Leading off today:
New York high school soccer is competitive, played at a high level compared to numerous states and has a passionate following.
And at the moment it has one hell of an image problem.
An altercation Wednesday during White Plains’ boys game at New Rochelle resulted in one player being sent to the hospital with a broken jaw and another player being arrested, The Journal News reported.
Viewed individually, the incident was a blemish on the scholastic sport. But Yonkers senior Chris Cruz was suspended for 16 games by Section 1 last week for allegedly shoving a referee. And lumped in with Tuesday's incidents in Section 9 and the CHSAA, it's a reason to sit everyone down before practices and games today to remind them that the idea is to compete and win, not punch and pummel.
White Plains junior Ozzie Escobedo was taken to Westchester Medical Center to have surgery on his broken jaw, Tigers coach Marcel Galligani told the newspaper. The New Rochelle player, whom police did not identify due to his age, was charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
“I saw the kid absolutely throw a haymaker and punch him in the face,” Galligani told the paper.
The incident took place late in the first half, precipitated by a foul on the far side of the field that triggered pushing and shoving. Officials called off the remainder of the scoreless game.
White Plains vs. New Rochelle girls varsity and JV games scheduled for Thursday have been postponed.
Looking ahead: The Week 6 schedule is a bit light with respect to matching up state-ranked football teams, but there are a few interesting contests between touted teams. Chief among them would be a pair of Class B games:
No. 8 Peru vs. No. 12 Hackley became possible when Peru had to fill a midseason opening created when Plattsburgh folded its team. It's not often that NYSPHSAA and AIS members get together for a football game, and rarer still for both to be ranked at the time.
Also in B, No. 11 Cheektowaga plays No. 10 Burgard. Coupled with the Class A tussle between No. 24 Williamsville South and No. 25 McKinley, it's a reminder that Buffalo's city schools fit in quite nicely in Section 6 after opting to disband the Harvard Cup to join the rest of the region's public schools.
Milestone: Girls volleyball coach Brian Ellithorpe won his 300th match Wednesday with a Cazenovia sweep of Bishop Ludden.
Ellithorpe has accumulated 260 wins at Cazenovia during the fall season and the rest at Morrisville-Eaton in the winter.
Along with getting his 300th win, Ellithorpe got to see his daughters, Maleigha and Maddy, play together on the varsity for the first time.
Coaching changes: Niskayuna's school board voted 4-3 on Tuesday to not bring back Ian McShane as boys basketball coach following allegations of abusive language that resulted in a one-game suspension during the 2011-12 season, The Times Union reported.
In addition, Berne-Knox-Westerlo officials informed boys basketball coach Andy Wright that he will not be recommended for reappointment, a decision that had immediate fallout within the athletic department. Wright told the paper he believes parents upset over playing time cost him the job.
"You've never seen anything like this before," Wright told the paper. "It is not a matter of winning or losing, it is some parents not satisfied with minutes for their kids."
Feeling blindsided by the decision, Tom Galvin said he has resigned his position resigned as Berne-Knox-Westerlo AD but will continue to coach the girls basketball team.
"I didn't have any idea about this," Galvin said. "(School officials) didn't tell me, so I could not in good conscience continue as athletic director under those circumstances.
As a condition of reappointment two years ago, Wright was reportedly saddled with guidelines by the board to ensure each player was treated equally -- the implication being a board philosophy that participation trumphed