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Monday, Oct. 24, 2016: Walton football coach Hoover announces retirement

   Leading off today: Walton football coach Jim Hoover announced his retirement Monday, closing the book on a 41-year career that included two NYSPHSAA championships.

   Hoover, 71, amassed a record of 318-85-1, ranking him fifth on the state's all-time victories list.

   The son of legendary Vestal football coach Dick Hoover announced his intention to his team following the season-ending 59-8 loss to Harpursville on Saturday.

   "My Dad always told me, 'Jim you'll know when it's time,'" he told the Walton Reporter.

   Hoover hasn't ruled out working somewhere as a volunteer coach, but getting away from the daily grind is appealing to him.

   "If anything, I feel guilty because maybe I'm letting the kids down," Hoover said in a story posted on the school's website. "But it's going to happen sooner or later. It's hard, though. I remember when my dad stepped down at Vestal. It was hard on the family. "

   Underdog prevails: This is why tennis matches get player on courts rather than on paper.

   Briarcliff freshman Rebecca Lim began the Section 1 girls tournament unseeded. She finished as the champion on Sunday, beating fourth seed Caitlin Ferrante of Yorktown, one of the area's top players, 6-1, 6-3, in the final.

   "I think I did pretty good," Lim told The Journal News in the understatement of the weekend.

   Lim beat the No. 2 seed in the quarterfinals and then downed Pleasantville's Olivia Ashton to avenge a loss in the conference championship match.

   Next up is the NYSPHSAA championships next weekend at Sound Shore Indoor Tennis in Port Chester.

   Following up: I'm not in the habit of telling other people how they should spend their money, but Mike Dougherty of The Journal News ended his Monday follow-up to the Section 1 girls soccer debacle with a great suggestion:

   "So at the very least," he wrote, "the referees involved need to bring the playoff opponents back together in the next week or so and use their game checks to buy forgiveness. The girls at YMA wouldn't mind taking another trip up Central Park Avenue for wings at the Candlelight Inn."

   Food isn't going to erase the hurt of having what seemed to be a victory in the sectional tournament vs. Edgemont overturned on appeal, but a sign of contrition can't hurt. Especially since that's all the Yonkers Montessori Academy is going to get out of the deal.

   Dougherty reported Yonkers administrators reached out to the full girls soccer committee on Monday, but there was no discussion of lining up to redo the controversial penalty kicks that we described in Sunday's blog. Even though the Yonkers folks contend that the Edgemont protest itself was not properly filed, Section 1 Executive Director Jen Simmons and NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas say the case is closed.

   "If you bring those teams back and redo the penalty kicks, what do you do the next time another official fails to properly apply a rule?" Zayas asked. "The precedent established when you replay something is difficult to maintain." football site

   Given how hard it's becoming to recruit and retain officials in most sports in many parts of the state, I understand his concern. But this isn't about a referee blowing a call in a game. This is about failing to abide by a procedure spelled out in the handbook and apparently reviewed at an officials meeting just three days earlier.

   If rules and procedures aren't going to be followed as written, then printing them is a waste of paper. That's the argument the NYSPHSAA will have to fight off in court some day when another controversy erupts.

   Cross country observation: In doing a late-season reset of the distance-running landscape in New York this fall, Kyle Brazeil made an interesting observation on that had escaped my attention.

   The Saratoga girls cross country team, ranked second in the state in Class A, have flown further under the radar than usual this fall. While the Streaks have fulfilled their league obligations by running the regular dual-meet schedule, they've yet to take the starting line in an in-state invitational, choosing instead to run once in August in Virginia and a month ago in Georgia.

   "It might be the longest we've ever had a top team in the state not run an invitational in-state," he wrote.

   Saratoga runs in the Suburban Council league championships this week, which should give us the first real clue about how the team might fare two weeks later in a showdown with Fayetteville-Manlius in the NYSPHSAA meet.

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