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Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015: Section 8 sweeps tennis championships

   Leading off today: Nassau County swept the singles and doubles championships Monday at the Tri-City Fitness Center in Latham.

   Top-seeded Kseniya Zonova of Hewlett defeated Sydney Kaplan of Suffern 6-3, 6-2 in the singles final. Courtney Kowalsky and Celeste Matute of Oyster Bay completed the Section 8 sweep by successfully defending their NYSPHSAA doubles championship with a 6-3, 6-1 win over freshmen Laina Campos and Vanessa Ciano of Ursuline.

   It was the first Section 8 sweep since 1989.

   "We were definitely more confident coming in this year as the defending champs," Matute told Newsday. "But there was a lot more pressure that came with it."

   The doubles champs lost just 21 games in the final nine matches of the season spanning the Nassau County and state tournaments.

   "I think that our opponents, they executed their serves really well," Ciano told The Journal News. "Their serves helped them poach our returns, which caused them to get the lead."

   Zonova suffered an early jolt when she dropped the first set of her round-of-16 match. She didn't drop a set the rest of the way.

   Racial slur allegations: A Rochester boys soccer team's celebration of a Section 5 title was marred by racial slurs yelled by supporters of the losing team, according to the school's assistant principal.

   In a Facebook post on Saturday, Kimberly Garlock wrote that she was disheartened by the actions of a handful of adults after School #58/World of Inquiry beat Red Creek 3-1 for the Class C-1 title, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.

   "Sadly, many adults chose to yell out racial slurs as we exited the stands following the award ceremony," Garlock wrote. "These hateful slurs continued as our team headed to the bus."

   Chip Partner, chief communications officer for the Rochester City School District, said the district was aware of the reports. In an email to the paper, he said that the district would need to investigate further before addressing concerns with Red Creek or making public comment.

   "The district is proud of our World of Inquiry boys' soccer team for winning its second sectional championship in a row," Partner said, "and the school's focus now is supporting them in the next game against Geneseo on Tuesday."

   Red Creek administrators acknowledged Monday they had launched an investigation into the incident.

   "It has been reported to us by sources that we believe to be credible, that racial slurs were used at and around opposing team members and/or fans," the district said in a press release.

   On the move (again): The Section 1 football finals have racked up more moves than Atlas Van Lines. And now the venue for the Class AA, A and B football championship games has moved yet again, The Journal News reported.

   The reason this time was fairly legitimate: You can't safely configure a football field inside Dutchess Stadium, a detail that escaped the notice of Section 1 administrators until just days before the scheduled finals. (Editor: Insert joke about Section 1 administrators here.)

   "We looked at the thing and we all agreed that there might be a safety problem in the far corner of one of the end zones," Section 1 football chairman Chuck Scarpulla said. "It was very close to the (outfield) wall. At this point, we decided, 'God forbid somebody got hurt,' and we didn't want that to happen."

   Scarpulla said Section 1 administrators learned more about the conditions at Dutchess Stadium over the weekend.


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  •    Scarpulla and Section 1 Executive Director Jennifer Simmons visited Dutchess Stadium last month but were unable to walk the field during an ultimate Frisbee event. Still, Section 1 agreed to hold three finals at the ballpark, whose primary tenant is the Hudson Valley Renegades.

       During a more recent visit to the facility, Simmons shot photos of one end zone which ends just 13 inches before the left-field wall, and showed them to officials Saturday. Though the section was OK with other issues (NFL goal posts and having both teams share the same sideline) the end zone was a deal-breaker. So the new schedule looks like this:

    • Class AA: New Rochelle vs. John Jay-East Fishkill, Saturday at noon, Yorktown High School.
    • Class A: Rye vs. Our Lady of Lourdes, Saturday at 4 p.m., Arlington High School.
    • Class B: Nanuet vs. Westlake, Saturday at noon, Somers High School.
       The noon starts will conflict with SATs. New Rochelle coach Lou DiRienzo told the paper seven of his players scheduled their SATs anyway.

       "To me, I wouldn't care if we were playing in Russia at 7 in the morning," DiRienzo said. "I'm happy to be in the championship game. I don't care where it is, what time it is. But there's so much emphasis on us not starting (the season) early to affect Regents and SATs and now we have a 12 p.m. game the day of the SATs."

       Mahopac High School hosted the finals from 2002-14 but fell out of favor over allegations of racism by Mahopac teams that drew widespread attention the last two years. Brewster High was named the new host but bowed out last month due to construction concerns. The Class C and D finals were at Pace University last weekend, but Pace has a game of its own on Saturday.

       Yes, the final score was 70-60: The Section 5 Class B football semifinals Saturday saw Livonia beat Penn Yan 70-60 in a classic run-vs.-pass confrontation.

       Livonia piled up 614 yards and nine TDs on the ground. Penn Yan quarterback Tanner Irwin broke the Section 5 record for passing yards in a game with 471 on 30-for-51 accuracy that included six TDs. Briele Caples of Irondequoit set the previous mark of 453 in 2011.

       "We couldn't stop a soul," Penn Yan coach Dave Fauth told The Finger Lakes Times. "I think I put in four different defenses during the game and it didn't matter what we did. They're well coached and they block really well."

       Nine different players scored touchdowns in the game, including six in the first quarter.

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