Brandon DeRosa, an assistant baseball coach at Pittsford Sutherland the last six years, has the first chance to become the team’s new varsity coach.
The position has been offered to DeRosa, according the Pittsford Athletic Director Scott Barker, but the Pittsford Board of Education still needs to approve the hire, possibly early as next month. Jim Capellupo coached the Knights the last 12 seasons, but said his year-to-year contract was not renewed. He remains with the school district as a business teacher.
“Coach Capellupo has taught me a lot, a lot of great leadership skills,” DeRosa, 28, said. “What I can say, I’ve had a great relationship with kids and their families.
“I think they are going to welcome me with open arms. It should be a good transition. It’s going to be a big change.”
DeRosa teaches physical education and health at BOCES 1 in Fairport. He was a Monroe County league all-star who played in two Section V championship games at Fairport, before appearing in the 2007 and ’08 junior college World Series with the Monroe Community College Tribunes.
DeRosa moved on to State University of New York Cortland, where he helped the NCAA Division III Red Dragons to a national runner-up finish.
“He obviously has a great baseball background and has been involved in our program,” Barker said. “The plus is he has a relationship with all of the returning players.”
DeRosa also has coached modified football in Pittsford’s combined school program as an assistant, and modified basketball at Sutherland.
“There is a great group of kids in the program,” DeRosa said. “We have a big senior class coming through.”
The Pittsford school district’s decision not to bring back Capellupo led some past team members to support a petition at change.org that has drawn 498 responses through Wednesday. There were also critics of Capellupo’s coaching style, despite the Knights winning a state championship and eight Section V titles during his time as varsity coach.
Chris Marsh, one of 12 board members of the Friends of Sutherland Baseball, said the group he is a part of recommended DeRosa.
“We were really fortunate,” Marsh said. “(School district officials) were understanding, they didn’t have to talk to us, but they did, good and bad.
“Regardless of what happened, they certainly understood this is the type of person (DeRosa) we wanted. That shows they are about the program and the kids. This is a good thing.”
Watson advances: Sammy Watson, a rising senior at Rush-Henrietta who qualified for the United States Olympic track and field trials earlier this month, remains in contention for another world championship.
Watson won her women’s 800-meter semifinal heat Wednesday during the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Poland. The MileSplit All-American and multi-record-holder in Section V crossed the finish line in 2 minutes, 4.50 seconds, second overall to fellow American junior sprinter Aaliyah Miller (2:04.36), who also won her heat.
The International Association of Athletics Federation women’s 800 final is Thursday in Bydgoszcz.
Watson won the IAAF world youth 800 final last July.
All-American at Wheatland-Chili: The National Soccer Coaches Association of America named recent Wheatland-Chili graduate Taylor Clar to the NSCAA High School Scholar All-America Team with a 3.90 grade point average, one of 52 girls recognized.
A 2015 Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester defender last high school season, Clar helped Wheatland-Chili to a runner-up finish in the Class D state tournament. She was named first-team all-state.
Clar was versatile enough that she was selected to play in the Ronald McDonald House All-Star Games in March for standout basketball players in their final high school season.