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Tuesday, June 16, 2015: Concussion study sounds alarm on girls lacrosse

   Leading off today: Lacrosse mamas, don't let your daughters grow up to be defenders.

   That's not a country music lyric gone wrong; it's one of the takeaways from a new study that says women's lacrosse is second only to football for the highest number of concussions in high school and college sports. And defenders appear to be most at risk within lacrosse.

   The study in the journal "Injury Epidemiology," looked at the incidence of concussions in seven sports. In previous studies, women's lacrosse had typically trailed football, men's and women's soccer and men's lacrosse when it came to concussions.

   The study observed 375 concussions among 7,513 high school and 1,392 college athletes across the country.

   In football, quarterbacks and running backs were found to be most vulnerable to concussions. In women's lacrosse, defenders were the most likely to sustain concussions. Ironically, the safest position in lacrosse was goalkeeper, which happens to be the highest risk position in both men's and women's soccer.

   While collisions were the leading source of concussions in football, men's lacrosse and soccer, the most likely reason a women's lacrosse player sustained a concussion was from contact with a stick or the ball, USA Today noted.

   Negotiations progressing: Niskayuna outfielder Garrett Whitley is progressing toward signing with MLB's Tampa Bay Rays, who drafted him No. 13 overall last week.

   "Fairly safe to say," is how Whitley recently termed the likelihood he'd be joining the franchise following graduation on June 25. Negotiations are continuing, and reported Whitley has notified the coaching staff at Wake Forest he expects to turn pro rather than enroll in school in the fall.

   As the No. 13 pick, Whitley is projected to be in position for a signing bonus of just under $3 million according to Major League Baseball's guidelines. If he signs, Whitley will likely begin his career in the Gulf Coast League.

   Speaking of plans: Boston College has nailed down commitments from a pair of New York football prospects in the Class of 2016 -- Adam Korutz and Ray Marten.

   Korutz is a 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive tackle from Johnson City who was honorable mention all-state as a junior. Marten is a 6-4, 230-pound tight end for Poly Prep who was fourth-team all-state in Class A.

   Meanwhile, rising junior Malik Zachery is leaving the Syracuse Nottingham basketball program to transfer to powerful St. Benedict Prep in Newark, N.J., reported.

   The 6-1 point guard averaged more than 16 points a game last winter for the Bulldogs. He's on the radar of several major-college programs.

   Punishment dished out: The Needville (Texas) High catcher who became a YouTube villian when she was shown elbowing two baserunners during a state softball tournament game has been disciplined, Needville Superintendent Curt Rhodes said.


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  • Past years' brackets

  •    Rhodes said the girl has received threats and hate-filled texts since the incident.

       "This action, which is two isolated incidents, is truly out of character for her," he said. "We do not support the action, but she is a great young lady. We strongly support our students and coaches; they are talented, dedicated people."

       The video shows the catcher elbowing two players crossing home plate during the state Class 4A championship game loss to Huffman Hargrave. In each instance, the runner was about to score well ahead of the throw home when the catcher threw a jarring elbow.

       Awkward: Picture this scenario: You're a 16- or 17-year-old athlete who's gone through two rounds of tryouts for a local all-star team that will be playing in a fairly prestigious tournament, and you're anxiously awaiting notification on whether you've made the team.

       The email arrives, and you're thrilled at seeing your name on the list of 20 girls on the Rochester-area team heading to the Brine National Lacrosse Classic in Richmond, Va., at the end of the month.

       Shortly afterwards, a follow-up email arrives and says mistakes were made on the initial roster, resulting in some players being added and others removed. To your relief, however, your name still shows up on the roster.

       And then you pop open your email account once more and see a new message in your in box. It's a notification that the "corrected" roster was also wrong and that both of the earlier emails should be disregarded because this message contains the true final roster.

       And your name is nowhere to be found. That's exactly what happened to several girls last week.

       As glitches go, it was pretty bad. It's the kind of experience that may very well cause players to have second thoughts about trying out next year.

       To the credit of organizers, though, the Brine reps stepped up and took responsibility in quick order. A statement from Joel Franklin said an incorrectly sorted spreadsheet resulted in the wrong names being uploaded to the mail system.

       "It was unintentional human error on my part," said Franklin, a portfolio manager for Legacy Global Sports. "The players that were selected have earned their way to the national games."

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