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Tuesday, April 21, 2015: Section 8 historian, NYSSWA aide Jack White dies

   Leading off today: Jack White, who literally wrote the book on Nassau County high school sports and was a godsend to reporters in search of historical data and obscure trivia, died over the weekend of an apparent heart attack in his Hicksville home. He was 70 years old.

   He was one of the behind-the-scenes advisers regularly assisting the New York State Sportswriters Association with weekly rankings, all-star selections and maintaining records. Most recently, he and Andy Slawson worked together to produce Long Island football rankings incorporated into our statewide ratings.

   "He was like a brother to me," Slawson said Monday.

   White, known to many as "Jake," was closely identified with Garden City High School, where he retired from teaching in 2000 and attended nearly every football, basketball and lacrosse game for half a century, but his expertise extended to all of Nassau County and even beyond.

   His "Section 8, Nassau County Sports Record Book," published in 1987, was the definite guide to the county's high school sports history as he made use of a vast personal collection of results and statistics to acknowledge every team and individual champion.

   "There has never been a more knowledgeable person about Nassau sports than Jack White," former Newsday sports reporter Mike Candel told the paper. "He was the absolute most reliable source I ever had. He was accurate, he had details and he was always, always willing to help."

   Said Garden City football coach Tom Flatley: "Every Monday morning he'd walk in with the football stats for the coaches, with a positive comment or an intelligent question. If you wanted to know something, you'd go to Jake. He can't be replaced."

   Funeral arrangements were still pending as of early Tuesday.

   A wild one: Hoosick Falls coach Chris Farley summed up Monday's game vs. Cambridge perfectly.

   "This is softball in New York in April," Farley told the Bennington Banner. "It's windy for both sides, they can't use it as an excuse, both teams are in the same conditions."

   Ralling from an 8-1 deficit by scoring 14 times in the bottom of the second, Hoosick Falls clawed its way to a 22-19 win.

   The Panthers sent 20 batters to the plate in the second inning. Hoosick Falls plated 10 runs after there were two outs in the inning.

   Earlier this month, Hoosick Falls scored eight runs in the top of the seventh to wipe out an 8-3 deficit and win.

   "Yeah, it was ugly, but we came back and hit and they realized if they hit and played some defense we could win this game," Farley said.

   Lizza Ryan was 3-for-5 with three runs scored, while Maddy Ryan was 4-for-5 with three RBI.

   Progress report: Classes AA and A of the NYSSWA boys all-state basketball team will be released Thursday at 10 a.m.

   Also, work is progressing on the girls basketball team. In a perfect world, we'll have that completed by late next week, though I'm still waiting on nominations from a couple of helpers.

   Rising star: Shenendehowa point guard Kevin Huerter was already on the radar of a good number of Division I basketball coaches. And then interest in the 6-foot-5 point guard really exploded two weekends ago.

   Huerter, who helped Shen win a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA Championship, last month, came home from the Albany City Rocks' appearance in a Nike EYBL tournament in Hampton, Va., with a pocket full of new offers above the mid-majors that were already inquiring.

   Huerter received offers from Xavier, Creighton and Rice during the weekend. Within 24 hours of returning home

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after averaging 13 points and five assists in four games, he was also extended offers by Maryland, Marquette, Miami, Penn State and Texas Tech according to

   "I am excited about the coming days and the coming weeks, and the next EYBL session, but I am just trying to stay humble about all of this because I know I still have a lot of work to do," Huerter told the website.

   Coaching news: A month after being told Sacred Heart Academy won't bring her back next winter, Sister Maria Pares is back in the game. The State Basketball Hall of Fame inductee will join head coach Al Monaco at Villa Maria College as an assistant coach.

   "For me I'm really happy with the situation," Pares, 74, told The Buffalo News. "I'm going to get a chance to teach and coach again and that's my forte and that's absolutely what I love to do. I'm very happy about the opportunity."

   Monaco, the former Williamsville South boys basketball coach who was let go three seasons ago, contacted Pares, who was previously a head coach at Marquette and Canisius College.

   "I just have so much respect for her and her knowledge of the game and her knowledge of all the female players in the area," Monoco said. "To me it was a no-brainer to ask her."

   After dropping sports in the mid-1990s, Villa Maria officials announced they'll sponsor men's and women's soccer and basketball for the 2015-16 season.

   Controversy in Dundee: If you were looking for further evidence that cheerleading is in fact a sport, here it is: The recent dismissal of a coach has become a community issue.

   More than a dozen people spoke in support of Dawn Baker as the April 9 school board meeting after learning Dundee will not bring her back as the fall and winter cheerleading coach.

   Baker said she was told by Dundee Superintendent Kelly Houck that she was out after seven seasons in the position. According to the The Observer Review & Express, Baker had previously been reprimanded by the board regarding a Facebook post she made following her team's second-place finish in the league cheerleading competition in January. Houck said the only disciplinary action resulting from that incident was being told not to make posts like that again.

   Baker said she had already decided to give up the winter responsibilities next year but was beginning to prepare for the fall season until receiving a text March 24 from AD Sheldon Gibson summoning her to a meeting including Houck, at which time she learned the school board would not support her appointment for next fall.

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