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Saturday, Aug. 22, 2105: Long Island coach exits, AD apparently next

   Leading off today: A former NFL quarterback appears to be the first coaching casualty of the New York high school football season.

   Mike Buck resigned less than a week into practice with the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck varsity -- and Greenport's athletic director also appears headed for the door, The Suffolk Times reported.

   Buck, 48, told the paper Friday that he decided to leave after a physical education teaching job he had applied for in Greenport went to someone else. "It was a tough decision to leave, but I have to look for my future, too," he said.

   Buck played for the New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins. He also coached in the Arena Football League. Last fall, he was a first-year head coach at Bishop McGann-Mercy in Riverhead. He said he left because he lost his teaching job at the school.

   While Buck hopes to be appointed to the Walt Whitman coaching staff and gain a place at that school as a permanent substitute, Greenport apparently will be shopping for a new AD. Jim Caliendo submitted a letter of resignation that the school board may consider at its Sept. 15 meeting, Greenport Superintendent David Gamberg told the paper.

   Caliendo, who has been the AD for about two years, could not immediately be reached for comment by the paper. He had nominated Buck for the coaching job, but Gamberg said he didn't believe there was a link between the two resignations.

   As for a new coach, the Porters might turn to Jack Martilotta, who was the head coach for five seasons but stepped down to the defensive coordinator position this year to spend more time with his family.

   Following up: Riverhead junior Nikolas Visco, who suffered heat stroke during Monday morning's football practice, remained in critical condition early Saturday at Stony Brook Children's Hospital.

   Newsday dug into safety standards for high school sports and reported that Section 11's rules are tougher than those enforced by the state.

   Don Webster, the executive director of Section 11, said Suffolk County's athletic organization adopted a policy in 2010 that is more restrictive than the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association's rules for heat alerts.

   Yesterday's blog mentioned Section 11 does not allow preseason practice between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. except in golf and swimming, a measure not included in NYSPHSAA rules. Another difference is that a recorded heat index reading above 88 degrees anywhere in Suffolk County triggers a modified heat alert all across the section rather than just schools in the immediate area.

   You can read up of some other Suffolk safeguards here.

   Moving out: Section 2 is searching for a new site to play host for its Class AA football championship game, having decided the University at Albany's Bob Ford Field is too expensive, The Daily Gazette reported.

   The large-school final had been played there the past two seasons, but the section has decided to explore other college or high school options.

   "We've had declining ticket sales and that's the revenue that drives the bus for us," sectional Executive Director Wayne Bertrand said. "Football and basketball are rainmakers for us, that's the engine that keeps us going. We want to do right by the kids, so we have to look for other options."

   Bob Dorrance, the section's football chairman, said the preference will be to play at a college because the possibility of a team playing a championship game on its own home turf is a touchy proposition.

   High tech: Pro and college football coaches swear by the "all-22 video" shot by a camera from up high, often on a scissors lift. It gives them a view of every player on offense

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and defense, allowing for thorough evaluation of how and when the athletes are reacting as the play unfolds.

   On Saturday, the Democrat and Chronicle's Jeff DiVeronica reported on how at least one team has gone to new heights to go to new heights with its all-22 camera. Former player Peter Carosa operated a drone to hover near the Honeoye Falls-Lima practice field last week.

   "In years past we always had a ladder and a kid trying to balance on the crossbar (of the goal post) and that was always a nightmare, Cougars coach John Russ said. "We could never really get high enough for a good (video angle). After the first time (Peter) did it on Monday, it was brilliant."

   Carosa, who has a fair deal of experience shooting more traditional forms of sports video, got the Phantom 3 Advanced quadcopter drone this spring as a gift. It cost about $1,000, can be operated via a smartphone and shoots in a format compatible with the Hudl computer software popular with sports programs. The only drawback is battery life: The drone can only stay airborne for 15 to 20 minutes between charges.

   "The kids are learning a lot from it. It's a great teaching tool for us," Russ told the paper.


   If you're wondering, the drone is subject to certain FAA regulations. In addition, Carosa said he checked with the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, which addressed the use of such technology in a memo noted in a 2014 story by The short story: The actual playing field is off limits to drones during games, but the devices can hover nearby.

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