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Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014: Mignano retires after 583 wins with S-WR baseball

   Leading off today: Shoreham-Wading River held a ceremony last weekend to honor baseball coach Sal Mignano, who has retired after winning 583 games and seven Section 11, one state and 12 league championships since 1977.

   "Those titles are the small part of what's kept me coaching baseball here at SWR," said Mignano, who retired from teaching in 2008. "The competition, the staff that I worked with, the coaches that we battled against and the friendships that have developed have all been highlights."

   Mignano, the only varsity coach Shoreham-Wading River has known, admitted frustration after his first four squads all finished with losing records. He confided in a veteran coach he couldn't understand why the players didn't seem as into baseball as he was.

   "How many players from your high school baseball team went into coaching?" the man asked Mignano.

   "Me," Mignano replied. "That kind of gave me a decent perspective. "I can work them hard and expect a lot, but I can't expect them to be me."

   The team finished at .500 in Year 5 and has finished with a winning record every year since, the Riverhead News-Review reported.

   Said assistant coach Kevin Willi: "He's always the first one there by an hour. Everything you could think of, all the bases he has covered."

   Simply dominating: In his final tune-up before becoming the young player ever to tee it up at the USGA Men's U.S. Amateur, Pittsford Mendon golfer Will Thomson won the New York State Boys Amateur Championship at Ridgemont Country Club outside Rochester by 21 strokes this week.

   Thomson, 13, a rising eighth-grader at Pittsford Mendon who finished tied for eighth at the NYSPHSAA tournament this spring, shot 64-72--146 in becoming the fourth competitor to win the event in consecutive years. He fired off five straight birdies on the front nine Tuesday and never looked back.

   In the girls division, Marah Penn of Hamburg shot 76-73--149 to win by two strokes/

   Rules, rules, rules: Three recent developments from the people who regulate our behavior:

   (1) The track and field rules committee of the National Federation of State High School Associations has eliminated the much-despised rule prohibiting jewelry during competition.

   "The wearing of jewelry ordinarily presents little risk of injury to either the competitor or opponents," said Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the track committee. "Elimination of the rule allows officials to focus on meet administration directly related to actual competition. Coaches continue to have the obligation to see that competitors are properly equipped."

   In a change for the discus throw, it no longer will be a foul if a competitor is out of control when exiting the back half of the circle. Also, in the discus, shot put and javelin, the requirement for the judge to call "mark" was eliminated.

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   And in the high jump and pole vault, Rule 7-2 was amended to note that "a crossbar displaced by a force disassociated with the competitor after he/she is legally and clearly over the crossbar shall not be a fault and is considered a successful attempt.

   You can read about all the NFHS changes here.

   (2) Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week signed a bill into law that will require coaches to report potential signs of child abuse to authorities. The law will require coaches to complete two hours of training on potential child abuse, and will be required to provide proper documentation in order to both obtain and hold a temporary coaching license or professional coaching certificate beginning next July.

   Under the measure, coaches will be afforded legal protections if they make a report of abuse that is proven unfounded.

   (3) Some Florida high school students will be randomly tested for drugs following a vote Wednesday by the Miami-Dade County School Board. Random tests for performance enhancing drugs or steroids will start this year.

   Seven people were arrested last week for running a clinic in Coral Gables that pushed performance enhancing drugs.

   Extra points: Rumored at times this year to be leaving the area to further his basketball career, rising sophomore Jordan Tucker will instead transfer from White Plains to nearby Archbishop Stepinac. The 6-foot-7 swingman was White Plains' No. 2 scorer as a freshman, The Journal News reported.

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