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Monday, July 29, 2019: Boys all-state lacrosse team selections announced

   Leading off today: Two junior attackmen from Long Island lead the way on the third annual boys all-state lacrosse team released Monday by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   Brennan O'Neill of St. Anthony's was selected the player of the year for large schools (classes A and B) and Xavier Arline of Shoreham-Wading River was selected for top honors among small-school players (classes C and D).

   O'Neill was recently selected the national player of the year by U.S. Lacrosse Magazine after a season capped by a seven-goal outburst during the Friars' 14-13 victory vs. Chaminade in the CHSAA large-school championship game.

   The 6-foot-2 Duke University commit helped St. Anthony's register victories against squads from eight states this spring. He finished with 56 goals and 16 assists.

   Arline capped his season with five goals and two assists as S-WR defeated Jamesville-DeWitt 12-7 for the NYSPHSAA Class C championship at St. John Fisher College. It was the school's first title since 2012 and came following a dramatic 14-13 win over Mount Sinai in the Section 11 final as Arline assisted on the overtime goal as part of an eight-point day.

   The North Carolina commit led Suffolk County with a staggering 70 goals and 67 assists. He has 359 career points heading into his final season.

   The complete all-state team is posted in our reference section.

   Bad optics: It's said to be "death by PowerPoint" when a person giving a presentation overdoes the slideshow with way more material than is necessary. If you've been trapped in as many of those meetings as I was during my 9-to-5 career, you can understand why death might actually feel preferable to having to endure five more minutes of the drivel.

   And then there's shooting one's self in the foot with PowerPoint, which apparently happened recently in Section 2. As reported by The Daily Gazette, a presentation by leaders of a club soccer program has ticked off high school counterparts.

   The source of disgust is one slide in particular used in a presentation this month by Black Watch Premier leaders that under the heading "High School" reads "Poor Standard of Play" on one line, "No Player Development" on the next line and "Poor Standard of Coaching/Leaders" on the next. The slide also cited "Too Many Games" and "Unhealthy Physical Workload -- Injury Risk."

   Whether the intent was to start a discussion about perceptions or to flat-out insult, Section 2 Executive Director Ed Dopp and others in the high school sports community took exception.


   "In my opinion, and the opinion of many others, the comments or noted points are demeaning and degrading and put down high school participation in soccer," Dopp said. "As a long-time high school athletics person, I was greatly offended."

   Dopp alerted Section 2 athletic administrators with a letter expressing his concerns and pictures of the PowerPoint slides used by Black Watch.

   Said Shenendehowa AD Chris Culnan: "It's really, really bad. Someone has to say it. It's a bad look for this club."

   Albany CBA coach Steve Freeman, the Black Watch founder and CEO, did not return multiple messages regarding the controversy, the paper reported.

   CBA Head of School James Schlegel said he had no prior knowledge of the PowerPoint presentation and said his "initial reaction was very strong." He added he could understand the concern of the Section 2 community but

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said the intent of the slide was not to disparage but rather to respond to concerns that some parents had.

   Said Dopp: "Regardless of intention, the damage has been done. To put down an education-based program while promoting theirs is very inappropriate. Too many people work hard to advance athletics at the high school level."

   College choice: Aquinas tight end Steven Mahar committed to Syracuse University over the weekend. The 6-foot-5 rising senior picked the Orange over multiple suitors, including Boston College, Indiana and Pitt.

   Barring a change of heart, he will become the first Rochester-area player to suit up for SU since Rush-Henrietta cornerback Chauncey Scissum in 2013.

   the early signing period this fall is Dec. 18-20.

   Tragedy in Seattle: Bryan Panzanaro, the son of Peekskill basketball coach Lou Panzanaro, was killed in a bus accident in Seattle on Thursday. Panzanaro, 45, was an assistant coach under his father during the school's state title run.

   Panzanaro was thrown from a hotel shuttle bus when the vehicle was struck by a BMW. Police said the car crossed the median around 1 p.m. Thursday and hit the bus, knocking it onto its side. Investigators are still looking into why the car's driver veered into oncoming traffic.

   Sweet, Alabama: The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control returned a record $2 million to member schools last week and also waived approximately $84,000 in annual school membership dues for the upcoming year.

   The control board also authorized returning $1 per playoff ticket to member schools to help offset the rising cost of game expenses beginning with the upcoming school year. The projected cost of the initiative is nearly $350,000.

   The AHSAA, with oversight of 416 high schools and 336 middle schools, has waived membership dues for 28 consecutive years.

   The revenue sharing plan has returned $15.8 million to member schools since 2010. The AHSAA policy is to return excess funds to the schools when the association has at least one year's working capital in reserve.

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