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Monday, Aug. 3, 2015: Rochester boys win BCANY tournament title

   Leading off today: Rochester defeated Hudson Valley 75-66 for the boys championship at the BCANY Summer Hoops Festival on Sunday in Johnson City.

   Fairport teammates Dan Masino and Matt Keenan scored 17 points apiece for Rochester, which also got 12 points and eight rebounds from Anthony Lamb (Greece Athena).

   "We didn't have a person who could really match up and stop him," Hudson Valley coach Bill Thom said. "They had three Division I kids, maybe four; they had a few kids who could shoot the ball well."

   Derrick Felder (Yonkers Saunders) led Hudson Valley with 17 points. He had 29 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists during an 83-79 win over Buffalo in Sunday's semifinals.

   Adirondack won the girls championship with a 68-63 win vs. Rochester in the title game.

   Pioneering Stepinac coach dies: Joe Sullivan, a coach on the first Archbishop Stepinac football staff in 1949 and the head coach there from 1958-71, died Friday at the age of 91.

   Sullivan was inducted into the Stepinac Hall of Fame in 2008.

   Field dedicated: In a ceremony Saturday during a tournament, the turf field at West Genesee was formally dedicated as "Mike Messere Field" in honor of the legendary boys lacrosse coach as a large contingent of former players looked on.

   "It's not often we get to recognize a living legend," West Genesee Superintendent Dr. Chris Brown said of the winningest coach in U.S. high school lacrosse history. "Messere's remarkable talent and hard work is undoubtedly notable, however it is his work off the field that will prove to be his greatest legacy.

   "More importantly he has been a master teacher, role model and impression on the people in this community. Many players and students say that other than their parents, coach Messere has been the biggest influence on their lives."

   Since taking over as head coach in 1976, Messere has coaches the Wildcats to 15 NYSPHSAA championships and eight other trips to the finals.

   Season scrapped already: Eden has made the decision to drop varsity football for the upcoming season based on anticipated participation numbers. Athletic Director Marisa Fallacaro announced the decision last week.

   By making the decision three weeks ahead of the start of practice, school officials bought time to seek out options for its upperclassmen. Eden (BEDS number of 377 for 2015-16) and North Collins (144) fielded a combined program last fall, and it's conceivable the schools could strike deals with a nearby district to take in their varsity candidates without having to move up to another playoff classification.

   The Buffalo News reported Monday that Fallacaro has reached out to Class A Lake Shore about the possibility of a combined team. A meeting is planned for Tuesday with Eden families and staff and Lakeshore's football coaches.

   "It would give our Eden players a chance to not just sit on someone's sidelines," she said. "They will feel a little at home, with Lake Shore having a few coaches from Eden."

   Eden, though, seemingly has a bigger issue. Even with its average of 125 students per grade level, the school is seeing problems in other sports. Field hockey and girls soccer are attracting fewer players than hoped.

   "I think this year, the board and administration need to have a conversation about what we can truly offer for sports

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in the district," School Board President Michael Byrnes said. "If you don't have the kids, you can't keep doing all the stuff. And with some teams so thin, you don't have the numbers when there are injuries."

   Players come, players go: The Lakeland boys soccer team is losing its centerpiece, but it's hard to fault rising senior Johnny Denis for making the decision to leave. Denis has been selected for the U.S. Men's Under-17 National Team.

   "We'd love to have a 31-goal scorer on our team; no question about it," Lakeland coach Tim Hourahan told The Journal News. "But the bottom line is that Johnny played three years of high school soccer and now he's in the top 30 under-17 players in the country. He's trying to fulfill a dream of making soccer a career and playing for his country."

   By the way, The Journal News also reported Byram Hills and Yorktown are getting players back from U.S. Soccer Academy programs this fall.

   Following up: In a blog last weekend, I mentioned a Democrat and Chronicle story about the Rochester City School District's rebuilding program for a long-neglected athletic program.

   That story focused largely on boys sports, but the paper has followed up with a closer look at the numbers for girls sports. Even though the breakdown of sports -- 18 for boys, 17 for girls and nine co-ed -- is evenly split between the genders, the RCSD numbers indicate a substantial imbalance in participation -- unofficially about 57 percent males and 43 percent females. By way of comparison, Buffalo's breakdown was 52.6/47.4 for the most recent available year.

   To help close the gap, the Rochester district is adding girls lacrosse and will beef up cheerleading programs.

   Coming up: Proving that I haven't lost my touch from my days as a newspaper reporter, I've blown my deadline for writing and posting the epic 2014-15 year on review blog. I'd hoped to finish it off last Friday but should be done with it before the end of this week.

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