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Friday, March 20, 2015: PSAL decision would have Federation implications

   Leading off today: Christ the King's boys basketball coach has raised the possibility of boycotting the Federation basketball tournament next weekend because the PSAL has allowed two of its schools to play in a national event next month.

   Joe Arbitello, coach of the two-time defending Federation Class AA champs, told that the PSAL decision to allow the Wings Academy boys and South Shore girls to play in the Dick's Sporting Goods High School Nationals starting April 2 flies in the face of a Federation rule against playing in more than one postseason tournament.

   "How are we going to allow them to play as a part of the state association?" Arbitello said. "It's a joke. I may not go to it then. I may not show up. I'm not going to give them the benefit of playing us."

   The eight-team boys bracket and four-team girls field feature some of the best teams in the country. Wings and South Shore won PSAL championships last weekend to qualify for the Federation tournament in Albany. The High School Sports Nationals start four days after the Federation tournament, the traditional end to the New York high school season.

   Making it especially aggravating to Arbitello is the fact Christ the King agreed to host early-round games without being able to participate. History strongly suggested to him that other New York teams wouldn't be able to play either.

   Boys & Girls and Murry Bergtraum sent teams to the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational in 2011 after the Federation tournament, setting off a controversy that saw CHSAA schools threaten to stop scheduling PSAL opponents. Raids of CHSAA rosters and a PSAL policy of allowing transfers from Catholic High School Athletic Association schools to gain immediate eligibility had already created hard feelings between the associations.

   "Our kids and coaches are excited to play in this tournament and we're thrilled to give them this opportunity," said Department of Education spokesman Jason Fink.

   The PSAL stance seems to be that the city's Department of Education regards the organization as a voluntary Federation participant, therefore free to make decisions affecting its own student-athletes. What that doesn't take into account is that the CHSAA, NYSPHSAA and AIS are equally free to boot the PSAL out of the Federation, with potential implications such as ending the New York City league's participation in other competitions such as track and field.

   For what it's worth, South Shore coach Anwar Gladden wasn't sure his team was definitely playing in the High School Nationals until seeing a USA Today article this week.

   R-H coach will step down: Steve Shepanski will step down as girls basketball coach at the conclusion of the unbeaten team's season, the Democrat and Chronicle reported. The Royal Comets take a 22-0 record into Friday's NYSPHSAA Class AA semifinal vs. Commack at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.


  • 2015 NYSPHSAA boys basketball brackets
  • 2015 NYSPHSAA girls basketball brackets
  • 2015 NYSPHSAA boys hockey brackets
  • N.Y. wrestling championships (PDF): Div. I | Div. II
  • N.Y. indoor track championships: Boys | Girls

  •    "I really wanted to see this crew through to graduation," said Shepanski, 45.

       He's 182-69 in 10 seasons with three straight state title beginning in 2006 with star center Shenise Johnson.

       New adventure: Former Williamsville South boys basketball coach Al Monaco is the new women's basketball coach at Villa Maria College, which is in the process of reintroducing intercollegiate athletics beginning next fall.

       Monaco was dropped as the Williamsville South coach in a highly controversial decision in August 2012 after compiling a record of 364-211 in 24 seasons. He has been an assistant coach with the Fredonia State men's basketball program the last two years.

       Ready for some football? The schedule for the annual Kickoff Classic at the Carrier Dome has been released, and it's a pretty impressive slate of game in the first week of September:

       Thursday, Sept. 3:

    • Cicero-North Syracuse vs. Kingston, 5 p.m.
    • 8 p.m.: Baldwinsville vs. Victor, 8 p.m.
       Friday, Sept. 4:
    • Auburn vs. Binghamton, 11 a.m.
    • Syracuse Henninger vs. Newburgh, 2 p.m.
    • Canisius vs. Monroe-Woodbury, 5 p.m.
    • Syracuse CBA vs. Aquinas, 8 p.m.
       Sunday, Sept. 6:
    • Cazenovia vs. Amsterdam, 11 a.m.
    • Watertown vs. East Rochester/Gananda, 2 p.m.
    • Utica Notre Dame vs. Newark Valley, 5 p.m.
    • Mexico vs. South Jefferson, 8 p.m.

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  • 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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  • 3/18: Weekly NYC boys basketball recap
  • 3/13: Dutchess Co. teams idle until April 30
  • 3/12: A day unlike any other in H.S. sports
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