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Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016: Aquinas names Annechino as new football coach

   Leading off today: Aquinas has wasted little time in naming its replacement for Chris Battaglia, picking veteran assistant Derek Annechino as its new head football coach.

   Annechino, a 1989 graduate of the school, just completed his 19th season as an assistant with the seven-time NYSPHSAA champions. He played two seasons for Battaglia, who announced his retirement at the conclusion of a 5-4 season, one year removed from his fourth state championship.

   "He told me to stay true to yourself," Annechino said of Battaglia. "The thing I'll remember is that Chris loved the kids and loved being around the kids. That's the best I can do, they are the reason why I'm out there."

   Said AD Anthony Bianchi: "Derek gets it, he really embraces it. He really is a hard-working, super-organized guy. That came out loud and clear in the interview process."

   Move is official: Poughkeepsie's application to rejoin Section 1 was formally approved Monday according to Hudson Valley Sports Report.

   Section 1 Executive Director Jennifer Simmons confirmed that Poughkeepsie will again compete with Dutchess, Westchester, Putnam and Rockland county schools beginning next fall.

   The Pioneers moved to Section 9 for the 2014-15 season. Interim AD Bob Murphy said it was a "real positive" to the program to be back in Section 1.

   "We're excited about it," he told the website. "Section 9 was good to us. We have no qualms with them. We're just better suited to be in Section 1, especially for our major sports."

   Sec. 5 school wins appeal: Batavia Notre Dame was won its appeal to the NYSPHSAA, reversing an unfavorable eligibility ruling affecting three boys ice hockey players. first reported the outcome last week following a conversation with Notre Dame Principal Wade Bianco. On Monday, reported Bianco was awaiting word from Section 5 on whether the section would pursue additional action.

   "This their first time through this process and it's our first time through it all, so it's really something for the lawyers to work out," Bianco said.

   At issue is whether the players in question were unduly influenced in enrolling at Notre Dame, which won a sectional championship last season.

   The section's Executive Committee and Athletic Council have regularly scheduled meetings Wednesday.

   It never ends: As we reported over the weekend, Middletown is expected to host the New York State Public High School Athletic Association eastern semifinals in football the next two seasons following favorable recommendations during meetings in Syracuse.

   "It's been our vision ever since we came to be in 2008 when we opened up the stadium," Middletown AD David Coates told The Times Herald-Record.


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  •    "We've always wanted to attract high-level competition, and our people do a fantastic job down here. They're willing to work and put the time and effort in that it takes to run a championship. We have the facility that backs it up."

       Dietz Stadium in Kingston had hosted for the past 24 years.

       Middletown's Faller Field complex has been home to the NYSPHSAA boys soccer final fours since 2010, and has also hosted the boys lacrosse (2012 and 2016) and outdoor track and field (2013) championships.

       Now is definitely not the time for anyone at Middletown to rest on their laurels. Just 48 hours after the football announcement, he NYSPHSAA put out a request for proposals for the next three-year contract (2018-2020) for boys soccer, with bids due in mid-February.

       The state association is also seeking bids on the next field hockey contract (2018-2020) as well as for the inaugural wrestling dual meet championships slated for Jan. 27, 2018.

       Extra points: Jim Insley has resurfaced as the boys basketball coach at Pioneer. Insley, who won a pair of Section 5 titles at Canaseraga, steeped down at Wellsville in 2015 after leading that team to a sectional crown.

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