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Monday, Nov. 10, 2014: St. Anthony's coach wins 400th in boys soccer final

   Leading off today: The St. Anthony's boys soccer team won its second straight state CHSAA championship Sunday by beating Fordham Prep 4-2 and handing coach Gene Buonaiuto his 400th career victory.

   "He's the man. It doesn't get much better than him, I'd say in the country," senior co-captain T.J. Butzke told MSG Varsity. "He walks into a room and you know it. He doesn't say much, but that's coach 'Bon-Bon.' He's St. Anthony's soccer."

   After the game, Butzke presented a plaque to Buonaiuto, who is 400-116-42.

   There were five goals score in the first half, including four in a 13-minute stretch. Zuberi Symister put a half volley into the net in the 36th minute for a 3-2 lead after Beau Hornberger's header was cleared off the line. John Foley capped the scoring by knocking in a cross midway through the second half.

   "It's been a long time, but it is sweet no doubt about it," Buonaiuto said of the milestone. "To win with this group couldn't have worked out more perfectly. It wouldn't have been the same if it was the second game of next year."

   More soccer: Twelfth-seeded Aviation completed a dream run through the PSAL boys Class A tournament by beating Susan Wagner 2-1 in the championship at Randall's Island. It's Aviation's first Class A title.

   The Flyers eliminated No. 5 seed Bronx Science, No. 4 Beacon and No. 1 Martin Luther King (ranked second in the country by the NSCAA at the time) in the semifinals.

   "Today we went down 1-0 and came all the way back,” Aviation coach Mario Cotumaccio told MSG Varsity. "I don't know where they find the drive and energy but they are just ... I can't speak. It's an emotional day and they are a fabulous group of kids."

   Kevin Zepeda and Edwin Urgilez scored in the victory.

   Streak is intact: Dana Bozek and Molly Fitzpatrick scored twice apiece for Lakeland, which did not allow a shot in a 6-0 victory over Rondout Valley in the NYSPHSAA Class B field hockey quarterfinals Sunday.

   Bozek's first tally came 57 seconds into the game.

   The five-time defending state champions stretched their winning streak to 50 games on the heels of a close call -- 3-2 in double OT -- vs. Rye in the Section 1 final. The Hornets will face Vestal and on Saturday in a semifinal rematch of their 2013 state contest won by Lakeland 4-1.

   "After the Rye game on Thursday, we knew it was so important to come out with intensity, scoring the first goal and putting them on their heels in the first few minutes of the game," Bozek told The Journal News.

   Oceanside great dies: Ernie Vandeweghe, a New York Knicks player in the post-World War II era and father four highly accomplished athletes, died Saturday at the age of 86.

   Vandeweghe played football, basketball and baseball for Oceanside before going on to be a basketball All-American at Colgate. He was drafted by the Knicks in 1949 and played in the NBA for six seasons, averaging 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds, while also studying medicine. After retiring in 1956, Vandeweghe served as a physician for the Air Force and later as chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

   Vandeweghe's wife, Colleen, died in 2010. She won the 1952 Miss America pageant.


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  •    Son Kiki Vandeweghe played 13 seasons in the NBA and averaged 19.7 points per game for his career. Daughter Tauna won a United States Swimming national title and competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Son Bruk was a beach volleyball player, and daughter Heather captained the national women's polo team.

       Granddaughter CoCo Vandeweghe is a nationally ranked pro tennis player. "I am so lucky to have spent so many years with him learning and growing," she said in a Facebook post confirming the death. "He is now in a better place with his beloved wife. He will be missed dearly. Love you Pal."

       Sigh: USA Today has been running a series of "Best of" contests for high school sports the past few years. When their staffers emailed me early on, I did lend a hand in helping them with identifying and then narrowing down lists of candidates.

       However, late last year I came to the conclusion that style badly outweighed substance and these online "contests" amounted to little more than click whoring. At that point I stopped responding to the requests for help, and they must have gotten the message because I haven't heard from their folks lately.

       Perhaps they should have run their list of New York finalists for "Best Football Program" past me -- or any other New York football observer with a pulse -- because the USA Today list consists of:

    • Aquinas
    • Garden City
    • Monroe-Woodbury
    • Randolph
    • St. Anthony's
       Golly, gee wiz. Do you see anyone missing?

       Though any of the five options could be justified individually, there's no way a three-time defending NYSPHSAA champion riding a 48-game winning streak shouldn't bump one of them from making the final cut.

       Maybe the folks at the nation's original four-color newspaper can do some research and figure out who's missing.

       More later: We'll be back with real football news -- not USA Today-style silliness -- later Monday.

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