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Wednesday, May 20, 2015: New twist in the Lancaster nickname controversy

   Leading off today: Believe it or not, the controversy of the Lancaster nickname and mascot is all but certain to heat up again this summer based upon the results of Tuesday's school votes.

   With the ongoing battle about the recently retired Redskins nickname easily overshadowing other issues such as the proposed budget, district voters tossed out two Lancaster school board incumbents who voted to do away with the mascot this spring.

   Voters overwhelmingly backed the new budget, a bus proposition and a $57.3 million capital project but unseated incumbent board members Wendy Buchert and Kimberly Nowak. Redskins supporters erupted in joy when results showed pro-Redskins candidates Brenda Christopher and Kelly Depczynski had captured seats, The Buffalo News reported.

   "The people have spoken. We have finally been heard," said Christopher, who had served on the board until 2013.

   Students in the district are schedule to vote next week on a new nickname and mascot, but the issue could move front-and-center again once Christopher and Depczynski take their seats.

   "Honestly, I think it's just a sad day for Lancaster," Nowak told the paper. "They had a chance for integrity and they chose drama, instead."

   Manhasset advances: Thomas Duran scored 1:16 into overtime to give sixth-ranked Manhasset an 8-7 victory over longtime rival and eighth-ranked Garden City in a Section 8 Class B lacrosse semifinal between state-ranked teams.

   Garden City, down 7-5 late in the game, had forced a turnover and tied with :26 to go in regulation on J.P. Basile's goal.

   Manhasset moved on, though, as Jack Keough timed his pass to Duran perfectly as his teammate cut to the cage.

   "We had run that play a lot during the game and coach called it," Keogh told Newsday. "We knew they'd come back. They're such a well-coached team."

   Hockey coach dies: Services will be held Friday for former Niskayuna/Schenectady hockey coach Todd Templeton, who died from colon cancer on Tuesday at the age of 48, The Daily Gazette reported.

   After serving as an assistant coach for three seasons, Templeton took the head position for the 1994-95 season and remained in charge through the 2012-13 season.

   "The one thing I take away the most was the way he treated his players," said former assistant Juan de la Rocha, now the Shenendehowa coach. "The kids who played for him usually loved him. He was a nice guy. He really didn't have a mean bone in his body. He just wanted to share his love of the game with the kids he coached, and he was a good mentor to those kids."

   Worth the wait: Two-sport Syracuse Henninger star Romero Collier went down to just about the last minute before finally picking up the opportunity to continue his basketball career at the Division I level.

   The all-star quarterback and point guard recently accepted a scholarship offer from Niagara.

   "They're in need of a point guard. And I really think he can flourish in that league," Henninger coach Erik Saroney told Syracuse.com.

  
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   Collier had to sweat it out through the winter and spring, with only Division II offers having materialized.

   "I was thinking about prep school a lot," Collier said. "Then when Niagara came around and we went to visit -- me and my dad. We both felt that was a good fit for me."

   He averaged 16.3 points and 9.9 assists per game as a senior.

   A nod to tradition: In a sport dominated by high-tech plastic and composite shafts, LaFayette teammates Emerson Shenandoah and Percy Booth have been using hand-crafted wooden lacrosse sticks for a portion of the Section 3 season.

   The equipment comes from renowned stick-maker Alf Jacques of the Onondaga Nation and are made from a single piece of hickory harvested from the Onondaga Nation, then carved, shaped and bent so they can be fitted with a pocket of rawhide and nylon," Syracuse.com reported.

   "It's part of our tradition. Something we've played with forever," Shenandoah said. "It makes you feel a little closer to the game."

   Shenandoah's wooden stick weighs between 3 and 4 pounds. A metal stick with plastic head can weigh under a pound.

   "I think it's great," said Jacques, whose waiting list for filling orders is about a year. "It makes me proud that these young men wanted to go back to the wood. It's part of tradition here, part of the culture, part of lacrosse's roots that come out of Onondaga."

   He told the website he played with a wooden stick at LaFayette in the 1960s, but plastic and metal shafts began to dominate by the mid-1970s. He knows of no high school player using one this season other than Booth and Shenandoah.


  
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