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Thursday, June 12, 2014: Sec. 2's Big 10 breaks up after 37 years

   Leading off today: The Big 10 Athletic Conference, a major force in Section 2 sports for most of its 37 years, will cease to exist effective July 1.

   Many regarded the league's demise as more a matter of "when" rather than "if" once word came down in March that Amsterdam was leaving for the Foothills Council. That left the Big 10 with only eight members -- ordinarily not a problem except for a lack of depth in girls sports. Albany, Bishop Gibbons, Bishop Maginn, Catholic Central, Christian Brothers Academy (all male), La Salle (all male), Schenectady and Troy (which The Record reported had recently decided to leave) will now go their separate ways.

   "Losing Amsterdam to the Foothills Council was devastating because Amsterdam had a full complement of teams," Troy AD Paul Reinisch told The Times Union. "With the declining enrollments at Bishop Gibbons and Bishop Maginn, it left some gaping holes in the schedule."

   The Big 10 began with five public city schools and five Catholic schools. The league shrank to nine teams when Linton and Mont Pleasant merged into Schenectady, a school whose BEDS number (2,012) is now about 50 percent larger than the five private schools combined.

   Most of the schools have limited prospects at best for landing in another league, so maintaining home-and-home schedules with as many former Big 10 schools as possible is the best short-term option for filling schedules while exploring the possibility of luring at least one new school to form a new conference.

   Wayne Bertrand, executive director of Section 2, told The Recorder that a panel has been formed to examine possible options for the schools. Realistically, landing new affiliations for some or all of the orphaned schools probably would require earth-shaking developments along the lines of another league abruptly losing two or more members -- not out of the question, but not the best of situations either.

   Title for Canisius: Junior third baseman Rich Miller delivered a walkoff hit hit with two outs in the seventh as Canisius beat St. Joe's 2-1 to seep the best-of-three Monsignor Martin baseball title.

   It's Canisius' fourth Georgetown Cup victory in six years.

   LaFayette suspensions: LaFayette school district officials have suspended several students after chat they characterized as a bullying incident before a June 4 lacrosse practice, The Post-Standard reported.

   LaFayette Superintendent Peter Tigh said several students have been disciplined, with some suspensions issued. Tigh said the district is taking the incident "very seriously."

   The victim's mother said her 13-year-old son was attacked by two other boys in the locker room at LaFayette Junior-Senior High School. The mother said he was punched in the groin area, shoved against the locker, choked and poked with a lacrosse stick. She told the paper school staff didn't report the incident to police or call for medical help and seemed to brush it off.

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       "This was an assault on my son and should not be taken lightly," she said. "This was a violent attack."

       The mother reported the incident to state police, who are investigating according to Trooper Jack Keller. Keller said there were no physical injuries and the incident is being investigated as juvenile harassment, but there would be no charges as the students are all under age 16.

       Airing their grievance: Two Queensbury junior lacrosse players addressed the school board at Monday's meeting, alleging the girls program is a second-class citizen compared to the boys team there. Midfielders Mary Rahal and Christie Raymond said the team played a shorter schedule even though there were opportunities for more non-league games and had no assistant coaches, The Post-Star reported.

       Queensbury AD Scott Stuart declined to comment after the meeting Monday but said he plans to review the suggestions Rahal and Raymond gave to the board and address the situation.

       Extra points: With the Times Union Center unavailable next March due to the NCAA women's basketball regional, the Federation basketball tournament is expected to be moved to SUNY Albany.

       The NYSPHSAA hockey committee has proposed adding a second Section 3 team to the 2015 state tournament to give the bracket eight teams. Last season, a 5-15-1 Queensbury team received a bye into the semifinals because only seven sections had representatives.

       Nanuet varsity girls basketball coach Carlos Fidalgo resigned after six seasons with the program, citing the desire to spend more time with his family. Fidalgo previously coached the boys program for 14 seasons before leading the girls to NYSPHSAA and Federation championships in his debut season in 2009.

       Eric Jantzi, who coached North Tonawanda to a NYSPHSAA Class AA football title in 2009, will be an assistant at Springville this fall, The Springville Journal's Dave DeLuca tweeted.

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