Leading off today:
Ramapo varsity football coach Duffman Pannell was arrested following an alleged physical altercation with a student at practice Monday, The Journal News reported
Pannell faces charges of felony second-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly striking junior Brandon Girault, 15, in the head with a helmet. The felony complaint states Pannell allegedly swung a helmet so as to “purposely strike him in the head, causing considerable pain, swelling and bleeding above his left eye.”
WABC in New York reported Girault told his mother that he was “grabbed by his helmet, dragged along the ground and kicked by the coach.” The report said Girault was diagnosed with a concussion.
Pannell, 43, was released Monday without bail and ordered to appear in court Oct. 29. The social studies teacher has been removed from the classroom and coaching duties while the investigation continues.
“We are conducting an internal investigation in conjunction with the Ramapo Police Department. ... Until the investigation is completed, the coach has been released from his coaching responsibilities,” a statement from district Superintendent Joel Klein read.
Defensive coordinator Kevin Bullock will coach the team for the rest of this season. Ramapo plays White Plains in the Section 1 Class AA quarterfinals on Friday.
Pannell stepped down as Ramapo’s athletic coordinator to take the coach’s job last spring amid budget-related turmoil that threatened to wipe out the sports program. “These kids deserve better, and they deserved it yesterday,” Pannell told the newspaper in July.
So much for that idea: Officials from the combined Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons/Saratoga Central Catholic football program declined a berth in the Section 2 playoffs, The Times Union reported.
Rather than taking the No. 4 seeding in Class D, NDBG/SCC (1-6) made room for Schoburg in the postseason despite owning an 8-7 win over that team in the regular season.
"We just felt that this is our first year back playing football and it was in our best interest as a program and the student-athletes to play an opponent closer to our record," rather than 6-1 Greenwich, Saratoga Central Catholic AD Phonsey Lambert said.
"We went through a lot to put this thing together," Lambert said of the first-year merger. "We had a group from Saratoga and a group from Bishop Gibbons. It could have been a nightmare, but instead things have gone very smooth."
Well, maybe not so much.
The Post-Star reported that Fort Edward will forfeit to NDBG/SCC for the second time this fall due to a shortage of eligible players. Fort Edward coach Kevin Stimpson told the paper four of his players are out because of academics.
Fort Edward had to forfeit its season opener to NDBG/SCC because it did not have enough eligible players to start the season.
Available online: The sixth weekly edition of the New York State Sportswriters Association football rankings were posted earlier today.
Also online are the Week 8 schedule, which features first-round sectional pairings, and the schedule for ranked teams.
National finalist: Walton's Jim Hoover has won the regional vote and is a finalist for USA Today's inaugural Best High School Football Coach contest.
Hoover, who has won 14 Section 4 and two NYSPHSAA championships, won the eight-man New York balloting