Leading off today:
"Consolidation" has been the battle cry of taxpayers for a good many years now. Give me a leaner and meaner government, they say.
The folks in Elmira are getting their money's worth in that department when it comes to high school sports. Not only are the programs at Elmira Free Academy and Southside merged as an austerity measure, but now the financially strapped school district is sharing an athletic director with the nearby Horseheads district.
The Leader took a look at what Tom Morrell's life is like as the man in charge of sports at the three schools, and you can bet the ranch that a bunch of school superintendents around the state are keeping a close eye on how this experiment progresses.
The move came about when Jeff Manwaring retired as AD of the Elmira district and Horseheads did not want assistant principal Mike McCawley to have to continue pulling double duty.
“We knew that we would need to find a candidate that had incredible organizational skills, who would have to be committed to both districts,” Elmira Superintendent Joe Hochreiter said. “And when you really think about what a good athletic director does, they provide good management and leadership to make sure that quality coaches are hired, that things are ready for competition, that student athletes are held accountable for behavior and academic priorities. We felt that those qualities in a good athletic director are not district specific. You can have someone that wears two hats and will be equally committed to both districts.”
Each district has an athletic manager assisting Morrell. The rest is up to Morrell to figure out in terms of how much time to devote at each school during the week.
“Just balancing the schedule I think has been the biggest challenge - finding time for everybody in both places,” Morrell told the paper. “Both places have different ways of running their business. Trying to learn the same job in two different ways is the biggest challenge. But it’s been pretty smooth."
McQuaid cross country recap: Marcellus senior Ryan Manahan won the Class AA race in 14:37 on Genesee Valley Park's flat 3-mile course Saturday for the top performance of the 48th McQuaid Invitational. The seeded AAA race was won by Arlington’s Sibby Hanson in 14:39, followed by Baldwinsville's Alec Peinkofer in 14:45.
Arlington won the AAA team race decisively over Rush-Henrietta and Baldwinsville. Walsh Jesuit from Ohio triumphed comfortably over Pittsford Mendon in AA.
In girls races, the fastest time of the day was posted by Elk County Catholic (Pa.) junior Kennedy Weisner -- a 2011 Foot Locker finalist -- in 16:46 in the Class A race.