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Friday, June 24, 2016: Another chapter in the saga of a can't-miss QB

   Leading off today: The saga of David Sills has been a cautionary tale since Feb. 10, 2010.

   That was the day Sills, anointed as a can't-miss college quarterback, put the bull-s-eye on his back by making a non-binding commitment to play his Division I football at Southern Cal. From the start, there were at least two obvious problems:

   (1) He was putting his future in the hands of then-Trojans coach Lane Kiffin, who already was not especially well regarded in a lot of circles over real or imagined -- and it didn't take all that vivid an imagination -- character issues.

   (2) Sills was only 12 years old and in junior high school at the time.

   By the time Sills was ready to enroll in college last fall, Kiffin was long gone from USC and Sills' projected career trajectory had failed to materialize. He enrolled at West Virginia and got on the field a bit -- but as a wide receiver.

   On Thursday, that chapter in his playing career came to an end. Sills confirmed his intention to transfer to El Camino College in California in a bid to revive his quarterbacking career.

   According to USA Today, one service lists 11 athletes in the Class of 2020 -- i.e., just completed eighth grade -- who already hold scholarship offers from FBS programs.

   The odds suggest at least a couple will wind up at a school that has already made one of those non-binding offers.

   Good luck to all of them.

   Awards news: Gatorade has made the last of its annual player of the year selections, honoring Beacon long jumper Rayvon Grey as its New York track and field athlete of the year.

   The LSU-bound senior jumped 25-4.75 this month to break Bob Beamon's long-standing state record, then followed up with a championship at the New Balance Nationals.

   End of an era: Syracuse.com appears to have shut down its discussion forums, posting the following note:

   "Thank you to everyone who has allowed us to be a part of your daily routine over the years. We hope you will join us in our comment streams, on Facebook , and on the internet at large."

   At its peak, the discussion forums were sources of useful information, interesting observations and fun discussions for fans of football and basketball from all across the state. At their worst -- which was the majority of the time for the past five years -- they were what I've often described as an intellectual cesspool.

   The problem with discussion forums is their anonymity. Not having to attach your name to your words makes for a lot of nonsensical commentary and reckless allegations.

   Syracuse.com is still allowing comments to be posted beneath news story pages on its site.

   Henninger decision: Former Syracuse Henninger guard Gilbert Speights will coach the school's boys basketball team next season after three years as an assistant there and five more helping out at Nottingham.

   Speights takes over from Erik Saroney, a teammate on the 1990-91 Henninger team that won 25 straight games before losing to Mount Vernon in the NYSPHSAA title game in Glens Falls. Saroney left Henninger to become head coach at Onondaga Community College after winning 238 games and five Section 3 titles in 14 seasons.

  

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  •    Football changes: Poughkeepsie's school board approved the hiring of Matt Relyea, 23, as the varsity coach. Likely joining his staff will be his dad, Carl Relyea, a former coach at Highland.

       Matt Relyea, who teaches social studies at Poughkeepsie, applied for a job as an assistant coach last month. But when Jerry North informed the school last week that he would not return for a second season, Relyea said, "I had to go for it."

       Carl Relyea, 61, recently retired as a Highland teacher, "but when he saw me get this opportunity," Matt Relyea said, "he saw that as a good chance to work with me and kind of have things come full circle."

       Relyea will be the program's fourth head coach in five seasons.

        • Adam Griffo, 38, who started as a volunteer assistant at Westhill in 2009, will be the new varsity coach this fall. Westhill went 12-5 in two seasons under Jamie Casullo, who opted to step down.

       And still more changes: Garry Van Ort has retired after 16 seasons and a 192-111 record as the Germantown baseball coach.

        • Paul Gibbs is retiring after 12 seasons and a 134-81 record with the Sackets Harbor baseball program.

       Following up: Mike Dougherty of The Journal News wrote a strong column on the suspension of Yorktown boys lacrosse coach Dave Marr over his behavior in the NYSPHSAA Class B championship game this month.

       Here's the key takeaway from the column:

       "Marr has a history. Some of the most recent incidents were almost justifiable. He was ejected from a game against Fox Lane a year ago for protesting when an injurious slash to the head went unnoticed. A concern for player safety again sparked a conflict this spring, prompting a bench penalty in a regional game against Highland.

       "The untimely outbursts completely overshadowed the good intentions each time."


      
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