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Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015: A drum roll, please, for 2014's most-read blogs

   Leading off today: The first day of 2015 is as good a day as any to put the wraps on 2014. Without further adieu, here is the rundown of the 10 blog entries on the site that attracted the most readers last year:

   (1) Craig Whipple abruptly resigns as boys lacrosse coach at Irondequoit just four games into the season. (Read it)

   (2) A live blog from the final day of the NYSPHSAA boys basketball tournament at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

   (3) The breaking news story that Aquinas had been kicked out of the Section 5 football players over the use of an ineligible player (QB Jake Zembiec) in the quarterfinals. (Read it)

   (4) The unveiling of finalists for New York's Mr. Basketball and Miss Basketball awards.

   (5) Reporting on the death of Westhill quarterback Reed Derrenbacher. (Read it)

   (6) Reporting on the death of Pittsford Mendon cross country coach Jason DeJoy, whose team captured a NYSPHSAA championship two months earlier. (Read it)

   (7) News that the suspension of Canisius all-state football player Brad Zaffram was linked to the school's firing of an administrator. (Read it)

   (8) Elmira Notre Dame withdraws from the NYSPHSAA boys soccer tournament after the school's investigation confirms an allegation the team won a sectional title with the help of an ineligible player. (Read it)

   (9) Five Section 9 school districts accuse the John Burke Catholic boys basketball program of illegal recruiting through an AAU team run by an assistant coach. (Read it)

   (10) Curtis High football player Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapses and dies at a Labor Day practice. (Read it)

   Following up: Tom Mullins, fired last week as a volunteer assistant basketball coach at Poughkeepsie for allegedly yelling obscenities at and bumping a referee, told The Timers Herald-Record he will file a defamation lawsuit against two local organizations.

   Mullins was fired after the alleged altercation with referee Ed Incle during a Dec. 18 game at Goshen. According to Incle, Mullins screamed obscenities and bumped him several times after he assessed Mullins two technical fouls during the fourth quarter, the paper reported. Mullins, in his ninth season with the program, told the paper Incle is a "rogue referee" and said he never bumped Incle or cursed directly at him.

   Mullins said he will sue the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association and the Orange County Basketball Officials Association (OCBOA). OCIAA athletic coordinator Chris Mayo and OCBOA president Scott Habura declined to comment to the paper.

   "Ed Incle is a representative of those two organizations and he should not have released the reports before any

statements could be reviewed and more witnesses provided," Mullins said.

   "I think it's unprofessional and lacks integrity."

   Incle filed a police report with the Village of Goshen police department and wants Mullins arrested.

   Interestingly, Mullins and Incle are both retired from police work are now employed as insurance investigators for the same company though they do not work together.

   Interesting: I simply don't have the details to write more extensively about it (hopefully that will change in the coming days), but a colleague passed along information about a recent case in which school administrators actually stood up for an embattled coach in the face of complaints by parents.

   I'd certainly like to see that become a trend in 2015.

   Scholarship fund started: Sportswriter Perry Novak is starting a scholarship fund in memory of Binghamton-area reporter and fellow softball supporter Ron Grotke, who died recently at the age of 66.    For details, drop a line to Perry and Kate Novak at 3350 Route 28, Herkimer, NY 13350.

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  • 4/29: Officials turning focus toward the fall
  • 4/23: Boys all-state basketball (large schools)
  • 4/22: Westhill hoops star dies in crash
  • 4/16: Boys all-state basketball (small schools)
  • 4/8: LuHi girls coach Slater steps down
  • 3/24: NYSPHSAA ends winter sports season
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