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Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016: Harpursville/Afton OK'd to keep playing

   Leading off today: A Section 4 appeals committee ruled in favor of allowing Harpursville/Afton's football team to play its Class D semifinal Saturday even though the school self-reported that it had an ineligible player on its roster.

   Ben Nelson, the sectional interscholastic sports coordinator, said the process should be finalized once a lawyer finishes and releases an official document on the process by next week, The Daily Star reported.

   The decision became somewhat moot by late Saturday afternoon after H/A dropped a 34-28 decision to Sidney in the sectional semifinals. Lucas Tanner scored on three short runs and Ethan Finch went 80 yards for a TD on a kickoff return on the final play of the third quarter.

   H/A drove the length of the field in the last minute, reaching the Sidney 1-yard line as time expired.

   Sidney quarterback Darren Smith was 27-for-46 for 439 yards.

   WCDO-FM did the most extensive reporting on the details of the appeal, including an interview with H/A coach Tim Petras, but none of the reports I saw from local media answered the key question: Did the ineligible player -- and no one appears to dispute that the fifth-year senior was ineligible -- get on the field during H/A's win vs. Walton in the semifinals.

   It wasn't immediately known how many regular-season games the player appeared in or whether H/A sought to have his eligibility restored for the remainder of the postseason before the playoff loss.

   Nelson did tell the paper Harpursville did self-report the problem.

   "I give them a lot of credit for it," Nelson said. "The committee evaluated it and felt it was the best thing for everybody involved."

   Cross country: North Rockland freshman sensation Katelyn Tuohy set a Rockland County Cross Country Championships record with a time of 16:55 at Bear Mountain.


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  •    Tuohy broke the mark set a year ago by Mary Hennelly of Suffern, who missed Friday's race with an injury, and beat the field by 40 seconds on a windy afternoon. Tuohy's time was the fourth fastest ever among girls on the course.

       Former coach dies: Tom DiNuovo, who was the head football coach at Babylon for 18 years, died earlier this month at the age of 78, Newsday reported. DiNuovo, whose 1985 team went undefeated, retired as the head coach in 1987 with a mark of 90-45-6 but stayed on as an assistant.

       Including his work with JVs and as a varsity assistant, DiNuovo coached high school football for 56 years. His final season was as an assistant at Locust Valley last fall.

       "He was one of the best motivational speakers I have ever heard," current Babylon coach Rick Punzone said.

       Extra points: Sophomore guard Taj Anderson, whose uncle Kenny Anderson was an Archbishop Molloy legend who went on to an NBA career, has left the Stanners program and turned up at Cardozo High in the PSAL.

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