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Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016: Fredonia board keeps football, approves merger

   Leading off today: The Fredonia school board voted Tuesday to merge its football program with Westfield/Brocton, putting an end for now to the idea of dropping the sport all together.

   The school board voted 6-1 in favor of the merger, The Buffalo News reported.

   "I'm thrilled for the kids that enjoy the game," AD Scott Stutzman said. "We're going to take a lot of time to make sure it's done right."

   Fredonia finished last season with just 14 players after opening with a 27-man roster. New York State Public High School Athletic Association rules require at least 16 players on game day.

   The combined team will lay in Class B.

   Section 5 heats up: McQuaid's 70-56 boys basketball win Tuesday did more than just ding the record of the state's ninth-ranked Class AA team. It confirmed that the Section 5 tournament in the class is going to be a multi-team rumble that for one of the few times in the past quarter of a century will give us multiple intriguing contests beginning in the quarterfinals.

   McQuaid freshman forward Isaiah Stewart posted 26 points, 18 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. Sophomore Thomas Jones had 19 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks for the Knights, who have won 11 of their last 13.

   The seedings won't be finalized until after Edison Tech plays Bishop Kearney and McQuaid takes on Aquinas on Thursday. Those four plus Fairport, East, Rush-Henrietta and Penfield give the tournament eight contenders -- granted some more so than others. And Webster Schroeder and Victor are going to keep two of those teams honest in the round of 16.

   More boys basketball: Bishop Ludden downed Syracuse CBA 52-49 to complete a sweep of their regular-season series. Mika Adams-Woods (14 points) blocked a potential game-tying 3-point shot by Charles Pride (19 points) of CBA in the final seconds.

   Ludden is ranked 22nd in the state in Class AA and CBA is 15th in Class A.

   Catching up, part I: Williamsville North girls basketball coach Bill Shaw collected career win No. 500 on Friday against West Seneca West. North improved to 17-0 for the season.

   Catching up, part II: Two high school referees were hurt in a post-game altercation that led to the arrest of a Fort Edward man Friday, The Post-Star reported.

   Daniel M. Fisher, 63, was charged with unlawful imprisonment, a misdemeanor, and non-criminal harassment after the confrontation at Argyle High, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Police said the charges stemmed from Fisher accosting one of the refs after a girls JV game between Argyle and Fort Edward.

   The paper reported Fisher is accused of pinning the unidentified ref to a wall and refusing to let him leave. When the other referee who worked in the game intervened, a struggle ensued in which the second referee suffered a cut hand, sheriff's Senior Investigator Tony LeClaire said.

   The ref who was pinned against the wall suffered a sprained finger, police said.

   A conviction for unlawful imprisonment is punishable by up to a year in Washington County Jail.

   Roger Forando, the region's officials assigner for girls basketball, told the paper there have been 17 reported incidents involving fans in Section 2 this school year, including one last week at a girls game in which a water bottle was thrown on the court in the direction of a Glens Falls player.

   "We are quite concerned with the escalation of poor sportsmanship at basketball games," Forando said.

   Catching up, part III: Bill Aris of Fayetteville-Manlius and Doug Soles of Great Oak High in California have been named the 2015 National High School Cross Country

Coaches of the Year. Aris' girls and Soles' boys triumphed in December at the Nike Cross Nationals.

   The honor marks the second year in a row Aris has been honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

   Aris F-M girls have won 10 straight NYSPHSAA championships and nine of the past 10 titles at the Nike Cross Nationals.

   Following up: I listed the results over the weekend from Friday's NYSPHSAA lacrosse committee meetings to recommend tournament venues for 2017-19.

   St. John Fisher College (boys) and SUNY Cortland (girls) were the picks for the finals. The boys' semifinals will be shared by Fisher, Cicero-North Syracuse, the University of Albany and Adelphi University.

   Rounding out the details, here is the list of the other bidders for the respective events. I had predicted awhile ago that interest in hosting the boys finals could set some sort of record, and that was probably right. An addition to Fisher, five venues submitted proposals to host: Middletown High School and four colleges -- Albany, Hofstra, Cortland and SUNY Canton.

   Albany also pursued the girls semifinals/finals weekend.

   Extra points: Shenendehowa pitcher Ian Anderson has been selected to MaxPreps' preseason All-American baseball team. Texas, California and Florida accounted for 13 of the 30 selections.

   Anderson was 7-1 with 91 strikeouts and a 0.66 ERA in 53.1 innings pitched last spring for the Plainsmen.

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