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Friday, Oct. 28, 2016: Eligibility issue may end Harpursville/Afton's season

   Leading off today: After being moved from Class C to Class D days before the season began due to a glitch in calculating enrollments, the Harpursville/Afton football team is staring straight at another last-minute decision that could end its season.

   WICZ-TV reported Thursday that the Hornets may be removed from Saturday's Section 4 Class D semifinals vs. Sidney as the result of using a potentially ineligible player in the quarterfinals last weekend vs. Walton.

   The player is question reportedly is a fifth-year senior, and The Daily Star disclosed Harpursville/Afton self-reported the situation to Section 4.

   Section 4 was scheduled to hear the details and make a ruling Friday. If Harpursville/Afton is disqualified, Saturday's semifinal will be canceled and Sidney will advance to the championship game. Walton administrators reportedly decided they would not seek reinstatement in place of H/A, a 53-8 winner when the teams met last weekend. Veteran Walton coach Jim Hoover retired after that game, and the school turned down a chance to play a consolation game this weekend.

   Unatego/Franklin and Groton will meet in the other semifinal.

   Soccer shocker: German exchange student Ferdinand Zehetmeier scored 10 minutes into sudden-death overtime, giving Iroquois a 2-1 upset of Lewiston-Porter in the Section 6 boys Class A-2 championship game.

   Lewiston-Porter is ranked eighth in the state in Class A by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   "I told Ferdinand beforehand that he was going to be the hero today, and he was," coach George Glinsboecker told The Buffalo News.

   Iroquois (8-8-3) played most of the contest with backup Ian Klocek playing goalkeeper due to an injury.

   "Ian came in, gave up a goal, but was fine after that," Glinsboecker said. "We've been coming back all season long."

   Aquinas coach steps down: For the second time in recent months, Aquinas will be replacing a reigning NYSPHSAA championship coach.

   Earlier this fall, boys basketball coach Mike Grosodonia left to join the staff at St. John Fisher College in Rochester. And now football coach Chris Battaglia has opted to step down, breaking the news to his team after the Little Irish ended their season with a 28-7 win over Churchville-Chili on Thursday.


  • 2016 NYSPHSAA football brackets
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  •    Battaglia, an Aquinas alum, was in his second stint as the school's coach, nailing down nine Section 5 and four NYSPHSAA championships in 11 seasons. Including a stint at Penfield, his overall record is 145-59-2.

       "I knew after the state championship (last year) that time was getting near, Battaglia, 56, told the Democrat and Chronicle.

       Though Battaglia could see himself on another sideline as an assistant down the road, family considerations made leaving an easy decision for him.

       "When people tell you that you'll know, they are right," Battaglia said. "I figured that it was a good time. Aquinas has been great, but I'd rather watch my daughter, Codi, coach basketball (as an assistant at Webster Thomas) and take my son C.J. to work out (for lacrosse and basketball).

       "I still want to coach, but I can't dedicate all of the time that I do, and that's not fair to the kids."

       Battaglia teaches seventh-grade social studies in Penfield.

       "I could do that for the rest of my life. I love it," he said. "That age, they are more interested in their modified soccer game (than what I did at Aquinas). Some people don't like that age. That's my niche."

       A parting thought: This tweet comes from the mother of current University of Notre Dame football players Jarron and Jamir Jones, both all-state selections while at Aquinas:

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