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Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016: Oswego won't play varsity football this fall

   Leading off today: Oswego High officials have notified Section 3 that the school will not field a varsity football team thus fall due to in insufficient number of upperclassmen.

   Schools Superintendent Dr. Dean Goewey announced that the school will field a junior varsity. The decision was affirmed at Tuesday's school board meeting.

   The development leaves seven opponents -- New Hartford, Indian River, Syracuse Fowler, Cortland, Fulton, East Syracuse Minoa and Jamesville-DeWitt -- scrambling to fill out their schedules. The New York State Sportswriters Association posted the 2016 week-by-week schedule on Monday, including teams with open blocks on their schedule.

   AD David Grzyzka said had been in contact with several other athletic directors from the affected schools.

   Goewey told that only six seniors and 8-10 juniors were among the approximately 40 players attending the first two preseason practices this week.

   Football was among the sports cut from the budget in May's district vote. Boosters have since raised $14,500 to fund a football program.

   Albertus Magnus moving up: Section 1 has opted to moved Albertus Magnus from Class A to AA in girls basketball for the upcoming season after the Falcons logged an 89-23 record over the past five seasons.

   Fellow private schools Ursuline and Our Lady of Lourdes were already in Class AA.

   Albertus Magnus has competed in Class A since 2009, when it won the section championship. It's won one Section 1 crown and reached three other finals in the past five seasons.

   Albertus Magnus was projected by some as a likely Class A champion in 2017, with the Falcons returning all-state juniors Dani LaRochelle and Mairead Durkin among others.

   Ex-Binghamton editor dies: Charlie Jaworski, who worked his way up from beat reporter to executive sports editor at the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, died unexpectedly Monday at the age of 70.

   Jaworski retired in 2011, taking with him an old-school approach to journalism standards and a legendary work ethic.

   "He was a stickler for details and made sure every question was answered," Dave Bohrer, assistant sports editor on Jaworski's staff from 1986-99, told the paper. "He had a stubbornness about him and some people were resistant to his insights. I think it was all for the better of the newspaper and the readers.

   Staying close to home: Anndea Zeigler, ninth-team all-state for Cardinal O'Hara in Class AA girls basketball last season, has committed to play for Canisius College beginning with the 2017-18 season. The 5-foot-8 guard averaged 15.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 steals as a junior.

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   Illinois retirement has N.Y. implications: Joe Newton, 87 years old and a legendary figure in U.S. scholastic distance running, will retire as the coach of the Elmhurst (Ill.) York cross country team at the end of the upcoming season.

   Newton has coached at York since being hired there as a physical education teacher in 1956. His teams have won 28 state cross country championships and a track crown in his 56 years as head coach, he's coached four state champion runners and had the unprecedented honor of being selected as an assistant for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team in Seoul. He retired from teaching in 1999 and nearly stepped down from coaching as well at that time before reconsidering.

   "We the family including my father in these discussions believe strongly that this is the best decision for all parties involved and that includes my father," Thomas Newton, the coach's eldest son, said in a statement. "I would also like to take this time to thank the District 205 administrative personnel very specifically (AD) Rob Wagner and the Principal of York High School, The City of Elmhurst, parents of the runners who come through the program, teachers who supported my father and the program, and most of all the Men of the Long Green Line for the love and support that they have given my father over the last 60 years.

   "What has made this decision possible is the thought of my dad's successor would be none other than Mr. Charlie Kern. He will be always special to my family because we believe he will keep the legacy of the Long Green Line going for many years to come. Personally, I could not think of a more of a dedicated and a committed young man to lead the Dukes."

   If Kern's name sounds familiar it's because he was an outstanding runner for Sweet Home in the 1980s. He's been a longtime York cross country assistant and will add the title of co-head coach in that sport this fall to his duties as head track and field coach.

   Said Kern: "I've never been in a hurry to be in charge because we all know what it really means. It means that he can't do it anymore. For a man that has impacted so many lives, I was in no hurry for this day to come. I have a heavy heart on one hand but have a great deal of excitement on the other that he feels worthy, that Rob (Wagner) feels me to be worthy, and that Erin (DeLuga, York Principal) feels worthy that I can pick up the program and continue to move it forward. For that, I am incredibly grateful."

   Kern was a nine-time all-state selection at Sweet Home and set a Section 6 record in the 1,600 meters that stood for 27 years. In 1986, he finished 17th at Foot Locker's cross country nationals in San Diego as the New York boys had their best showing ever with four runners in the top 25.

   Baseball update: Georgia's new pitch-count rule will look like this: A pitcher has to be removed when he reaches 110 pitches in a game (he can complete an at-bat that's in progress). Pitchers who throw 86 or more pitches must rest three days before their next outing, with similar guidelines for those who hit 61 pitches (two-day rest period) and 36 pitches (one day of rest).

   Earlier this year, the National Federation instructed all member associations to formulate pitch count rules. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has not yet announced what its standards will be.

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