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Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016: Middletown star facing felony charge

   Leading off today: Middletown senior running back Jordan Bryan, an all-state selection in two sports, was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree assault, a felony, The Times Herald-Record reported.

   As his team was playing Pine Bush, Bryan, 19, sat in Orange County Jail in lieu of a $20,000 bond after he and three others ranging in age from 21 to 22, were taken into custody by Middletown police.

   Bryan had rushed for a Section 9-best 764 yards and 11 touchdowns through three games this season. He is coming off a junior season in which he gained 1,675 yards with 18 touchdowns. Two seasons ago as he sophomore, he ran for 1,454 yards in just six games.

   Bryan was a third-team all-state running back and 10th-team all-state basketball selection as a junior.

   Abbreviated schedule: A pair of Section 9 football teams forfeited games scheduled for Friday night. Kingston did not play at Monroe-Woodbury and Fallsburg's game at Chester was also scrapped. Monroe-Woodbury and Chester both earned division wins via forfeit.

   The Daily Freeman reported a rash of injuries coupled with suspensions led to Kingston forfeiting what would have been the homecoming weekend game for Monroe-Woodbury.

   School officials declined to say how many players were suspended for an unspecified infraction of the school's code of conduct on Thursday.

   Mourning at Carthage: With the memory of Kevin Cook weighing on them, Carthage's football players delivered a 62-18 win over Watertown on Friday as Jacob Lillie ran for 280 yards and four first-half touchdowns.

   Cook, a longtime manager for the football and boys lacrosse teams who was born with Down syndrome, died at age 56.

   "That was on all of us, in our hearts, and we came out and played with everything we had," Carthage senior Caleb Null told The Daily Times. "He was always there, every day, just happy and he made everybody feel good about anything. It didn't matter how practices were going or how games were going, just him being there would make you feel good."

   Following the postgame talk from the coaches Friday, lacrosse coach Kirk Ventiquattro approached the team huddle and said a few words before raising his arms and yelling "Champions of the world," the phrase Cook often used following victories.

   "Kevin is one of us," football coach Sam Millich said.

   More football: We'll post our regular Saturday morning football recap -- including a 491-yard rushing performance in Section 5 -- a bit later today.

   RCSS rolls: Alex McNicholas scored a pair of goals for Rockville Centre South Side against Garden City in the 3-0 win.

Garden City entered the contest ranked fourth and RCSS 10th in Class A according to the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   RCSS has won nine of the last 11 Section 8 Class A titles until a loss to Garden City in the 2015 final.

   "It's the biggest motivator because all three years I've played on the team so far, we've always met Garden City in counties and it's either them or us," midfielder Ally Diez told Newsday.

   RCSS goalkeeper Kayla Klarides made nine saves.

   Boys soccer: Jonathon Brown scored two goals and assisted on the third as No. 12 Canandaigua blanked No. 5 Greece Athena in a matchup of state-ranked Class A teams.

   Sec. 3 coach dismissed: Former Major League Soccer player Perek Belleh was relieved of his coaching duties at Syracuse Corcoran High, his alma mater, this week according to

   His teams were 13-65-3 in four-plus seasons, including an 0-8 start this year. A match Thursday against Nottingham was not played and will be rescheduled.

   Set to retire: Mount Markham boys soccer coach Charlie Engle has confirmed that his 49th season will be his finale.

   Engle, who owns more than 640 wins, has guided the school to 13 Section 3 titles and three trips to the NYSPHSAA final four.

   Engle retired from teaching physical education 12 years ago and last year relinquished his role as the sectional coordinator for soccer.

   Engle's Mustangs are off to a 6-0 start this fall. football site

   NYSPHSAA announces program: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced an agreement with AliveTek and HazingPrevention.Org to tailor a hazing and prevention curriculum for its member schools.

   The course, "Hazing Prevention: It's Everyone's Responsibility" is the first of its kind in New York State, the NYSPHSAA said in its announcement, which set January 2017 as a launch target.

   "Hazing prevention education needs to start before a student-athlete enters a collegiate program or whatever a student's next phase of life is," NYSPHSAA Special Programs Coordinator Kristen Jadin, who worked with athletes at Mercer College in her previous position, said in the announcement. "Many high school students think they understand what hazing is, but I quickly discovered that is not the case due to lack of education on this topic."

   College coaches peeved: It's a rather lengthy story, but Sports Illustrated opened some eyes Friday with a story about women's college basketball coaches pushing back against the never-ending recruiting treadmill.

   With yesterday marking the first day of the last three-day evaluation period of 2016, a number of schools banded together in a decision to keep their coaching staffs off the road. As much as anything else, the coaches (and the administrators who handle paying the bills) are fed up with the price of "tournament packets," which are booklets of rosters that college coaches receive upon paying their entry fee to scout at showcase events. The packets are supposed to contain contact information for the prospects and typically some degree of background on academic status and other intell on the athletes, but there are too many instances when the info is out-of-date or flat-out wrong.

   (An aside: I've seen a few of these packets over the years. When they're done right, they are a godsend for a coach, who can use the visit to concentrate on evaluating players rather than chasing down phone numbers and email addresses for players and high school/AAU coaches.)

   One major-college coach said her staff said her expenditures on packets grew by $4,000 in just the past two years.

   Coaches are also unhappy to have to spend even more of the first month of classes ion the road when they are already making their initial home visits to juniors, bring seniors on campus for visits and trying to keep tabs on the activities of athletes already enrolled in their university.

   One coach of a top-20 program lamented having to go into living rooms and "make all these promises about being there for kids -- but then we have to go on the road all of September. How does that make sense?"

   In the interest of balance, the magazine also spoke to highly respected Mike Flynn, who founded the very successful Philly Belles AAU club and Blue Star Media and has run camps/showcases for 35 years. Flynn predicted the "boycott" won't have much impact, but he also called out one operator of showcase events in particular in a very public way, lashing out at Brandon Clay of Peach State Hoops.

   Correction: Yesterday's blog item noting that Sections 5 and 7 in the NYSPHSAA had filled leadership positions this week was accurate although a bit misleading on the status of executive directors across the state. It was pointed out to me that Section 2 is in the process of conducting a search for a new head administrator effective next spring.

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