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Knowing the Score

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Before I get into the world of sports, I would like to wish a fond farewell to Adam Bermudez, who leaves the Bronx Times Reporter for Assemblyman Michael Benjamin’s office this week.  We, at the paper, wish him the best of luck.  Hey Adam, keep that old school Hip Hop flavor alive. 

Speaking of endings, the school year is officially over.  It was an amazing year in sports.  There were so many players that I got to know throughout the various seasons and I wish Katie Dziuma, Carolyn Damo, Andre Martin, Stanley Brooks, Marcus Razor, Daniel Odiase, Tishonna Munden, Vickie Garcia, Jazcelyn Pagan, Domenica Regina, Karen Zorro, Vonetta Stevenson, Tiffany Thompson, Sheldon Parkinson, Aruni Piantini, Christopher Valverde, Juan Arroyo, Jeffrey Hostos, Nolan Herrera, William Burgos, Raul De Benedittis, Jonathan Bermudez, Olando Minott, Danay Collier and other seniors I may have forgotten for embracing our coverage of high school sports and taking the time to open themselves up to us without ever having too much experience dealing with the media in the past.  We wish you the best of luck in college and beyond. 

What an amazing school year it was.  As I traveled to schools for various awards programs meant to honor student athletes for endeavors on and off the court or field, there were two schools whose unique offerings deserve recognition. 

Wings Academy held an awards program for its girls’ basketball program.  Also, Clinton held an awards barbecue for both its boys and girls soccer teams.  I am sure other schools conducted similar activities and they should. 

I believe the large sports awards banquets are great, but I also feel smaller activities that focus on just one sport further foster the team atmosphere developed in the field or on the court. 

Teams that have fun together will also play well together and will also benefit from one another when it comes to meeting the academic needs of the team.  Coaches who dig out of their own pocket to make sure their teams are awarded for digging deep and going that extra mile deserve a special recognition.   Here’s to you Juan Gonzalez, of Wings, and Omar Osorio, of Clinton. 

And to all the other coaches who conduct similar activities, let us know.  We would love to recognize these great athletes in future editions of the Bronx Times Reporter. 

At one of these functions, I had the time to talk to Omar Osorio about the future of soccer.  There is a lot going on that could affect the way the game is played.  First, for the girls, it appears the PSAL will be creating a Bronx specific division that will combine Bronx Science, Columbus and Lehman, from the Bronx/Manhattan A Division, with teams from the Bronx B Division, like Clinton and Truman, both who excelled this year. 

This was a brilliant move.  Many believed it was unfair to shut out Bronx teams from the playoffs and that’s exactly how the Bronx/Manhattan A Division worked.  With only Bronx Science truly excelling, it made it that much harder for Columbus and Lehman to make the playoffs.  Now, a pure Bronx division, gives Clinton and Truman an opportunity to shine, as well. 

It appears that legal action has been taken to move girls’ soccer into the fall season  with the boys.  The CHSAA already schedules their season this way.  In an effort to get girls the same college scouting opportunities afforded the boys, the PSAL will have to follow suit.  The only problem is, where will they play? 

Many schools don’t have fields big enough to accommodate both boys and girls for practice and game time.  It is going to take some smart scheduling and a willingness on the part of all coaches to sacrifice some time for the good of the whole school. 

Sadly, in some cases, the same person coaches both the boys and girls.  This will come to an end with the future move.  Coaches can’t coach two sports at the same time.  They will have to make a hard decision, but it is one that is warranted.  I hope the girls get their way.  They deserve the opportunity. 

Before I go, some words of wisdom to our future sports stars we will be following next year.  Isn’t it sad how a home run king like Barry Bonds can’t even find one team to sign with the season after he broke Hank Aaron’s record?  Cheaters never win.  Stay on the right track.  Keep making us proud. 

Updated 5:29 pm, October 21, 2011
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