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Friday, Nov. 15, 2013: Cain gives up college eligibility, turns pro

   Leading off today: Mary Cain, who's already given up half her scholastic career, is taking a pass on college, too.

   The Bronxville 17-year-old, the youngest runner to represent the United States at the world championships in Moscow last summer in the World Championships, said in a statement released by her management company Friday that she believes "in the long this is the best way for me to continue to develop as an athlete."

   Cain, trained by former marathon star Alberto Salazar, will graduate from Bronxville next June. Her father, Charles, stressed that she will be "pursuing her college education while competing." It's likely she will attend classes at the University of Portland (Ore.) while training with Salazar.

   Cain set three American junior records in 2013: 800 meters (1:59.51), 1,500 meters (4:04.62) and the indoor mile (4:28.25). Her 800 performance made her the first American female school girl to break two minutes.

   She qualified for the 1,500 final in Moscow and placed 10th.

   Cain has hired agent Ricky Simms, who also represents champion sprinter Usain Bolt.

   St. Joe's, Canisius advance: Top-seeded Canisius and second-seeded St. Joe's will return to Ralph Wilson Stadium on Thursday to play for the Monsignor Martin Association football championship.

   St. Joe's defeated St. Francis 32-18 and Canisius eliminated Bishop Timon-St. Jude 30-0 on Thursday.

   Nigel Davis, hobbled by a sore ankle for the second half of the season, ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns and also kicked a 25-yard field goal for St. Joe's. Canisius senior Qadree Ollison ran for three touchdowns and 123 yards on 21 carries.

   "There's really no better way to end it than playing in your last game against your archrival St. Joe's," Ollison told The Buffalo News. "It was meant to be this way, that's really how I feel."

   Ban on youth football? A state assemblyman who has already proposed a ban on youth tackle football now intends to seek an even stricter law. Bronx Democrat Michael Benedetto has thus far been stymied in his effort to prohibit tackle football for youth under age 11. On Thursday, he said he will introduce legislation to set the age limit at under age 14.

   The state legislature has refused to move forward with the proposal introduced in February, and no one in the senate has signed on as a sponsor.

   "This is not something I do idly," Benedetto said. "I know how important football is in the state of New York and throughout our nation. If we truly want to protect our


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children, there's no reason to play around. All the recent evidence is showing that young kids playing tackle football at young ages, their bodies are just not up to it as far as protection of the brain and all of this can lead to lasting injuries."

   New York enacted a concussion law this year that requires a doctor's note to play again. In Pop Warner games, the amount of contact time is restricted.

   Benedetto's announcement came before news Thursday that a Missouri high school player hospitalized with a brain injury since October has died. The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council recently called for a national system to track sports-related concussions and answer questions about youth concussions.

   Chad Stover, a junior at Tipton (Mo.) High School, had been in critical condition since Oct. 31, when he was taken off the field near the end of the game. He died at a hospital in Columbia, said Scott Jarvis, superintendent of the Tipton School District.

   Jarvis said last week he couldn't discuss details of the injury but described it as "very serious."

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   On Monday, Hopi (N.M.) senior receiver Charles Youvella died in a hospital from what was described as a traumatic brain injury in a weekend game, the Arizona Interscholastic Association said.    Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald reached out to fans on Twitter with a picture of Youvella, asking them to pray for the teen's family, friends and teammates.

   In September, Westfield/Brocton's Damon Janes became the second New York varsity player in three years to die following a head injury sustained in a game.

   Got their attention: MaxPreps has selected the Jamestown-Aquinas Class AA quarterfinal as one of its 10 national games of the week. You can follow this link to see who their panel of experts is picking Saturday.

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