people.
Injury report: Aquinas got a scare when running back Billy Lombardi, the 2011 NYSSWA co-player of the year in Class A, left Saturday's win vs. Bishop Timon with a leg injury.
The news on Sunday was much more optimistic, with the diagnosis coming back as an ankle sprain that may limit his availability in the near term for the Little Irish, ranked fourth in the state in Class AA last week.
He had 129 yards in 12 carries Saturday, playing a little less than half the game.
The numbers game: They're used to doing more with less over at Fort Edward, but the Flying Forts may really be cutting it close this season.
The Post-Star reported that Fort Edward dressed only