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Commentary By Dick Gallagher

2:54 PM, Sep 7, 2012   |    comments
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   "Lets Play Bingo"

   An announcer at a local High School game informed the crowd that since neither school provided rosters to the announcing crew, the play-by-by would only include the players number.
   On the game's first play, this is what the crowd heard: "#13 dropped back to pass and connected with #7 who ran for 15 yards before pitching the ball to #23, who ran for an additional 20 yards before being tackled by #54." On the next play, "#13 completed a pass to #11 for a few yards before being tackled by #55."
   On the game's next play, "#13 threw a pass intended for #7, but the ball was intercepted and returned for a TD by #46."
   Sound ridiculous? Yes, but unfortunatley, it has happened. Why? The principals and athletic directors don't consider it important to provide team rosters for both teams at an athletic event.
   In this age of technology, I cannot understand why schools with multi-million dollar budgets can't have rosters available to athletic events.
   While so many people criticize the media for not placing more of an emphasis in covering High School sports, it would appear that school officials would make an extra effort to have all materials made available and accessible.
   This past weekend, I attended 7 High School games and only at the St. Francis/Aquinas game were rosters available for both teams.
   At Johnny B. Wiley Stadium, two games featured East vs. Newfane and I-Prep vs. Chautauqua Lake. No rosters were made available. Same at Riverside for the Hamburg/South Park matchup.
   At Amherst, for the Lackawanna game, no rosters were provided, nor were any available at Lockport for the Orchard Park game.
   At Williamsville South/Timon St. Jude game, a program was available which included a roster for the Billies, but no roster was available for the Tigers.
   This is just plain embarassing and frustrating. In the age of technology, this shouldn't happen. How much time would it take to e-mail a roster to the home team and have copies made available of team rosters.
   This is a major problem for schools in Section VI and Msgr. Martin Association. This has been tolerated by principals and athletic directors for too long and needs to be changed.
Does anyone think this happens in Florida, Texas, California, and other areas of High School sports? The answer is no because if anyone did this in these states, they would be terminated from their job.
   Principals and athletic directors need to step up and make sure they do their job in providing the fans and media copies of any information pertinent to the athletic event. You owe this to the student athletes who represent your schools in these events and who adhere to strict training regiments required by coaches for each year.
   Rosters should include six teams, namely: name, number, position, height, weight and year.

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