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Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016: Coaches are fed up with moms and dads

   Leading off today: The survey may not have been scientific, but the data is nevertheless eye-opening.

   In the aftermath of a number of controversial coaching departures in local high school sports, surveyed head coaches across the area and 82 percent said dealing with parents has gotten worse and 58 percent said they've considered quitting because of parents. In addition, 76 percent of coaches said AAU and summer travel teams have made their relationship with parents worse.

   The No. 1 problem with parents is about playing time for their children. In the survey, 38 percent of 197 respondents said playing time topped the complaints list.

   The findings were part of a lengthy story that drew hundreds of reader comments on the website.

   "Social media and parents thinking that their kids are going to get scholarships have definitely had an impact on coaches," said Lyle Dixon, president of the New York State High School Football Coaches Association. "We have had football coaches who have won state titles resign due to parental pressures, and I had a very good girls soccer coach quit and will probably never coach again because of attacks by parents.

   "Parents are pushing their kids so much that by the time they graduate from high school they don't want to participate anymore," Dixon added.

   Said basketball coach Tom Blackford, who recently left Fayetteville-Manlius to return to Hamilton: "I've coached in four decades. I've seen a lot. The landscape has certainly changed for coaches."

   Added Holland Patent baseball coach Scott Parsons: "I have been coaching 30 years. It is always the same. The parents think their kids are D-I superstars."

   Football rankings: The first set of football rankings from the New York State Sportswriters Association shows Pittsford (Class AA), Sayville (A), Chenango Forks (B), Bath (C) and Maple Grove (D) checking in at No. 1.

   Ratings in football, soccer and cross country can be found each week on our rankings home page.

   Also, here's this weekend's schedule for the ranked football teams.

   Alumni news: Former Long Island track star Mikey Brannigan won the gold medal in the 1,500 meters for Team USA at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday.

   Brannigan, 19, a 2015 Northport graduate, wired the field with a winning time of 3:51.73. Brannigan, who is autistic, competed in the T20 category for athletes with intellectual impairments.

   Five weeks earlier, Brannigan ran 3:57.58 in becoming the first person with a T20 Paralympic classification to break the four-minute barrier in the mile.

   Brannigan has been unable to compete for a college because of NCAA academic requirements. He has been running for the New York Athletic Club and taking classes at a community college.

   Following up: I mentioned Brannigan somewhat in passing in a Monday blog item second-guessing the New York State Education Department for what I thought was an ill-advised ruling related to the "duration of competition" rule.

   I also made reference to how some recent male field hockey players in Section 1 were not given the same sort of consideration with respect to mixed competition that a football player at Orchard Park received on a duration of competition ruling. In that instance, fifth-year receiver Jacob Kohler was granted permission by the education commissioner to continue practicing and playing pending his appeal hearing. football site

   Now, Nancy Haggerty of The Journal News reports an interesting revelation in one of the field hockey cases.

   Section 1 decided to ban Phile Govaert and his teammate Sean Walsh from playing from playing for Rye last fall. The timing of the decision in the last local appeal left little chance of Rye successfully appealing in time for the boys to play. That was the end of Walsh's chance to play since he was a senior, but his freshman teammate seemingly had a chance to play at some point down the road.

   According to the story, the Govaerts were warned a decision from Commissioner MaryEllen Elia could take eight months. As the months passed, the Govaerts simply waited, knowing a ruling would eventually come. ... except it never did.

   In response to an email inquiry last week from the player's father, school district attorney Emily Lucas said the Rye Board of Education dropped the appeal in light of Elia's refusal to issue the stay.

   That occurred last October, and Lucas said in her email that then-schools superintendent Frank Alvarez told the families this. According to the Govaerts, he had not.

   "We were under the impression this would help us for this year," said Maryse Govaert, Phile's mother.

   With no decision from the commissioner, Govaert didn't go out for field hockey this fall, although he trained all summer to play.

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