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Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013: Shen-Shaker benefit doubleheader tonight

   Leading off today: Shenendehowa and Shaker will be playing a girls/boys basketball doubleheader Thursday night at Siena College to help launch scholarship funds in memory of Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers, two Shenendehowa student-athletes who died in a car accident Dec. 1.

   Time Warner Cable Sports will be broadcasting both games, beginning with the girls’ contest at 6:30 p.m. There will be a ceremony held between games.

   Admission is $5, and T-shirts will be sold for $10. Shen AD Chris Culnan told The Times Union on Wednesday that more than 2,000 tickets had already been sold.

   Following up: There were two items in the news this week regarding the tragedy involving Stewart and Rivers.

   Firstly, Stewart was selected posthumously to the all-state football Class AA fourth team as an offensive lineman, the New York State Sportswriters Association announced.

   Secondly, the case against the driver alleged to have cause the accident is moving forward, with prosecutors on Monday indicting Dennis Drue, 22, of Halfmoon on 59 criminal charges -- including 52 felonies.

   Drue is charged with several counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter. Prosecutors say he rear-ended Stewart's SUV, sending the vehicle across three lanes of traffic. Stewart and Rivers died, and two of their friends were injured in the crash.

   The Saratoga County district attorney believes Drue was impaired by alcohol and marijuana at the time of the crash, The Times Union reported. Initial toxicology results indicated Drue had alcohol in his system, but not enough to charge him with driving while intoxicated, investigators said. District Attorney James Murphy said further testing showed Drue had marijuana in his system, but prosecutors will have to prove that the drug was active enough to impair his ability to drive.

   One school, two NFL big shots: Miami (Ohio) University is proud of its reputation as the Cradle of Coaches in football, having helped launch the careers of the likes of Earl Blaik, Paul Brown, Weeb Ewbank, Sid Gillman, Woody Hayes, Ara Parseghian, Sean Payton, Bo Schembechler, Jim Tressel, etc.

   In Western New York, little ol' St. Francis High had a nice run of its own this week. In the span of 24 hours -- and in the same week an alum was named a Division I head coach -- two former Frannies classmates landed jobs as NFL general managers.

   The San Diego Chargers introduced Tom Telesco as GM on Wednesday, and the Jacksonville Jaguars have hired David Caldwell as their GM.

   “This is something special,” St. Francis football coach Jerry Smith told The Buffalo News. “You’re talking 32 jobs in the world like this, and one little school just happens to have two of those positions. I wonder if that’s happened in the NFL ever.”

   Telesco and Caldwell also attended John Carroll University in suburban Cleveland together. Brian Polian, also a St. Francis/John Carroll grad, was named the University of Nevada’s head coach this week. All graduated from high school between 1989 and '93.

   Speaking of hirings, the Carolina Panthers hired New York Giants senior pro personnel analyst and former Spackenkill coach David Gettleman as their new general manager. The announcement came Wednesday.

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   Two Section 5 changes The West Irondequoit school board announced Wednesday that Dan Fichter, a former IHS star, will coach the varsity football team next fall.

   He replaces 23-year coach Wade Bianco, whose role as an administrator -- he is assistant principal at the high school -- no longer allows him to coach because of district policy, AD Anthony Lipani said.

   “It had nothing to do with performance,’’ Lipani said. “Wade is a good man."

   Bianco, who has 34 years in the sport, including 1986-88 as Avon's head coach, says he's not done in the sport. “I can tell you this,’’ Bianco told the Democrat and Chronicle, “I am not retiring from coaching.’’

   Fichter was a defensive coordinator on Bianco’s staff.

   On Thursday, McQuaid announced that Bob Bates has resigned as football coach after a 25-12 mark in four seasons but will continue teaching physical education. That will almost certainly trigger speculation that he'll join Fichter, a former McQuaid assistant.

   Extra points: Former Corning lacrosse head coach Bob Streeten, who retired in June, was recognized during Wednesday’s school board meeting for his 31 years of work on the sidelines. Seventeen of his former players have gone on to coach in college and 15 more in the high school ranks.

   Streeten went 544-102 at Corning East and then the consolidated district team.

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