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Thursday, June 26, 2014: NYC shortstop arrested en route to pro tryout

   Leading off today: A Bronx teen's journey to a possible pro baseball career took a horrible turn Friday when he was arrested on his way to a tryout in Reading, Pa.

   Barring a late development, High School for Media & Communications senior Albert Dominguez, 18, will miss his graduation ceremony Thursday. The teen was with his father and trainer when their car was stopped in Hunterdon County, N.J., and drugs were found, according to court papers, and Dominguez was being held on $100,000 bail, The Daily News reported.

   The three were charged with felony marijuana possession. A lawyer for Dominguez, who played shortstop for city semifinalist George Washington High School, was working to get the bail reduced but the judge refused to expedite the hearing.

   "It's a shame the kid can't go to graduation -- he's not a flight risk or anything," George Washington coach Steve Mandl told the paper. "I don't know all the details, but I do know he's a great student."

   Said lawyer Preston Leschins: "There is no evidence to even suggest that he was aware at any time of the presence of marijuana in the car at the time of the arrest."

   Search is over: Veteran coach Bill Roos is expected to be appointed football coach at Roy C. Ketcham when the Wappingers school board meets July 7, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.

   Roos, 56, a physical education teacher who coached Ketcham from 1992-2000 and has worked at the high school and college levels as a coach and as an NFL scout. He inherits a team that went 7-2 last fall under coach Pat Keevins, who stepped down in January. Keevins has been hired as a Poughkeepsie assistant.

   Some Ketcham parents and players expressed concern as the hiring process dragged on through the spring, and some asked the school board to consider former Poughkeepsie coach Ken Barger, who is still in hearings with the State Education Department as part of a district investigation into whether students were given special accommodations while taking Regents exams in January 2013.

   At the urging of his daughter, Roos applied for and was subsequently offered the position.

   "I just couldn't see it fall on its face," Roos said. "That would really bother me as a former Ketcham coach. I felt someone had to step up and I'm hoping I'm the right person for the job."

   Wrapping up the year: Section 3 produced a highlight video for the just-concluded school year:

   Shift of seasons? The Journal News revived a question that comes up fairly frequently: Would boys high school golf be better off if the sport was played in the fall rather than the spring?

   "This spring, do you need a better reason to go to fall golf?" asked Metropolis Country Club head pro Craig Thomas, who coached at Solomon Schechter this season. "It was cold. It was nasty. It was wet. Now both teams played under the same conditions, so it was fair, but is that really the best thing for the kids?"

   There is support to move to the fall, but there is no formal proposal in place in Section 1 or statewide.

   "It's a topic we've kicked around," Section 1 golf chairman John Bauerlein told the paper. "It's something that came up again this year with the difficult weather everyone had to deal with. ... After it was all said and done, most schools got in 12 matches, and our section won the state title."

  
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       With the diminishing daylight in late October, a move to the fall would almost certainly require that teams begin their season at least a week before the start of school in September. One of the advantages would be that most players would be at the top of their game after having played much of the spring and summer.

       Neil Kerr back in print: New York State Sportswriters Association editor and retired Post-Standard reporter Neil Kerr returned to the world of print this month -- with a tongue-in-cheek letter published by Track & Field News:

       "I just read a letter in the June issue bemoaning the decline in popularity of the sport of track & field. His idea to promote the sport is to greatly emphasize team scoring in meets at both the high school and college level.

       "That might help, but here is another potential way to boost our sport's popularity, and also increase the circulation of your magazine!

       "Do what Sports Illustrated and also a national golf magazine (Golf Digest I believe) did recently -- feature scantily-clad super-model Kate Upton on your cover!

       "Oh, wait. You say the cover of your August issue is already planned with (yet another) picture of sprinter Usain Bolt on the cover. Yeesh. As they say in the sport of bowling: spare us.

       "Maybe you could poll your readers via e-mail if they would prefer seeing Usain Bolt or Kate Upton on the cover (front and back) of your August issue."

       As you might imagine, the magazine declined:

       (Ed: On the off-chance that you're actually being serious here, we'd note that while "sex sells," it's nothing we're interested in selling.")

       Problem parents: The Democrat and Chronicle asked some area ADs how often they handle issues with parents who aren't happy with their child's coach, and many provided the same answer: every day.

       Parental pressure on coaches has never been greater, the paper reported in a lengthy story last week that examined how varsity coaches are asked not only to win games but also try to keep everyone satisfied with their role on the team in that context.

       "Some people have convinced themselves that getting a scholarship or getting into the right colleges at all is dependent on being on or being the star of a team," said Dr. Michael Scharf, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

       Parents want to protect their children, but there's a fine line between that and coddling, Scharf said, also noting that some parents are less interested in hearing a coach's view than they are in lamenting how it's hurting their scholarship chances.

       "I think one of the things that's happening that we're failing to do is teach kids about resiliency, to teach them how to solve problems (themselves)," Honeoye Falls-Lima AD Brian Donohue said. "If we're always solving problems for them, we're not helping them get better at doing that. We have a generation of kids who may not be as resilient."

       Though the more than 30 coaches and administrators contacted for the story said most parents understand their role, several declined interviews out of fear of retribution from parents or administrators. "If parents complain enough, they know they can get rid of coaches," said Gates Chili football coach Jason Benham. "It's become such a thankless job."

       You can read the full story here.


      
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