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Basketball team at Orthodox Jewish Beren Academy has to forfeit in state tournament because game conflicts with Sabbath

Prior to this week, the Beren Academy boys basketball team was on its way to a Texas state championship. The Stars are 23-5 on the season and were scheduled to take on Dallas Covenant this Friday in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools 2A state tournament. Instead, they will have to forfeit. Beren is a Jewish Orthodox school and the game was slated for Friday night at 9 p.m. Beren students must observe the Jewish Sabbath from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. According to the Houston Chronicle, Beren officials appealed to TAPPS to try to have the game moved to an earlier time, but their appeal has been denied.

“It’s disappointing. I’ve been here 10 years and I’ve always known where our priorities lie,” Beren coach and athletic director Chris Cole said. “We were hopeful and optimistic going in that we could be able to do both — adhere to the religious beliefs here and play basketball.”

Dallas Covenant will instead face Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills, which is the team Beren beat by a score of 69-42 last week. To this point, Beren was successful in rescheduling two of its Friday and Saturday playoff games earlier in the month so they could play earlier in the day. Teams are not allowed to play on Sundays because of traditional Christian warship, which limits opportunities to reschedule games.

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Football coach Paul Withee resigns after naked picture appears on Facebook

Apparently Oxford Hills School District football coach Paul Withee was never taught the most important rule of sending naked pictures to your girlfriend: make sure they don’t end up on social media sites for everyone to see. According to WMTW in Maine, Withee resigned Monday after a naked picture of him ended up on Facebook. Superintendent Rick Colpitts confirmed the resignation.

The picture reportedly appeared on Facebook for about 10 minutes before Withee realized what had happened, but by that time it was too late. A parent of a student who had seen the picture called the school to report the incident. Withee insists he intended to send the picture to his girlfriend but made a mistake.

Withee had been the school district’s football coach since last March and also taught math and science at the district’s middle school. After speaking with the district attorney, Paris Police Chief David Verrier says the department has decided not to press charges because it was an accident. Now that Withee is jobless, he may want to consider taking a computer course to avoid making a similarly devastating mistake in the future.

High school basketball team gets a technical for wearing pink uniforms for cancer research

The topic of paying tribute with uniforms and accessories at the professional level has taken on a life of its own in recent years, and apparently it’s an issue in high school as well. On Monday night, a Nebraska high school girls basketball team received a technical foul for supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As part of a fundraising effort, the Burke High Bulldogs wore light pink uniforms for their game against Columbus. They were given the tech at the start of the second half.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, Columbus coach Dave Licari brought the issue to the officials’ attention at halftime. Technically, the home team is supposed to wear predominantly white uniforms. Since Burke had not informed anyone of the uniform change before the game, they were breaking the rules.

“It was a total mistake by me,” Bulldogs Athletic Director Kyle Rohrig said. “We had good intentions, but we made a mistake, and then there were consequences.”

The idea for the pink uniforms was the work of Burke assistant coach Tom Law. The uniforms were to be auctioned off after the game with all proceeds benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“If they thought there was a problem, it should have been addressed before the game,” Burke head coach Luke Lueders said. “To have that happen at halftime caught us all off-guard.”

To have that happen at all catches me off-guard. This is a high school basketball game. At the professional level, players know they are going to be fined for choosing to wear patriotic gear or rocking lucky orange cleats. This was a group of high school students who got together to raise money for cancer research. If the officials caught the rule violation and had no choice but to penalize Burke, that would be one thing. The fact that their opponent brought it to the officials’ attention — during halftime of a high school game — is despicable.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Oregon High Schooler Taylor Travess Compares Win to ‘Losing Your Virginity’

When high school players have microphones in their faces, they typically don’t know what to say.  The art of giving an interview is an acquired skill.  Even college players oftentimes have trouble with postgame press conferences (see: Holloway, Tu). What are we saying? Half the professionals don’t know what they’re doing, either.  The bottom line is it’s extremely rare to see a high school athlete just kill it with a microphone in front of him after a big win, but that’s exactly what Springfield High’s Taylor Travess did after his 19-point performance last week.

“It felt like losing your virginity, honestly,” Travess said when asked about the win according to the Springfield Times in Oregon.

Tell me this kid didn’t get it done.  The Springfield Millers are not very good.  They are a mere 2-10 on the season and their win over South Eugene was their first conference victory of the year.  With that in mind, you can see why Travess was so excited after racking up 19 points in the big game.  Could he have described it any better? I think not. Kid clearly has a gift.

H/T to Deadspin for sharing the fantastic story

Video: High School Player Tries to Save Ball Going Out of Bounds, Makes Three-Pointer on His Own Hoop

You think he could do that again if he tried? As you can see, Glenwood High School sophomore Daniel Helm pulled off a miraculous shot during a recent game.  The only problem is he didn’t do it on purpose.  What is even more of a problem is that he accidentally scored a three-pointer for the opponent.  Helm made a hustle play and saved the ball in bounds, but he tossed it a bit too far and high and ended up throwing it right in the hoop. Talk about a one-in-a-million shot.

Fortunately Helm was laughing it off, so I’m guessing this wasn’t a make or break shot that cost his team the game or anything like that.  What do you think is more impressive: shots like this one and this one where luck is involved but the person intends to sink them or one like Helm’s that is just a complete fluke?  In my opinion, this one is more fun to watch.

H/T Sports by Brooks Live

High School Makes Fans Remove Shoes to Avoid Damaging New Gym Floor

Even when I had brand new hardwood floors installed in my house and it was raining outside, I didn’t feel comfortable asking people to take their shoes off when they came in the door.  “It’s only dirty water,” I thought to myself.  Apparently the folks at Los Angeles University Senior High School feel differently about their floors.  According to the LA Times, fans who attended a volleyball game in the school’s gym last week were asked to remove their shoes upon entering.

Boys’ basketball coach Steve Ackerman said the school is “being extra cautious” after just opening their new gym.  If you ask me, extra cautious would be relocating the event to another venue.  How can you make families of athletes and fans take of their shoes just to come into the gym and watch a volleyball match?

What if someone had a foot odor problem? Are they supposed to just leave?  These are the questions.

H/T to Prep Rally for the story.

High School Hockey Players Skip Prom for Hockey Tournament

If you are the romantic type and you read the above headline, you would probably have some sort of reaction like, “That’s just awful.”  However, since you are reading a sports blog it is probably safe to assume you’re more like me.  What that means is you probably read the headline of this post and thought to yourself, “Yeah, so what?”

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