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Tuesday, July 8, 2014: Mendon golfer youngest ever to reach U.S. Amateur

   Leading off today: Pittsford Mendon golfer Will Thomson became the youngest golfer ever to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship after winning the sectional qualifier at Mendon Golf Club on Monday.

   Thomson, a 13-year-old who was the only seventh-grader to play in the NYSPHSAA championships this spring -- finishing tied for eighth -- shot rounds of 68 and 66 to better Pittsford Mendon graduate and former NYSPHSAA champ Gavin Hall by four strokes. Hall lost in last year's Round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur.

   Pittsford Sutherland's Jack Gianniny, the NYSPHSAA champ this spring as a senior, is the first alternate after posting a 142.

   "I am still kind of in shock," Thomson told the Democrat and Chronicle. "I was even debating if I should even play today because I played a lot of golf the last week. It feels amazing."

   The U.S. Amateur will be held Aug. 11-17 at the Atlanta Athletics Club's Highland Course in Johns Creek, Ga.

   Following up: It sounds as though Art Troilo Jr. isn't done with football despite the Harrison school district announcement of his retirement last week after 28 seasons in charge.

   "It just wasn't the right time. It was not fair to the kids," Troilo told The Journal News. "To be honest with you, obviously I didn't get any support from the school. I wasn't given the support that I thought I deserved or needed. I certainly would've liked to continue to coach."

   Troilo, 53, will remain in the district as a physical education teacher. He had spoken about stepping down at some point but told the paper he was still committed to the job.

   "I didn't want to finish this way," he said. "I spoke prior to this about stepping down. It seemed like they took it and wanted this. They took it as a good time to move."

   Dr. Louis Wool, Harrison's superintendent of schools, said he would stand by both the district's statement from last week and the words Troilo relayed in a meeting with the players and their parents.

   "It was a personal decision. We are grateful for everything he has done. He carried on a tremendous legacy," Wool said. "As far as I'm concerned, this was an end of a glorious era in Harrison football."

   Although he has not committed to anything for the 2014 season, Troilo said his coaching career will continue.

   "I miss it already. I'm going through almost withdrawal. I certainly would love to be out there coaching someplace. I never thought about coaching any place but Harrison, but

  
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    one chapter closes and another one opens."

       Award recipient: Add another in the long list of honors for St. Anthony's football star Joe Percival, who'll be heading off to Princeton this fall.

       Percival, a first-team all-state football selection at defensive end, was selected as the first recipient of the Marcus A. Henry Award, presented by Newsday to Long Island's top high school student-citizen-athlete.

       "The only way to describe Joe Percival is to use a religious term. Joe Percival is a saint, someone that exercises heroic virtue," said Brother Gary Cregan, principal at St. Anthony's. "In four years, I've observed the kind of heroic virtue that you would not expect a young man to have. But he has courage beyond imagination. His mom is very sick and he has had to raise himself and raise his younger brother and never once does he ever look anywhere but forward and toward God.

       "It's such an honor for him to be the first recipient of this award."

       The award is named for Newsday reporter Marcus A. Henry, who loved sports and enthusiastically served as a community leader. He died April 1 at the age of 41.

    Percival, also a star sprinter on the track team, made the school's National Honor Society and plays the piano in the St. Anthony's band. He also is the youth minister for Bread of Life Church in Wyandanch, where he helps organize the soup kitchen.

       "This is truly an honor to accept this award," Percival said at the presentation. "I am blessed to be standing here with this award -- it's beautiful. I read about all the other finalists and they were also deserving. It's good to see so many people doing the right thing."

       Extra points: Assistant Kerri White has been promoted to head girls basketball coach at St. Francis Prep, Joe Staszewski of Community Newspaper Group in New York City tweeted last week.


      
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