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Tuesday, July 7, 2015: New Lancaster school board, same old controversy

   Leading off today: As a public service to take your mind off the deluge of stories about the confederate flag controversy that's swept the country of late, I thought I'd bring you an update today on another once-roaring issue that's finally been put to rest.

   Juuuuuuuuuust kidding.

   Like taxes, summer TV reruns and obnoxious relatives overstaying their welcome on holiday weekends, the Lancaster mascot debate is not going away anytime soon. The Friends of Lancaster Redskins organization had a float in the local July 4 parade and sold "Change It Back" T-shirts. And the routine swearing in of two new school board members, supporters of the recently-dropped "Redskins" nickname and mascot, turned into shouting among the audience on Monday according to The Buffalo News.

   Quoting from the story: "It was obvious that the retired nickname will not go away. If anything, it continues to haunt the five board members still on the board who voted to scrap it in favor of the student-chosen Lancaster 'Legends' mascot."

   Though newcomers Brenda Christopher and Kelly Hughes Depczynski hold just two votes on the seven-member board and prospects of forming a coalition with any of their colleagues are nil, many in the audience at the annual reorganization meeting sported "Change It Back" T-shirts.

   Wendy Buchert, who lost her re-election bid in May and had voted to retire the old mascot, challenged Christopher to explain what she has meant by referring to Legends as being a "temporary" mascot.

   Christopher responded by insisting Redskins is a nickname and not a mascot, the paper reported. "It's up to this community," Christopher said. "If this community wants this name back, we will look into it."

   Shouting from the audience soon ensued, and one man accused Buchert of being "a poor loser."

   Afterward, Depczynski was asked if there was a real chance of bringing back the old nickname. "Absolutely," she said.

   Sad news: A pair of well-known figures in New York high school sports circles passed away recently.

   Glen McGinnis, who coached a variety of sports from football to basketball to swimming over 58 years, died Sunday at the age of 81. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer last year.

   "I just can't think of basketball without him," Monroe-Woodbury AD and coach Ron Montalto told The Times Herald-Record.

   After helping SUNY Brockport to a share of the 1955 national soccer championship with Penn State, McGinnis began his coaching career in 1957 at Guilderland, moving to Cornwall four years later. His Cornwall boys basketball teams posted back-to-back 21-0 seasons in 1971-'72 and '72-73.

   McGinnis retired from teaching in 1996 but continued coaching.

   "He was just an amazing guy," former Monticello and Burke Catholic basketball coach Dick O'Neill said. "I'm glad he was part of my life."

   Meanwhile, the Long Island swimming community is morning the loss of Woodward "Woody" Davis, the legendary Long Beach mentor who died Friday at the age of 82 shortly after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

   "He had a way of making everyone feel special," current Long Beach coach John Skudin told Newsday. "He was a coach that demanded respect, but never had to yell."

   Davis was an Air Force veteran who went on to dive for Washington State. He was hired at Long Beach to coach swimming, gymnastics and soccer after earning his


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  • master's degree at Columbia University.

       He won more than 500 dual swim meets and 17 Nassau County champ-ionships, 14 times posting undefeated seasons.

       Davis ran the Town of Hempstead's summer swimming program for more than 20 years. He was given a lifetime achievement award from the Nassau County Sports Commission and the high school pool was dedicated to him.

       Davis' Island Park house was destroyed by the remnants of Hurricane Sandy. He rented a nearby apartment and remained at the school to keep the swim club going for several students displaced by the storm.

       "He kept the teams going and kept kids involved so they didn't have to think about Sandy," Skudin said.

       Corning coach appointed: Corning's school board has named Marisa Wolfe as its new girls basketball coach. Wolfe, a two-year captain at Penn State, takes over for Marc Prutsman, who steered the team to its first winning season since the district consolidated its two high schools.

       Go fish: I'm clearly slipping, because I did not know fishing was a high school sport.

       The Democrat and Chronicle did a feature on the subject over the weekend. It seems an organization named New York B.A.S.S. Nation has been supplying guidance for high school fishing clubs around the state the last two years.

       A total of 70 students statewide participated this past school year, and organization president Fred Blom expects 150 to 200 in 2015-16.

       "There is a niche of kids who like outdoor recreation-type of activities," Irondequoit AD Anthony Lipani said. "We need to find better ways to meet them where they are (in terms of interest)."

       There were 41 students at the first Irondequoit meeting last fall, and 31 were still participating in June. A $20 membership fee covered a one-year membership in the overall Bass Anglers Sportsman's Society (B.A.S.S.), the B.A.S.S. nation and the New York B.A.S.S. Nation. Club members also received magazine subscriptions and access to tournaments.

       Students from Cicero-North Syracuse and McQuaid earned invitations to the B.A.S.S. National High School National Championships being held July 22-25 on Kentucky Lake at Paris, Tenn. Scholarships are among the prizes at stake.

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