Leading off today:
Sifting through the reader comments on BuffaloNews.com
, it's clear that there is no such thing as a wishy-washy opinion on Deborah Matos. She's either an inspirational coach who has shaped rudderless young souls into strong, successful women or a tyrant who should never be let near children again.
The Buffalo School District may be leaning toward the latter, having put Matos on leave from her duties as volleyball coach at City Honors after at least three parents complained to administrators about excessively harsh and abusive behavior. Buffalo School District spokeswoman Elena Cala declined to comment because it is a personnel matter, but The Buffalo News reported the decision Wednesday.
“The methods she uses are sometimes extremely harsh,” Meg Gifford, who has a daughter on the team, said of Matos, who guided the team to a 2009 NYSPHSAA state championship. “They’re abusive and insensitive, and when you see girls in tears all the time, you have to be aware that this is hurting them on a different level.”
Added Gifford: “There’s no reason in a high school sport that you should have a girl crying in front of her teammates. It’s a game. And she doesn’t treat all the girls the same. She screams at certain girls in their face, while she pulls others aside and talks to them privately.”
Mark Panepinto, the team’s treasurer and a Matos supporter, takes the other side of the argument.
“She’s very tough and demanding on the girls,” Panepinto said. “She’s an old-school coach, and expects them to give 100 percent effort. I think a lot of parents aren’t built for that.”
Matos, an elementary school physical education teacher who has been the coach or an assistant coach of girls varsity volleyball since 1993, declined to discuss the matter with the paper, which reported she has an unresolved grievance against the district after being passed over for a teacher opening at City Honors three years ago.
Players were informed of Matos' removal Monday afternoon.
A bit of local history: Bam Akinniyi rushed 24 times for 317 yards and five touchdowns as Webster Schroeder defeated Rochester Wilson 49-8 in a non-league football game on Tuesday, and he had to surrender the spotlight to another back who ran for three yards.
That's because Jensine Folu-Montes scored on a fourth-quarter carry, apparently making her the first Section 5 female player to score a varsity TD. Folu-Montes played JV football for East Rochester/Gananda, scoring a pair of TDs, before her family moved to Webster.
At least one other female player has scored a touchdown in a New York varsity game. Phoenix quarterback Mariah Provost scored against Homer in the 2010 season. She also scored on a two-point conversion run that season.
Milestone: Northeastern Clinton boys soccer coach Dale Hawksby improved his mark to 300-91-32 with a 6-0 triumph against AuSable Valley. Jordan Birlotti tallied twice in the win.
“It’s a real good feeling,” Hawksby said. “You like to set goals for yourself a little bit and the team. And obviously 300’s a goal, I think, for any coach to reach."
More boys soccer: Half Hollow Hills West, ranked 12th in the state this week, overcame its nemesis Tuesday and defeated Deer Park 2-0 in soccer.
“Since 2008 I told the kids, we went 54-2 in league play and those two losses have been to Deer Park,” Colts coach Doug Gannon told MSG Varsity.
“It was a terrible feeling last year,” junior Richie Mastroangelo said after scoring the insurance goal. “We really felt bad losing one game in the league after winning so many. Coming off the field now, I feel really good.”