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      Closing the book on the Skaneateles Football saga

      It didn't take long for the news to spread around the village -- the Skaneateles High School football season is over.

      "They had a great season, it's just too bad it ended up this way," said John Havemeyer, who said he's been following this story since the beginning.

      Despite not losing a game all year, the dream season for Skaneateles has ended, amid allegations of illegal recruiting by the Lakers' coaching staff. A State Supreme Court of Appeals upheld an earlier court ruling, allowing Section III to suspend Skaneateles from Saturday's Championship game in the Carrier Dome.

      "I feel for the forty kids that aren't going to be playing," said Anne Salzhauer. "But the judge ruled...and we'll just be thinking of the season next year."

      Next year begins now.

      The Lakers can only watch as Utica's Notre Dame -- the team Skaneateles defeated last weekend in the Section III semi-finals -- will play Herkimer for a shot at the Section III Championship.

      But as badly as so many feel for these kids, some say they're just relieved this entire ordeal is finally over.

      In the coming months, Skaneateles will hire a new football coach -- but many will always wonder, what if this dream season hadn't been upended? After all, not a single player on this team was ever ruled ineligible to play.

      "The kids didn't do a thing wrong," said Havemeyer. "They played their hearts out and they're a great bunch of kids."

      Kids whose season ends in legal drama -- not on the field.