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Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013: Buffalo City Honors coach under fire

   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.”

  
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   Ethan Muller registered his sixth shutout of the season in the HHHW goal.

   College plans: If you don't follow @Joe_Lombardi on Twitter, you miss out on an enormous amount of lacrosse news, including his note that Hewlett senior midfielder Kevin Fuchs, who committed to the admission process at Cornell University almost a year ago, has had a change of heart and will enroll at Binghamton.

   It was not immediately clear whether the hazing scandal at Cornell disclosed last week played into his decision.

   Speaking of Twitter newsbreakers, @NYGHoops snuck in a mention this morning that Hilton low-post player Amy Hasenauer has committed to continue her career at Holy Cross.

   DyeStat.com reported this week that Rush-Henrietta distance runner Mickey Burke has committed to Syracuse University.

   Streaks snapped: John Jay Cross River became the first visiting team to win at Hendrick Hudson in 11 girls volleyball seasons. The Indians won by scores of 25-15, 25-13, 25-19 -- the first sweep of Hudson at Hudson in at least a quarter of a century, The Journal News reported.

   The contest's story line included John Jay’s Theresa Swertfager, who had 12 digs and five aces, playing a team coached by her mother, Diane Swertfager.

   In golf, Chittenango broke Syracuse CBA's run of 63 consecutive wins against Onondaga High School League opponents, pulling out a 208-212 win Tuesday. Senior Kyle McGinnis shot a 39 for nine holes to lead the way.

   And the answer is ... : Junior Jordan Gowins' 298-yard rushing effort (including a 94-yarder for one of his three TDs) Saturday in a 31-14 win over Archbishop Stepinac rates No. 2 in Friars history, Jason Molinet of Patch.com reports. Only former Penn State star Matt Hahn has had a bigger day: 352 yards against Holy Trinity in 2003.

   Reminder: Here's a reminder about the 32nd annual Basketball Coaches Association of New York fall clinic. It's scheduled for Oct. 4-5 at SUNY Cortland.

   As usual, there's a lineup of college coaches -- including Jim Boeheim on the 2-3 zone, Albany's Katie Abrahamson-Henderson on post play and quick-hitters, and Siena's Jimmy Patsos on determining the style of play when starting a new program.

   High school coaches presenting include Joe Arbitello (Christ the King), Ben Drake (Jamestown), Kurt Ehrensbeck (Harpursville), Eric Saroney (Henninger) and Sonny Spera (Maine-Endwell).

   Visit the BCANY website for more details.


  
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