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John Moriello's NYSSWA blog
Thursday, July 23, 2009: New York Shootout coming up on Saturday
   Leading off today: Don't show up on Saturday expecting the New York Shootout Presented by Nike to be another Empire State Games.

   On the other hand, you can expect a high level of play and competition at Syracuse Henninger High School as boys lacrosse teams from eight regions across the state participate in the trial balloon for what could be a multi-day competition as early as next year.

   "I put an idea to the group that maybe next year we go a week earlier and have a two-day event," organizer Tom Hall, the NYSPHSAA boys lacrosse coordinator, said this week.

   The goal this year, Hall said, is to help players gain some of the exposure lost when the ESGs went belly-up for the year because of the state's budget problems.

   "They let the Empires slide, which was a mistake on their part," Hall said. "We wanted to do this for the kids."

   There are six sessions scheduled, starting at the top of each hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on two fields. Teams will face off in 23-minute halves (no overtimes) of running time with no timeouts and substitutions will be done on the fly. And although you know competitors will be tracking wins and losses along the way, there will be no "championship game" at the end of the day.

   The eight 24-player rosters were shaped from tryouts held last month for players who have high school eligibility remaining; a $40 tryout fee eliminated a lot of players who would have otherwise shown up for the experience but had no chance of making the squad. Some coaches also required candidates to have a recommendation from their varsity coach.

   The event is free for spectators, and Hall said the concession stand will be open.

   O-A goes with first-time head coach: This could be interesting. Oakfield-Alabama's new football coach arrives from a school that doesn't even play the sport, The Batavian reported.

   Brian Palone, who graduated from Oakfield-Alabama in 1998, takes over this fall for John Dowd, who compiled a 50-12 record over the past six seasons and won two Section 5 championships.

   Palone has taught at Naples for the last six years, coaching varsity baseball for the last three seasons. He was an assistant coach at Caledonia-Mumford for two seasons, including the Red Raiders' last state title team


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(2003), then spent four years as an assistant at Wayland-Cohocton. More recently, he's been on the staff at Marcus Whitman.

   "I've been wanting to get an opportunity to get back to Oakfield if a position ever opened," said Palone, who will teach elementary physical education. "This is a dream come true to give back to the school that gave so much to me."

   Melanson steps down: Brian Melanson has resigned as girls lacrosse coach at Schenectady, which is coming off a 12-3 season that was the team's best showing ever by far. Melanson will continue to coach boys swimming but wants to spend more time at home with his three young children.

   Schenectady had never won more than seven games in a season before reaching the Section 2 quarterfinals this sping. He coached modified and JV lacrosse from 2001-03 and then launched the varsity in 2004.

   "I do not know who will be coaching next year, but whoever it is, Iím hoping they can take it to the next level," Melanson told The Daily Gazette.

   Extra points: It looks as though Alejandro Andrade could miss his entire senior football season at Albertus Magnus, where he was slated to be a two-way senior starter. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound running back/cornerback told he's suffered a torn ACL and fractured the fibula in his right knee this month. Andrade had 46 tackles and 278 rushing yards during a 3-6 junior season.

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