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Tuesday, March 25, 2014: Westhill mourns following death of quarterback

   Leading off today: An estimated 300 Westhill students, staff and friends gathered Monday night outside the school to remember quarterback Reed Derrenbacher, who died over the weekend.

   The crowd gathered near the football field, where the senior co-captain was a two-year starter and three-year varsity member for the Warriors.

   Police and school authorities did not reveal the cause of death, The Post-Standard reported.

   "It's shocking. It's definitely a very difficult time for everybody," Westhill Superintendent Casey Barduhn told the paper.

   School was held Monday and counselors were on hand, the superintendent said. Some students left early to be with family and friends.

   Derrenbacher earned first-team all-league honors. During his Westhill career, he completed 175 of 315 passes for 2,380 yards and 23 touchdowns.

   Scalo giving it another shot: Former Monroe-Woodbury star quarterback Danny Scalo will compete for the starting job at Division II Pace when spring practice begins next week.

   Scalo was the New York State Sportswriters Association co-player of the year in Class AA in 2009 as well as Gatorade's state player of the year. He played his entire junior year with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder and played through tendinitis and an injured rotator cuff the following fall while accounting for 33 TDs and 2,700 yards of total offense.

   He initially opted to pass up continuing his career in the sport in college.

   "I was tired of playing hurt, tired of playing injured," Scalo told The Times Herald-Record. "This is definitely wild. But when I first went away to college, I thought about this. I know I would never have the opportunity to do this again. I'm looking forward to getting a chance to do something I missed a lot. It's been a long time."

   "Danny came into my office and kind of made a presentation," new coach Andrew Rondeau said. "A lot of guys come in and make bold claims. I was skeptical. But all you have to do is do a Google search on Danny, and what he did as a player checked out. He is, at the very least, another arm in camp. We are lean at quarterback and every position is open."

   Scalo, a three-year starter at M-W, has one season of eligibility remaining and may be able to petition the NCAA for an additional year. He will compete with junior Brian Beeker during spring camp for Pace, which has won just one game in four seasons.

   Liverpool AD retiring: Former Liverpool football coach George Mangicaro is winding down his tenure as the school's athletic director.

   Mangicaro, 71, went on medical leave in November following surgery to remove a tumor on his kidney, with former Baldwinsville AD Bruce Quimby filling in for him.

   "I'm one of those crazy guys that loves going to work every day. I loved it," Mangicaro said. "But I realized it was time to step back and let someone younger step in."

   Uncertain future: Rochester's East High School, which just reached the NYSPHSAA Class A championship game in boys basketball, must close or be replaced by another school or a charter to address numerous academic woes,

  
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the State Education Department has determined.

   Rochester City School District officials have said closing the building is not a option, so the likely answer will be to replace it with a new school in the same building (requiring a shuffling of administrative and teaching staff) or lure an outside organization to run it.

   District administrators will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday in the school auditorium.

   Focused approach: Albany CBA has named Steve Freeman, who has built a successful youth program, as its new boys soccer coach. A former college player and assistant coach, Freeman inherits a team that went 10-7 last fall.

   "His focus on building from the ground up is apparent in the staff that he has assembled," AD Blaine Drescher said. "His vision for what he wants CBA soccer to become gives me chills."

   Freeman's staff will include Trey Jasenski, who played collegiately at UNLV and Binghamton; Mike Boland, who played for Oneonta State; and Phil Farinacci, a CBA graduate who attended Princeton.

   "All four of us have four-year degrees and a couple have master's degrees. We want to be role models for players we expect to be student-athletes," Freeman told The Times Union. "We all value education and want to build something special at CBA."

   Extra points: Three days after playing in the NYSPHSAA girls Class AA basketball final, Cicero-North Syracuse senior Elizabeth Miles had shoulder surgery last week. Miles tore the labrum in her shoulder during volleyball season and played the entire basketball season with the injury.

   "She may have taken one practice off all year," C-NS coach Eric Smith told The Post-Standard. "Even when she broke her foot, we gave her a couple of days off before the regionals. She didn't want to take time off because she said she felt disjointed. She's a tough kid who wanted to be there and valued her senior year. It was amazing to see what she dealt with all year and still competed and played at a high level."


  
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