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Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013: Arlington board opts to stay in Section 1

   Leading off today: Arlington will stay put for the 2014-15 school year after the board of education opted Tuesday to stay in Section 1 of the NYSPHSAA rather than apply for membership in Section 9.

   The nine-member board was deadlocked 4-4, which was one vote short of moving forward with the Section 9 application process, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported. The paper did not indicate why board president Neil Martin did not cast a vote, but a motion to table the issue until the Nov. 26 meeting failed.

   The other three speakers heard during the public comment period of the meeting opposed moving to Section 9. Among them was track coach Steve Arnett, who cited concerns about the small number of athletes who would be allowed to compete in Section 9 meets, the paper reported.

   Having previously noted there was near unanimous support from his coaches, AD Dave Goddard was in favor of leaving a Section 1, a sentiment shared by administrators at a handful of other Section 9 schools considering switching organizations. With Arlington staying put, it is less clear how other dominoes may fall.

   According to the paper, Our Lady of Lourdes has applied to join Section 9. Poughkeepsie and Pawling are among those remaining undecided ahead of a late-November deadline. John Bellucci, athletic director at Pawling, has said a decision by larger Dutchess County schools like Arlington to leave for Section 9 would likely cause a chain reaction with other schools joining the move.

   Here's that question again: I probably get an average of 10-12 emails sent my way each day regarding high school sports. Some are requests for older information that does not appear on the site and others are opinions regarding our weekly rankings in a variety of sports.

   The remainder are mostly questions about why high schools and their governing bodies do things the way they do -- why there are different limits on the number of games, how playoff sites are selected, etc. Other than a broad range of questions about private schools playing in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, the most common inquiry may be this:

   Why are there Federation championships in some sports such as basketball and cross country but not others like football and softball?

   Coach Martin Jacobson raised that very question this week in an interview in the New York Daily News after his perennially successful Martin Luther King boys soccer team beat Beacon for the PSAL "A" division championship at Randall’s Island.

   The victory raised MLK's record to 18-0-1. But rather than advancing to a Federation championship against representatives from the NYSPHSAA, CHSAA and AIS, the season is over. Soccer does not have a Federation tournament, though Jacobson would love to start one.

   “You want to showcase the greatness of New York City athletics,” he told the paper.

   The NYSPHSAA championships are coming up this weekend in Middletown. The CHSAA held its state championships this past weekend, with St. Anthony’s beating St. Francis Prep to win the title.

   PSAL sports coordinator Lance Hermus acknowledged receiving many inquiries regarding a Federation tournament for boys and girls soccer. Travel expenses, weather and finding appropriate venues are some of the issues Hermus cited as obstacles.

   “We would all want to see it eventually happen. I’d like to see it done," Hermus said. "It’s always great for the kids to have a ‘real state champion.’”


Tournament brackets
TOURNEY BRACKETS Tournament brackets

   Short of a Federation tournament, Jacobson thinks MLK should at least compete in the NYSPHSAA tournament -- the closest fit for the PSAL, made up of public schools from the five boroughs.

   Cross country: Staying on the subject, here are the fields for the Federation cross country championships Saturday at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls:

   All teams are from the NYSPHSAA unless otherwise noted.

   Boys: Brooklyn Tech (PSAL), Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Chaminade (CHSAA), Clarence, Collegiate (AIS), Corning, Fordham Prep (CHSAA), Ithaca, Liverpool, Maine-Endwell, McKee Staten Island Tech (PSAL), Midwood (PSAL), Monsignor Farrell (CHSAA), Mount Academy, North Rockland, Pittsford Mendon, Port Jervis, Sachem North, Saint Anthony's (CHSAA), Buffalo St. Joseph (CHSAA), Saratoga Springs, Shoreham-Wading River, Stuyvesant (PSAL), Syosset, Tappan Zee, Xavier (CHSAA) and West Genesee.

   Girls: Bronxville, Benjamin Cardozo (PSAL), Colonie, Corning, Cornwall, Elmira, Guilderland, Hackley (AIS), Immaculata (CHSAA), John Jay-Cross River, Kellenberg (CHSAA) McKee/Staten Island Tech (PSAL), Miller Place, Northport, Notre Dame Academy (CHSAA), Pearl River, Penfield, Pittsford Mendon, Queensbury, Sacred Heart (CHSAA), St. Anthony's (CHSAA), St. John Baptist (CHSAA), Saratoga Springs, Suffern, Sweet Home, Susan Wagner (PSAL) and Tottenville (PSAL).

   Surprise return: Cornwall wide receiver Chris Bauer, presumed lost for the season after suffering a punctured lung Oct. 15, has returned to practice in time for this weekend's NYSPHSAA football quarterfinals, the Timer HErald-record reported.

   "I had to keep my composure when the doctor told me I could play," said Bauer, who has caught 34 passes for 746 yards and 13 touchdowns this year. "But I was amazed. We didn't react much in the office, but when my parents and I got into the parking lot, we couldn't stand still. I'm thrilled and I already feel the adrenaline to play."

   Bauer caught five touchdowns against Saugerties in the first half Oct. 15 before being injured shortly before halftime. He spent eight days at Westchester Medical Center after sustaining the punctured lung.

   A follow-up on Tuesday resulted in a green light to resume playing.

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   Reversal: Woodlands senior point guard Imani Tilford, who broke off her basketball recruitment with Georgia Tech earlier this month, will sign a letter of intent with the very same ACC school Friday, Falcons coach Ty Postell told The Journal News. Tilford, a 5-foot-7 guard, averaged more than 25 points in her junior season. The Yellow Jackets' other recruits include 6-2 guard Kaela Davis, daughter of former NBA All-Star Antonio Davis and a consensus top-five high school senior this winter.

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