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Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013: Grieving Westfield/Brocton ends football season

   Leading off today: The Westfield Board of Education on Monday approved canceling the Westfield/Brocton football teamís remaining varsity games this season in the aftermath of the death of 16-year-old running back Damon Janes during a game this month.

   The Brocton junior lost consciousness after a collision a Sept. 13 game vs. Portville and died three days later at a Buffalo hospital.

   Westfield Superintendent David Davison recommended canceling the rest of the season after speaking with players who said they didnít want to continue playing. Board President Jeffrey Greabell opened the meeting with a moment of silence in memory of Janes.

   "We're devastated by this tragedy and we're grieving the loss with the entire Brocton community," Greabell said. "Our entire staff should be commended for their professionalism and strength."

   The board vote to disband the team, which was 0-2, was unanimous.

   As a result of the decision, only five of the area's 12 remaining teams will be competing for a state playoff berth beginning next month. Section 6 Class D is divided into two divisions, with seven lesser teams playing only for a sectional title and ineligible to compete in the New York State Public High School AThletic Association championships.

   Hazing follow-up: Baldwinsville district officials reinstated the boys high school cross country team on Tuesday after an investigation concluded that hazing had taken place.

   superintendent Jeanne Dangle did how many boys were found in violation of the athletic department's code of conduct or the number removed from the team. She said there were different levels of involvement, resulting in varying degrees of punishment.

   Runners who were cleared were to resume practice Tuesday, The Post-Standard reported. The Bees have a dual meet scheduled vs. Syracuse West on Wednesday.

   Dangle would not discuss the hazing incident, which was disclosed to administrators by students. "We've agreed not to get into the nitty gritty of the details," she said. Dangle reiterated that it did not involve drugs and that no students were physically hurt.

   The incident came to light Friday, one day before the school hosted its annual Baldwinsville Invitational. The school suspended the entire 54-boy team pending its investigation, which included interviews Monday with all of the runners.

   "I guess the thing that stood out in this is the honesty and the kids taking ownership of their actions," Dangle told the paper. "You don't always get that."

   Rankings progress: We've added the first sets of cross country ratings to our rankings section, and the season's

  
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second set of top football and boys soccer teams are also in place.

   The missing piece at the moment is girls soccer, which is on hold as editor Perry Novak tries to get settled into his routine following the family's addition of son Paul Joseph Novak, who was born today.

   Catching up on some notes: Copiague snapped its 20-game football losing streak over the weekend with a 24-21 win over West Babylon. Jose Taveras' 2-yard TD reception from Tyler O'Brien with seven minutes remaining recaptured the lead.

   Andy Slawson unearthed a great stat from North Babylon's 35-34 win over Half Hollow Hills West in Suffolk County football Saturday. HHHW's Anthony Lucarelli completed 11 of 25 passes for 354 yards and 5 TDs and Jake Klose had seven catches for 224 yards.

   How about the other team's passing attack, you ask? Well, it was a short story. North Babylon did not attempt a pass. However, Brandon Sobotker carried 19 times for 226 yards and three scores. Jared Zeigler, Jahjuan Winters and Matt Green combined for 42 more carries that chewed up another 199 yards.

   Pearl River senior basketball player committed to Fairfield University and will sign in November.

   Extra points: Congratulations to Frank McGarvey at Pearl River. Former Pirates AD Tom Doherty recently celebrated his 50th anniversary with the school district, where he's served as a teacher, coach, equipment manager and historian. McGarvey is a 1959 graduate of the school.


  
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