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Thursday, May 14, 2015: Salmon River's Barnes improves record to 100-5

   Leading off today: Since our threshold for noting coaching milestones is usually career victory No. 300, it's not often that this blog makes mention of a coach's 100th win.

   Then again, it's not often that someone wins his 100th in career contest No. 105.

   When Salmon River defeated Watertown 15-3 in non-league boys lacrosse Wednesday, it was coach Jim Barnes' 100th win against just five losses since taking the job in 2010.

   Russ Oakes, Trenton Tarbell and eighth-grader Isaiah Skidders each scored three goals for Salmon River, ranked fourth in the state this week in Class C, and goalie Troi Benedict made 11 saves.

   More big numbers: Now in his 30th season in the sport Nanuet softball coach Tony Toronto hit the 400-win milestone Tuesday with a 6-2 victory over Tappan Zee.

   Toronto coached at North Rockland for 22 seasons before moving to Nanuet.

   "(It means) that I'm old, I've been around a long time, and I've been blessed with players," Toronto told The Journal News.

   "I'm in pretty good company now," he added. "I look in the state record book and I just look at the names -- guys who were unbelievable names — now, maybe I'll inch my way up."

   By the way, Rye Neck's Joan Spedafino recently took over the Section 1 wins record (447). Retired Eastchester coach Skip Walsh's 446 wins had stood since his 2008.

   Nice week: Wellsville softball pitcher Amy Lorshbaugh tossed a no-hitter last week vs Cuba-Rushford and then followed up Monday with a 16-strikeout no-no Monday vs. Dansville. The junior fanned nine in a row in one stretch and walked just one Dansville batter.

   Title Nein? Welcome to the latest installment of "No good deed goes unpunished."

   Parents and boosters of the Arbor View High baseball team in Las Vegas will have to pay a sizeable chunk of money to the Clark County School District to have a donated storage shed torn down.

   The controversy started two years ago when baseball parents came up with a design and financing for the shed but couldn't get an answer from administrators about moving forward, even after a company offered to donate a precast one-story building.

   They went ahead and assembled the shed last September on the school's property. This spring, Clark County School District officials demanded that the shed be removed on Title IX grounds -- there was no comparable facility built to store the softball team's equipment.

   Up to this point, I would guess relatively few people would have a problem with the school district's reasoning. A law is a law, and not taking Title IX seriously can put all of the school district's federal funding at risk.

   Here, however, is where things get absurd.

   A TV station reported earlier that the baseball parents agreed to handle removal of the building for free and even expected to be able to make some money for the booster club's fund by selling it. District officials shot down that plan and put the demolition of the building out to bid on the grounds that they had authority over facilities on school property.

   The district said the bid came back at $21,000, which they deducted from the booster club's bank account that was intended to cover the cost of new uniforms and other equipment. But the TV station followed up and learned that the school district only sought out one company to bid on the demolition.

   "For a school district that's strapped for cash as they are, $21,000 is a lot of money; that's half a year's salary for a teacher, I would assume. So for somebody to approve a bid of $21,000 to tear down a structure that doesn't need a 10th of that is pretty shocking to me," said Josh Canon, a contractor who was not contacted to submit a bid.

   On top of everything else, coach Jay Guest's job reportedly is on the line over the controversy.

   "It's a sad commentary on something that was so well intended, it really was," a parent told the TV station.

   N.J. news: North Jersey's five major private-school football powers can see the handwriting on the wall and

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have started exploring breaking away from the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, reported.

   A meeting Tuesday to discuss potential alignments for a non-public football league reportedly never broached the matter at hand. Instead, discussions focused on whether separating all the schools in New Jersey for football into public and non-public leagues was simply a North Jersey problem or a statewide issue.

   Don Bosco Prep, Bergen Catholic, Paramus Catholic, DePaul and St. Joseph might not be inclined to wait around for an answer. Instead of bringing the 37 football-playing private schools under one umbrella, the idea of the North Jersey football powers leaving the NJSIAA entirely has begun to grow.

   "If we are to be relegated to a separate league for one sport, or any sport, why should we participate in the NJSIAA tournament for that sport? We have been banished," said Paramus Catholic president Jim Vail. "I would recommend to my colleagues that if we are going to get banished, we should set up a structure to run our own tournaments and set up gate receipts and divide them among ourselves."

   The problem is, they cannot go it alone in one sport and remain in good standing with the NJSIAA in all other sports. So if they're going to blow up the balance of power in football, they'll have to be prepared to break away in soccer, basketball and everything else, at which point anarchy becomes a possibility -- remember, these schools don't exactly receive Christmas cards from public-school counterparts who accuse them of recruiting.

   This much is true: If the Big Five break away and lure a few other schools into th fold, they could form football and basketball leagues that would be fairly attractive to sponsors and regional TV networks, which would not bode well for the state's public schools.

   As the website reports, other rifts are already apparent across the state. North Jersey schools -- public and private -- were hoping that if the entire state got behind the proposal to split for football, it might pass the full NJSIAA membership in December. Instead, opposition has broken out on several fronts.

   Extra points: WHAM-TV in Rochester did a report Wednesday on young lacrosse players making college commitments, with a chunk of the story focused on Irondequoit freshman star John Lombardi Jr., who has already said he will enroll at Michigan in 2018.

   Pittsford AD Scott Barker, whose son Colby also made an early college decision once recruiters pressed for an answer: "(Coaches) tell you at that point, hey, if you're not ready to commit, we'll move on to somebody else and we'll have the class filled up pretty quickly."

   Though it didn't come up in WHAM's story, there's another significant implication to early commitments that I think you're going to see rear its head soon: With their college financial aid already more or less locked in (though not official until they sign their letter of intent and scholarship papers), look for an increasing number of players to forsake football in their final year or two of high school to minimize the injury risk.

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