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Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013: Hot weather triggers safety measures across state

   Leading off today: The heat was on Wednesday as much of the state was caught in high temperatures and humidity, resulting in a large number of postponements as a safety precaution.

   While September temps in the 90s are not uncommon, the humidity drove the "RealFeel" heat index into the high 90s, triggering the New York State Public High School Athletic Association rule from 2010 that requires games and practices cease. It's a situation more commonly encountered during state tournament time in June rather than in the second week of the school year.

   If you're not familiar with the NYSPHSAA rule, you can find links to it here.

   At least 26 varsity contests in Section 9 were postponed, and three soccer games were delayed by two hours. A girls tennis match between Cornwall and Port Jervis was pushed back, and then contested under pro-set scoring (first to eight games) to speed up the action -- a good idea considering composite courts retain much more heat than grass fields do.

   “I think this summer, when there was a day like today and they were resurfacing the courts, the temperature they read on a thermometer was like 160,” Suffern tennis coach Bobbie Kim told The Journal News. “On a day like today, court surfaces get really hot.”

   A few teams were able to move practices in some sports to air-conditioned gyms, but most everyone else simply sent athletes home for the day once classes were dismissed. At least one Section 1 volleyball match had to be scrapped because the gym lacked air conditioning.

   "It's hot out, but people don't understand that it's definitely serious," Middletown AD David Coates told The Times Herald-Record. "You have kids that have died from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It's a good rule. We just have to be prepared."

   Of course, some postponements came courtesy of more traditional weather issues. Rain and lightning rambled through the Southern Tier in mid-afternoon and the Capital Region a few hours later, wiping out numerous events.

   As I write this mid-afternoon on Thursday, it looks like a slew of games on today's Section 2 schedule will also be wiped out due to more heavy rain.

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   Speaking of safety: What looked like an 85-yard kickoff return to start the second half of the Harborfields vs. Huntington football game Wednesday ended up being called back because of a helmet that came off on the play.

   But Levar Butts (14 carries, 101 yards) scored the game's final points midway through the third quarter on a 9-yard-run as Huntington won 14-6. Junior Keegan Reilly and senior Troy Greene made interceptions in the final 3:38 to preserve the win, which was No. 100 for coach Steve Muller.

   The Suffolk County opener was a double blow for Harborfields, which suffered the indignity of playing in jerseys with the school's name spelled incorrectly. The custom black tops with green accents certainly looked good until you noticed "Harborsfields" emblazoned across the front in white stitching.

   Harborfields AD John Valente told the uniforms arrived from the unidentified manufacturer on the day of the game -- too late to do anything about it. Valente said the school will get a make-good from the company, but it's uncertain if the new jerseys will be ready for the Sept. 21 home game vs. Deer Park. football site

   Out of control: Police may file charges after a Pennsylvania high school football player ripped the helmet off an opposing player and beat him over the head with it during a game over the weekend.

   Video shows Hamburg (Pa.) quarterback Joey Cominsky tearing the helmet off Annville-Cleona lineman Josh Hartman, then hitting him with it at least twice, after a play in the third quarter of Friday's game outside Lebanon, Pa.

   “The Hamburg kid kinda flipped out and took the scrum to a completely different level,” Annville-Cleona coach Terry Lehman said.

   Hartman suffered a cut on top of his head but was otherwise OK.

   The police investigation "will be a very lengthy process, I can tell you that," South Annville Township police chief Ben Sutcliffe told "It is premature at this point to say anything about charges being filed or not being filed."

   The word on the tweet: An interesting thought for the day:

   Extra points: Veteran football and girls basketball coach Mike Nally, also an AD in the Rochester City School District, turned in his retirement papers over the summer. Nally, 61, immediately resurfaced as a vice principal at University Prep Charter School in Rochester.

   “There’s a lot of energy over there,” he told the Democrat and Chronicle. “It’s great to be on the ground floor of this.”

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