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Palm Beach Post (Florida)
Ali DeVito's first season as West Boca Raton girls soccer coach will be her last.
The former Bulls standout was fired by her alma mater Wednesday, less than two weeks after she criticized Vero Beach in post-game comments following the host Indians' 3-2 victory in a Class 5A regional final on Jan. 31.
Vero Beach advanced to the state semifinals with the victory and eventually reached the state final, where it lost to Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas.
DeVito was quoted by a TCPalm reporter as saying, "(Vero Beach) is considered a rec team compared to the teams we play. Our girls played horrible. We would beat them 8-0 normally if we were playing them at home, but my girls came out too confident."
DeVito said Thursday she initially declined to talk to the media after the game because her players were upset, but relented.
When she did speak, she said, she did so out of frustration and disappointment.
"It was in the heat of the moment," DeVito said.
DeVito said she met with West Boca Athletic Director Randy Kalman a few days later after her comments were brought to his attention by Vero Beach.
An apology was extended to the Indians, DeVito said, and she thought the issue was settled.
However, when DeVito was called into Kalman's office Wednesday, she was told she was being let go despite leading the Bulls to a 17-2-3 season.
DeVito said she thought she was meeting with Kalman to discuss the team's annual banquet, set for March 13.
She said Kalman told her she was not a good fit for the program and needed to concentrate on school. DeVito, 23, is studying biochemistry at FAU.
Kalman did not return calls for comment.
Southeastern Football Conference changes format: After losing a member and filling the void with another school, the Southeastern Football Conference is making more changes.
Although 16 teams are still in the independent football league, four will branch out in a modified format of the SFC.
Miami Country Day, Miami-Ransom Everglades, Pompano Beach and Marathon -- who combined to go 8-30 last season -- will be part of what will be called Developmental Division. Each of the teams will play a home-and-home series against each other, and will look outside the conference for additional contests.
After each season, the four teams will have the option to leave the Developmental Division and rejoin the rest of the SFC.
The other 12 teams will be divided into two divisions -- North and South. Each of the schools will play the five teams from their division and three from the other division.
The top eight teams will advance to the SFC playoffs, which will be capped by the conference title game at FAU Stadium on Nov. 15.
Local teams in the North Division are Benjamin, Pope John Paul II and new member King's Academy. St. Andrew's is a South Division member.