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Tuesday, March 31, 2015: Sirianni resigns as Southwestern football coach

   Leading off today: Highly successful Jay Sirianni has resigned as football coach at Southwestern after going 101-26 with two NYSPHSAA championships at the Section 6 school.

   The school board unanimously accepted the resignations of Sirianni and assistants Aaron Rounds and Kevin Salisbury at its March 24 school board meeting according to Western New York reporter Dave DeLuca.

   Southwestern won state Class C crowns in 2008 and '09 in the midst of a 38-game winning streak. The Trojans lost in the 2011 final to Dobbs Ferry.

   Sizing up St. John's: I was in the minority in thinking St. John's University was a little too eager to end the Steve Lavin era in men's basketball. But if what The Daily News reported is accurate, the school may have been at least a year too late in letting Lavin go.

   The Red Storm reportedly were never serious contenders to land Abraham Lincoln star guard Isaiah Whitehead last year -- he opted for Seton Hall -- and apparently have barely lifted a finger in pursuit of junior guard Rawle Alkins of Christ the King, the consensus No. 1 recruit in NYC's Class of 2016.

   "Steve Lavin has never come to a workout in our gym," Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello told the paper. "His assistants have been here maybe twice.

   By way of comparison, Arbitello estimates that Louisville coach Rick Pitino has been to Christ the King for workouts seven times.

   With former Johnnies great Chris Mullin, himself out of the NYC pipeline (Power Memorial and Xaverian), taking the helm, perhaps the Red Storm will rejoin the fight for more of the top players from the five boroughs. Arbitello says it's not too late to land Alkins.

   "Not at all — not at all," Arbitello said. "At the end of the day, if Rawle says they can recruit him, they can recruit him."

   JuCo rule will change: The National Junior College Athletic Association has capitulated to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and killed a rule that limited sports eligibility mostly to students who attended at least three years of high school in the United States.

   After several New York junior colleges informed him of the NJCAA policy, Schneiderman contended the rule violated laws against discrimination based on national origin. The NJCAA board voted Saturday to eliminate the rule, which required 75 percent of the players on a team to have spent three years in a U.S. high school.

   Concern among some U.S. schools in 2012 that competitors were fielding older foreign athletes caused the NJCAA to put the rule into place. It will be interesting to see now if roster demographics in sports such as soccer and track change, and by how much.

   False sense of security? A New York Times story from Monday has generated a lot of discussion already regarding safety in girls lacrosse. Boys lacrosse teams nationwide have worn hard-shell helmets for many years, but Florida last month became the first state to require girls field players to wear protective headgear.

   Even casual observers understand that the girls version of the sport is governed by rules that greatly limit contact, seemingly making protective gear less crucial. But officials

  

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  • in Florida, where lacrosse is a relatively new sport with 152 teams and 4,200 players, reasoned that all players are at risk for head trauma and mandated a soft form of headgear for everyone.

       Ann Carpenetti, vice president of lacrosse operations at US Lacrosse told the paper Florida's decision is "irresponsible" and said the state's rule might embolden players to be more aggressive. What really riles critics of the rule is that Florida has decided that a 10-millimeter-thick headband is sufficient protection.

       "A headband is only going to prevent minor contusions and abrasions if they happen in the two inches the headband covers," said Lynn Millinoff, the coach of the girls team at Buchholz High School in Gainesville. "But Florida officials seem to think they're smarter than the entire rest of the lacrosse-playing world."

       On top of everything else, some players have complained the headbands get in the way of their goggles.

       The rule is largely in reaction to data showing girls lacrosse has the fifth-highest rate of concussions in high school sports -- behind football, ice hockey, boys lacrosse and girls soccer. But an extensive study from the Colorado School of Public Health indicates that most boys concussions result from player-on-player contact while the primary source in the girls game is players being struck by the ball or a stick -- easily addressed with hard-shell helmets rather than headbands.

       Extra points: The Kickoff Classic schedule I posted March 19 is already undergoing revisions following news that Monroe-Woodbury asked out of its game with defending state CHSFL champ Canisius at the Carrier Dome. Organizers are exploring alternatives.

       McQuaid offensive tackle Noah DeHond, who has become a football recruit of interest to a lot of Division I football programs in the past year, is transferring to The Peddle School in New Jersey) and reclassifying to the 2017 class, Scout.com reports.

       There was a blast from the recent past Sunday when Real Salt Lake defeated Toronto FC 2-1 in a Major League Soccer game in Sandy, Utah. The winning goal was scored by Jordan Allen, 19, who left Aquinas what would have been his junior season in 2011. Allen trained for two years in Real Salt Lake's academy and played a season at the University of Virginia.

       Newburgh Free Academy tennis player Tyler Reede will miss his sophomore season due to an torn anterior cruciate ligament, The Times Herald-Record reported. Reede has played in the state championships twice.


      
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