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Tuesday, June 2, 2015: McKenney addresses J-D board over his firing

   Leading off today: Fired Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball coach Bob McKenney broke his silence Monday by giving district administrators an earful at the regularly scheduled school board meeting.

   McKenney, who was let go as Red Rams coach for undisclosed reasons after 19 seasons and five NYSPHSAA championships, read a 10-minute statement during the meeting's public comments period, reported.

   McKenney said his ouster was due to a parent "who wanted me fired" starting in February 2014. "Allegations were made and investigated by the administration, and I was found to have done nothing wrong," he said.

   McKenney, who was selected as the new Bishop Grimes coach last month, also asserted that parents of former players knew at least a day before McKenney did that he was about to be fired and that someone approached school officials about applying for the basketball job the day before he was asked him to resign.

   He also said a parent told him he'd been dismissed for allowing a suspended player to travel with the J-D team and sit on the bench during a loss in the Section 3 championship game.

   "I was in contact with two high school administrators via text the night before the championship and no one mentioned that someone couldn't be on the bus," McKenney said. "In fact, I, the coaching staff, the player and his family were led to believe that it was OK for him to be there."

   McKenney was joined at Monday's meeting by family members and supporters.

   "Obviously this continues to nag at me in back of my mind. So I really felt that it was important for me to have some closure," McKenney said.

   McKenney said he wasn't trying to upstage anyone, but Monday's meeting included the official appointment of Jeffrey Ike as the new J-D coach. Ike, a 41-year-old Jamestown-DeWitt physical education teacher, has coached Manlius Pebble Hill to a 23-33 record over three seasons.

   Ike is also an assistant boys lacrosse coach under Jamie Archer for the Red Rams, who play Victor in the NYSPHSAA Class B semifinals on Wednesday.

   Ike, a former J-D freshman basketball coach, expressed respect for the program McKenney and his staff had built.

   "They built a great program," he said. "I'm honored to be the next guy in line."

   Looking to change: A former Section 5 basketball star who went into depression after her Division I career ended will appear on Tuesday's episode of "Extreme Weight Loss" on ABC.

   Kelli Poles, 26, who played forward for Canandaigua and then the University of Vermont, is now a bank teller in Kansas City, Mo. According to the Democrat and Chronicle, she wrote the show's trainers looking for help to transform her 6-foot-1, 331-pound body.

   Tonight's episode reportedly has Poles playing basketball at American Airlines Arena with Miami Heat players


  • NYSPHSAA boys lacrosse
  • NYSPHSAA girls lacrosse
  • NYSPHSAA baseball
  • NYSPHSAA softball
  • Past years' brackets

  • Chris Bosh and Chris Anderson.

       Keeping an eye on arms: Though baseball is typically more closely scrutinized on this particular issue, The Journal News delved into pitching arm injuries in softball with a report this weekend.

       Though they log considerably more innings -- often throwing three or more complete games per week -- softball pitchers report fewer injuries than their baseball counterparts, though some researchers suggest that the number of girls being injured is underestimated.

       "The problem with women's softball is that they have not caught up with men's baseball in that there's no pitch count for these girls," said Dr. Stephen J. Nicholas, director of the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma. "These girls go out there and they can pitch doubleheaders; they can pitch consecutive days; and really good softball pitchers are being burned out all the time because of pitching too much."

       Nicholas, a former physician for the New York Jets and Islanders, said the ratio of baseball to softball injuries he sees is about 5:1, but that's only because of the much larger number of baseball players. For every 1,000 players of each sport, including levels beyond high school, Nicholas said the number of injuries among both would be "pretty equal."

       You can read the full story here.

       Good move: Section 5 has not given up on Sahlen's Stadium as a host for its football playoffs, but is moving semifinals in smaller classes to alternate venues. The change could cut down on travel for fans of Class B, C and D teams and will also make for more convenient starting times.

       All the finals as well as the Class AA and A semifinals will stay at Sahlen's, providing the City of Rochester can guarantee improvements to the locker rooms and field conditions before the start of the season.

       The city's indifference to shoddy conditions at the stadium cost Rochester its long-standing gig as host of NYSPHSAA state semifinal games beginning this fall.

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