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Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013: Ex-LI great Gwaltney faces multiple charges

   Leading off today: North Babylon football legend Jason Gwaltney added a sorry new chapter to his story Tuesday by getting arrested with four teens in connection with a burglary, reported.

   Gwaltney, 25, was charged with first-degree burglary, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, Suffolk County Police said. According to police, three armed men entered a Huntington home through an unlocked door at approximately 1:20 a.m. Tuesday, threatening five residents and demanding cash. Two others remained outside as lookouts during the incident, police allege.

   Gwaltney rolled up 7,800 rushing yards and 135 touchdowns, both Long island records, from 2001-04. He went on to a stormy, suspension and discipline-riddled career at West Virginia.

   More from the police blotter: Speaking of arrests, former Saratoga football and basketball star Tony DeLoatch got picked up in Glenville on charges of gang assault, robbery and unlawful imprisonment.

   DeLoatch, 20, was one of three men arrested in connection with the July incident, in which police say a man was beaten and robbed.

   DeLoatch was named to the NYSSWA Class AA football third team in 2009 as an all-purpose player. After graduating, he attended Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania before transferring to American International College. He was to play football for AIC last fall but was ruled ineligible because he fell short of meeting NCAA academic standards for transfers.

   Carlacci steps down: Mike Carlacci has resigned as Pearl River's softball coach, reported. He holds the Rockland County record with 368 victories and guided Pearl River to a NYSPHSAA championship in 2010 during a run of four consecutive Section 1 championships.

   "At some point, you've got to decide what's best for your family," Carlacci said. "I'm not in the mindset to commit to coaching at this point. I feel it's best for my family for me to just be a teacher and a dad."

   The Pirates were 17-2 last spring.

   Following up on track and field: Devon Patterson of Williamsville South shattered the Section 6 record for the boys indoor shot put Saturday at the Trent Jackson Invitational in Brockport with a throw of 59 feet, 1 3/4 inches.

   The previous record of 58-6½ was by Byron McKinney of Sweet Home in 1998.

   Impending change: It looks as though there'll be a change at the top of the NYSSWA boys Class A basketball rankings next week following Monday's 63-56 victory by No. 5 Albany Academy over No. 1 Bishop Ludden.

   “It's nice to see your name up there but it creates a bigger bull's-eye.” Ludden coach Pat Donnelly told Eagle Newspapers. “If you want to be there you've got to expect that. The only one that counts is March 17. If you win in Glen Falls then you can talk about the No. 1 ranking."

   Senior guard Jack Morrow led Albany Academy with 19 points on the strength of six 3-pointers. The Cadets were 11-for-21 from behind the arc and also got 13 points inside from 6-foot-8 junior Marcus Jackson.

   More realignment: Will the last one out of Section 1 kindly turn out the lights?

   Scarcely a week after it became public knowledge that 11 schools are studying a move back to Section 9, yet another member of Section 1 also appears set to leave.

   According to The Journal News, Somers JFK is included in the CHSFL's 2013 football schedule, further indication that the Gaels intend to leave the NYSPHSAA to play in the CHSAA.

   The paper reports Section 1's decision to move JFK's baseball and boys basketball teams up to Class AA, coupled with concerns about enrollment trends, fueled the desire to leave.

   The paper reported some concern on the part of JFK parents about the effect on teams -- especially girls sports -- if the school does surrender its Section 1 membership. In what can be characterized as a less-than-enthusiastic endorsement of her own league, Cardinal Spellman AD Jane Morris cautioned that several of the schools JFK would play each year have inferior facilities.

   “Coaches use cans of Ajax," to line softball diamonds, she told the paper.

   “I just can’t imagine they did research. It’s not that we don’t want you. But you have no idea how far back you’re going. (The Rev. Mark Vaillancourt, JFK's president) is hell-bent on doing this for the boys. The boys are not giving anything up."

   More CHSFL: The Journal News reported that the CHSFL alignment in football will have all the teams lumped into one division rather than configured into AAA, AA and A groups to start the season.

   The top eight will fill out the Class AAA playoff bracket, followed by the next eight in AA and the rest in A.

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   In the power rankings, St. Anthony's, Chaminade and Iona Prep were seeded first through third.

   By the way, I think I know where I'll be for Week 1 of the season: The Buffalo News reports St. Anthony's will open at Buffalo St. Joseph's.

   Western N.Y. football changes: School district officials have backed off their controversial plan -- for the moment, anyway -- to shrink eight football-playing schools in Buffalo down to four consolidated teams.

   Having been swamped with complaints from coaches, parents and school administrators, district AD Aubrey T. Lloyd III backed down and submitted a new plan that merge International Prep’s team withe Riverside in 2013 but leave the other programs alone.

   “I learned a lot about Buffalo,” Lloyd told The Buffalo News. “You really have to vet this out in the community.”

   Still, the paper said most school board members still seemed supportive of the original merger plan, making it likely other consolidations will take place before the 2014 season.

   I-Prep/Riverside is hardly the only impending merger -- and not even the most controversial.

   What do you get when you cross a Thunderbird with a Red Dragon? In the case of last week's Bemus Point school board meeting, the Post-Journal reports the correct answer is "plenty of disgruntled parents."

   The board approved a one-year merger of the Maple Grove and Chautauqua Lake football programs, with each district supplying two varsity coaches and the team competing as Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake in order to maintain as much of the respective community identities as possible.

   "Their kids don't want to become Maple Grove any more than our kids want to become Chautauqua Lake," Maple Grove Superintendent Jacqueline Latshaw said.

   Other projected mergers for the 2013 football season:

    • Forestville and Silver Creek.
    • Brocton and Westfield.
    • Ripley and Sherman.
    • West Valley and Ellicottville.

   Change of heart: Rush-Henrietta defensive back Chauncey Scissum, a first-team all-state selection in Class AA, has decommitted from Old Dominion and is now considering a late offer from Syracuse, reported.

   ”As of now, I think Syracuse might be my top choice,” he told the website. “Because they’re a BCS school and they have everything I want. The scholarship has a lot to offer with athletic standards and education as well. That part is attractive and I liked the visit."

   Scissum confirmed last week he'd decommitted from ODU, but he's not abandoning the Monarchs -- where he'd likely be the jewel of the recruiting class as that school transitions to the BCS. "Me and coach just talked about it an he's completely fine with it," Scissum said. "He knows I don't want other BCS schools to see it and shy away from it. They are still there for me."

   Extra points: Mike Jioia, a former JV coach at Tottenville, has been named varsity football coach at Xaverian. Jioia, 43, replaces Joe DeSiena, a Xaverian graduate who guided the Clippers to a 2-7 record last fall.

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