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Jordan-Elbridge school board does not appoint two veteran lacrosse coaches

More than 50 years of coaching lacrosse at Jordan-Elbridge were swept aside with two votes at last night's school board meeting.

The board voted 3-4 on the appointment of Mike Smart as J-V coach, and 3-3, with board member Brian Richardson abstaining, on the appointment of Rick Young as varsity coach. As a result, neither will coach this spring.

The first official practice of the season was last Tuesday; the first game is April 1. Interim Superintendent Larry Zacher gave the coaches permission to coach their teams just hours before, while their appointment awaited the school board's delayed vote.

"The players didn't know they had coaches until two hours before the season started," said Rick Young over the phone following the meeting. "And now, with Facebook and everything else, now they know they're coming to school tomorrow with no coaches, and that's my biggest concern."

Young taught physical education at J-E for 30 years before retiring at the end of last year. He was looking forward to his 31st year of coaching the school's lacrosse team.

Young said he was devastated by the news, though he was mostly concerned for the kids. He's unsure of who will coach in his place, since his assistant coach, Pat Smart (brother of Mike Smart), told him he now plans to resign.

"It's not the end of the world for me, I can always get a job somewhere else," he said.

Young said he and Mike Smart received little explanation from the recently appointed interim athletic director, Phyllis Danks, for not being hired. She was not privy to the board's reasoning, and suggested he talk to Zacher, Young said.

"I wish I could tell you anything," he said. "I really am not sure about what happened."

Young said he felt the board's decision came down to the grievances of one parent, John Stevenson, whose son was a volunteer assistant coach for the varsity lacrosse team last year. Young decided not to have Stevenson's son return this year because "it just didn't work out."

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