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Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014: Commack, East Hampton win sectional soccer titles

   Leading off today: Class AA Commack and Class A East Hampton scored victories Friday in Section 11 boys soccer finals to complete the field for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament.

   East Hampton advanced by virtue of a 1-0 win vs. Comsewogue as Camillo Godoy scored in the 55th minute. The win advanced East Hampton to Sunday's Long Island championship game and state quarterfinal vs. Rockville Centre South Side.

   Commack downed Walt Whitman 1-0 for its first Suffolk County championship since 1994. Gene Sicoli scored the goal in the 53rd minute, heading in Mike Pallonetti's corner kick, and Ryan Sinnott made eight saves.

   Commack will play MacArthur in the Long Island championship and NYSPHSAA quarterfinal on Sunday.

   Burke changes policy: Burke Catholic administrators announced a new school policy that prohibits its coaches from coaching that same sport in any outside athletic organization, The Times Herald-Record reported.

   The policy goes into effect Monday when winter sports practices begin. It is unclear if Bobby Rahn, an assistant coach with the boys basketball team, will coach with the high school team, or the AAU team he has coached with for several years -- the B.C. Eagles.

   Rahn's name appears prominently in a list of alleged recruiting violations that a consortium of area schools submitted to Section 9 after retaining a law firm to conduct an investigation into Burke's basketball program. Burke AD Adam Kless and Rahn did not immediately return the paper's phone calls Friday.

   According to a news release emailed by Kless on Friday, the new policy was introduced to "reinforce Burke Catholic's ongoing commitment to uphold responsibilities as a member of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Section 9."

   The press release also stated: "As a non-public Catholic school, Burke Catholic recognizes it has the unique opportunity to attract students from multiple school districts. This is an opportunity the other member public schools do not have. By instituting this policy, we are taking this additional step to eliminate any future speculation that Burke Catholic is in any jeopardy of violating the NYSPHSAA Recruitment and Undue Influence Rule."

   It is uncertain when Section 9 will conclude its investigation into the allegations against Burke.

   Change at Poughkeepsie: The Hudson Valley Sports Report confirmed its own report from early in the week in reporting that John Castellano resigned as football coach at Poughkeepsie.

   Castellano coached at Nyack for 23 seasons, where he won two state championships, and was an assistant at national power Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey before stepping in at Poughkeepsie, which had to replace Ken Barger during his ongoing battle before the New York State Department of Education.

   Castellano's teams were 3-6 and 1-7 in two seasons at Poughkeepsie.

   When you're right, you're right: Syracuse University football coach Scott Shafer didn't pull punches Tuesday during his weekly radio show when discussing recruiting prospects from New York, reported.

   One of the points he made is New York players get limited exposure because of the short regular-season schedule -- seven games in the NYSPHSAA.


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  •    "That's unbelievable to me, and it's a damn shame in my opinion," Shafer said. "You go over to Ohio and they play 10-11 games and then get into the playoffs and they have two scrimmages before the season starts. You go down to Florida and they have 12 games plus an offseason spring program."

       Shafer said SU has started offering team camps in an effort to provide more opportunities to Central New York players. Last summer, the Orange hosted eight one-day, all-position camps between June 13-26.

       "Probably one of the most frustrating things to me is that these kids in the State of New York don't get to play more football," Shafer said. "I think the more you play the better you get, and the more opportunities you're going to get to be competitive in the recruiting side of things as well."

       Speaking of opportunities: The Buffalo Bandits recently announced the indoor lacrosse team will host a league for high school players.

       The eight-team league will be play games under modified NLL rules. The contests will consist of two 20-minute halves with running time. Each team will have one practice and play six games, including playoffs, all at First Niagara Center. Participating teams will also receive tickets to a 2015 Bandits home game.

       The cost per team to register for the Buffalo Bandits Youth Indoor Lacrosse league is $2,500. Practice starts Nov. 22.

       "We are extremely excited to provide this experience to youth lacrosse players in the Western New York region," said Scott Loffler, the Bandits' director of lacrosse operations. "With the popularity of our Jr. Bandits program over the last two summers, we felt this was the next step in growing youth indoor lacrosse in the area. Pending arena availability, we will also be forming middle and elementary school leagues later in the season."

       Extra points: Emerging Murry Bergtraum star Milicia "Mimi" Reid has transferred to Bishop Loughlin. Reid, a 5-foot-8 sophomore, averaged 11 points and 4 assists a game as a freshman for the Lady Blazers.

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