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Monday, Feb. 10, 2014: Amityville gridders allege race-fueled beating

   Leading off today: The families of five Amityville football players plan to sue the Comsewogue School District over alleged racism stemming from the schools' football game last fall, Long Island media outlets have reported.

   The black Amityville athletes claim that they were repeatedly called racial slurs by opposing white players throughout their football season, culminating in a violent game with Comsewogue in which they allege they were stoped and choked. They have filed a notice of claim that indicates they intend to sue the Comsewogue School District, athletic director and one or more football coaches. Each player is seeking $25 million in damages, News 12 Long Island and Newsday reported.

   Comsewogue administrators declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

   Bonita Zelman, the players' attorney, wants the Suffolk County district attorney to launch a criminal investigation into what transpired in the Nov. 1 game. According to the newspaper, a brawl erupted at the start of the second half when a Comsewogue player was hit hard as he was going out of bounds. It triggered a melee on the Comsewogue sideline, and the game was stopped with Amityville being awarded an 8-6 victory.

   The notice of claim states that the players -- Travon Duncan, Niem Harvey, Ricky Jean-Michel, Brenden Paula and Elijah Duff -- and their families will try to prove that Comsewogue wrongfully hired and retained coaches with violent and racist tendencies, Zelman said.

   Duncan claims a Comsewogue coach pulled him from behind, choking him with his shoulder pads. The coach, Duncan said, called him a racial slur and threatened to kill him.

   Said Jean-Michel: "The coach was in my face ... he says, 'I'm going to (expletive) kill you.'"

   Here is the video of a news report from last week, which includes some footage from the early moments of the game-ending fracas:

   Boys ice hockey: Bishop Timon-St. Jude won its 10th straight game in Western New York Federation action Sunday, endings its regular season with a 6-1 win vs. Niagara-Wheatfield.

   Timon is ranked fourth and N-W 11th in the most recent New York State Sportswriters Association Division I rankings.

   In Division II, No. 11 Hamburg dropped second-ranked West Seneca East 4-3 on Colin Mills' goal with 2:21 left in overtime. WSE forced overtime with 13 seconds left on Michael Benaquist's goal.

  
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   Speaking of hockey: MaxPreps took a look recently at USA Hockey‘s National Team Development Program, which currently includes Brewster resident (and Notre Dame recruit) Joe Wegwerth on its under-18 squad.

   Two teams of high-school skaters living and training in Ann Arbor, Mich., are being groomed as the next wave of professional standouts. If you're skeptical about the value of the program, chew on this:

   When Team USA begins play against Slovakia in Sochi on Thursday, nine of the players will be NTDP alumni.

   Nice rally: Eastchester, ranked 19th in the state in Class A, rallied from a 15-point deficit with three minutes left to edge Woodlands 82-79 in an overtime boys basketball game Sunday.

   Seniors Jack Daly and Mike Milo paced the win with 32 and 29 points respectively. Eastchester was down 74-68 when Nick Campana was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer. He made two free throws with :14.8 to go, then Daly scored off a turnover and followed up with two free throws to tie and force OT.


  
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