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Sunday, April 17, 2016: Former R-H star among two SU football players stabbed

   Leading off today: West Genesee graduate Naesean Howard has been arrested on assault charges following the stabbing of a pair of his former Syracuse University football teammates who are starters at defensive back, reported Sunday.

   The victims were Orange safety Chauncey Scissum of Rush-Henrietta and cornerback Corey Winfield from St. Louis, both redshirt juniors. Howard and Scissum are both former New York State Sportswriters Association all-state players.

   Police booked Howard on two counts of assault in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Howard was being detained in the Onondaga County Justice Center. It is unknown what led to the stabbing an apartment on Syracuse University's South Campus shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday, the Syracuse Police Department said.

   Howard, 20, was suspended during Syracuse fall camp in 2014 for missing curfew and missed the team's annual trip to Fort Drum. He never played for Syracuse before transferring to Wagner College, where he also never played. Howard re-enrolled at SU this semester but was rebuffed by the coaching staff when he sought to rejoin the football program.

   "We are aware of this incident and our focus right now is on supporting our two students as they recover," Syracuse senior VP of public affairs Kevin Quinn said in a statement. "The accused individual, who knew the victims, has been suspended from the University indefinitely. We do not tolerate any act of violence and the safety of our campus and community is a top priority."

   Police initially said they did not believe the injuries to Scissum or Winfield were life-threatening. Winfield was in stable condition Sunday morning according to an Upstate University Hospital spokesperson. The spokesperson could not confirm Scissum's status, but the player's father gave the Democrat and Chronicle an update later in the day.

   "Everything is fine," Arthur Scissum said. "He's in good health."

   Two no-hitters in three days: General Brown senior Rhea Pitkin threw her second no-hitter in a three-day span to beat Lansing 8-0 at the Mudville Softball Complex in Herkimer. Later in the day, she got the win in a 4-3 victory vs. Bradford. Pitkin struck out 24 batters combined in 12 innings.

   Pitkin threw a no-hitter with 20 strikeouts Thursday against Watertown.

   League change: Travel time was a factor in the decision by Charter School for Applied Technologies leaving the Niagara-Orleans league to the Niagara Frontier League in Section 6 next fall.

   "We were very happy in the N-O and would continue to be in the N-O, the only reason (for leaving) was transportation and fiscal responsibility," AD Joel Reed told the Niagara Gazette.

   The school recently changed its transportation provider, which caused an increase in costs, so logging fewer hours on the bus became important for the Buffalo school. CSAT's trips for league games currently range from 28 miles to Wilson to 58 miles to Albion. In the NFL, a 21-mile trek to Lewiston-Porter would be the longest trip.

   CSAT will be the only primarily Class B school in the NFL, but that could change soon. The charter school was given approval to raise its capacity and has room to grow.

   "When we reach that maximum capacity, if you look at it numbers-wise we would be an A school," Reed said.

   Extra points: Katelyn Tuohy of North Rockland won the girls' two-mile run Friday at the Red Raider Relays, breaking a long-standing state eighth-grader record in the process. Tuohy's 10:33.80 broke her personal best by more than 15 seconds and wiped out the mark of 10:53.6 put up by Debbie Graim as a Williamsville North eighth-grader in 1979.

   Running back Akeel Lynch, who was in the conversation for state Class AA football player of the year in 2011 at Buffalo St. Francis, has transferred from Penn State to Nevada for his final college season. Lynch earned his degree and has one year of eligibility left as a grad student at Nevada, where St. Francis graduate Brian Polian coaches.

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