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Saturday, April 16, 2016: Henninger's Saroney lands junior college job

   Leading off today: Syracuse Henninger boys basketball coach Erik Saroney is moving up to the junior college ranks, accepting the coaching position at Onondaga Community College.

   Saroney won five Section 3 Class AA sectional titles and went 238-72 in 14 seasons with the Black Knights. He replaces Dave Pasiak, who was removed in December after 15 seasons at OCC over allegations of misconduct, reported. Pasiak has alleged he was let go because his teams weren't diverse enough.

   Saroney said coaching older players was attractive to him.

   "Their academic demands are different -- they're away from home," he said. "But basketball is basketball."

   Change at St. Joe's: Dennis Gilbert has stepped down as football coach at Buffalo St. Joe's after six seasons due to health reasons, the school announced Friday.

   Gilbert, a full-time police officer for the City of Buffalo, informed his players he is scheduled to have back surgery in two weeks for an injury sustained last fall, The Buffalo News reported. Gilbert said he has difficulty sitting, has been limited in the amount of weight he's able to lift and has had numbness in his fingers.

   "It's not something I wanted to happen. It just is," Gilbert said. "We talk to the kids all the time it's not what happens, it's how you respond."

   Gilbert led the Marauders to a regular season and a postseason Monsignor Martin championship as head coach. He was a JV coach for 18 seasons at St. Joe's.

   "Dennis Gilbert has unselfishly given so much of his time and talent to our student athletes," school President Robert T. Scott said in a statement. "Our entire St. Joe's community will be praying for his full recovery."

   Softball: Freshman Makenzie Stiles struck out 15 in her first perfect game as Deposit defeated Oxford 15-0 in a Midstate Athletic Conference softball game Friday.

   "She was on fire," said Deposit coach Dan Briggs. "She just overpowered them."

   On Thursday, junior Jordan Batson pitched a five-inning perfect game in a 20-0 win for Poland over Old Forge. Batson, a third-team Class D all-state selection last spring, struck out six.

   Corinth's Jordan Mjaatvedt hit three doubles Thursday in a 17-2 win over North Warren, giving her eight extra-base hits in her past three games. Mjaatvedt is hitting .640 this season.

   Program restored: A year after funding was cut off by the school board for budgetary reasons, the Lyme golf team is set to compete this spring thanks to $6,000 raised by boosters and the district.

   Northwest scandal: An investigation by the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association and an independent investigator could bring a range of penalties for a successful football program ranging from probation to the forfeiture of state titles.

   Acting on reports by the Seattle Times, the WIAA concluded Bellevue Central School committed violations including booster payments, enrolling football players at an

alternative academy with the help of secret tuition payments and falsifying student residence information. The WIAA concluded some coaches were active participants in the infractions.

   A better way to play: reported this week that Section 3's Class AA baseball schools have adopted a series scheduling format that puts a premium on developing pitching depth beyond an ace.

   Under the format, teams are scheduled to play three-game series each week -- usually Monday, Tuesday and Thursday -- against a single opponent to account for 18 regular-season games, barring rainouts. When the better teams face off, it essentially prevents them from starting their best pitcher more than once.

   Some leagues in downstate sections have been using the same format in recent seasons.

   "I just think its real baseball. The better teams are winning," Liverpool coach Fred Terzini said. "You can't manipulate your staff. You can't save a guy for tomorrow. You've got to throw three starters and you've got to get into your bullpen. You can watch coaching and player tendencies. I like the coaching part of it.

   I'm looking at watching a kid come to the plate a seventh time in three days and defending it and making a change defensively."

   Cicero-North Syracuse coach Kevin Rockwell said he kept seven pitchers this year when he normally only carries five.

   "It doesn't matter if you're throwing your No. 1 or No. 7, you've got to trust your pitchers to get the job done," Rockwell said. "That's where the league is going to be really interesting and a lot of fun."

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