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Residents tell school board: Bring back lax assistant coaches

Coaches, parents, former players lobby to return funding to cut positions

— With the spring lacrosse season fast approaching and no action being taken by the board, volunteer assistant lacrosse coach Dave Falge and a cadre of concerned volunteer coaches, parents, players and former players attended the Oct. 21 board meeting to present a united front and once again urge the board to replace the eliminated assistant coaching funds. Their arguments not only concerned the possible weakening of a highly respected, winning and state-recognized lacrosse program, but also continued to center around the concerns of effective coaching, player supervision and player safety that only one paid coach can offer to a team of 30 athletes.

The Cazenovia varsity lacrosse team has posted a 75-8 record during the past four years, won the state championship in two of the past three years, and currently has 60 alumni playing on major college teams such as Syracuse and Georgetown.

“Competing Section III high school coaches and even officials do not believe our school district is considering this, let alone adopting it,” Falge said. “The core integrity and quality of our program is at risk. Our student athletes will ultimately be the ones who suffer.”

Falge also asked the board why paid lacrosse coaching positions were cut but the seven paid coaching positions currently on the football program (three varsity, two junior varsity and two modified) were left intact. “How do we lose half our coaches but football loses none?” he asked. “They’re staffed more than any other program here.”

Dr. John Cannnizarro told the board that as a collision sport, lacrosse players face a higher risk of injury than other athletes. He said it was “particularly dangerous” as a sport, and “it’s risky to have that going on with only one coach.”

District resident John Langan said funding coaches is just as important as funding academic programs and teachers because players often get accepted into college and universities on athletic scholarships that their grades would otherwise not make them qualified to get into.

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