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Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016: Port Byron's Green to receive national award

   Leading off today: Port Byron coach Tom Green is headed to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as the recipient of one of its high honors.

   Green will receive the 2017 Medal of Courage during a ceremony next June in Stillwater, Okla., the Hall of Fame Board of Governors announced Thursday.

   Green was given the news on Monday. Just like when he received the New York Wrestling Hall of Fame Medal of Courage in 2014, it came as a surprise.

   "I had no idea," Green told The Citizen. "I was really surprised and I didn't know, just like the last time."

   Green was injured in a work accident 19 years ago when potassium hydroxide was sprayed in his face. He suffered severe burns that have led to numerous surgeries, including many to his eyes. He started as a volunteer assistant wrestling coach at Port Byron roughly a year after the accident. He soon took over the modified program, helped start a youth wrestling program and eventually took over as the varsity coach a little more than a decade ago.

   Green started with five wrestlers on his team, but built the program over the years into a successful Section 3 program.

   "For them to want to induct me into that is pretty amazing," he said.

   A fair question: There's not a better news columnist in Upstate New York these days than David Andreatta at the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester. On Friday, he asked the question that a bunch of folks have been dancing around while rightfully expressing outrage over the Chase Coleman episode.

   Why was the Syracuse Corcoran freshman, diagnosed with an extreme form of autism, running without a chaperone when he was confronted and shoved to the ground by a 57-year-old man last month during a cross country meet in Rochester.

   Andreatta rightfully points out that Coleman's being unaccompanied in no way explains or justifies being attacked. Nevertheless, someone owes an explanation as to why no one was tasked with keeping an eye on the teen.

   Andreatta reported Jim Palumbo, the AD at Coleman's school, has not returned multiple messages seeking comment.

   You can read the full column here.

   Rallying for retired coach: The Friends of Werner Kleemann Blood Drive has been scheduled for Rush-Henrietta High on Rush Henrietta Senior High School on Nov. 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

   Kleemann, who coached R-H football to a 99-29-4 record from 1972-85 and was also an athletic director in the district, has been diagnosed with leukemia and is receiving weekly blood transfusions.

   Everything's bigger in Texas: Seguin High was scheduled to unveil its new Jumbotron during Friday's game against Boerne-Champion, giving the Texas school the distinction of the largest video board in the country for a high school stadium.

   The 1,403-square-foot board is supplemented by a 10-by-19 scoreboard facing a student tailgate area for the team's football games. The price tag is also giant: approximately $1.35 million, though sponsorships and advertising are expected to cover much if not all of the cost.

   Muscling in: There was an unwritten understanding for several decades that Friday nights belonged to high school football, Saturdays were the domain of the colleges and Sunday's belonged to the pros.

   Lines got blurred over the years as colleges and pros


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  • tested the Thursday waters, and NCAA programs have turned up the heat on high schools this decade by scheduling some Friday games to capture television exposure -- and money.

       On Tuesday, the Big Ten announced it will add six prime-time Friday games per season to its football schedule, a plan that has drawn the wrath of several high school associations. For what it's worth, even some colleges have reservations on logistical grounds since getting 90,000 fans through State College, Pa., or Ann Arbor, Mich., is tough enough on a sunny Saturday afternoon let alone a snowy Friday night.

       "Even a nationally televised away game would have a negative impact on high school programs by dividing the fan base," the Iowa High School Athletic Association said in a statement. "While the decision to play Big Ten Conference football on Friday nights may be in the best interest of the Big Ten Conference and its member schools, we do not believe it is in the best interests of high school football across the State of Iowa."

       Major scholastic bodies in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin immediately issued statements expressing disappointment with the Big Ten.

       "Friday night football is a huge part of your entire athletic budget," retired Indiana high school football coach Dick Dullaghan said. "Some high schools can make enough money on one Friday night to support two or three other sports for the whole year. And they only charge $5 to get in. It's the greatest bargain in the world."

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