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Tuesday, May 2, 2017: Syracuse CBA pitcher's generosity earns recognition

   Leading off today: I'm not sure when I heard it first or how many times I've heard it since, but there's now additional confirmation that good things do in fact come to those who wait.

   When Syracuse CBA pitcher Jack Sheridan was battling leukemia in 2014, he was offered the trip of a lifetime or the chance to meet some famous person by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Instead, he asked that whatever money might be used on him instead be applied toward a new batting cage and bullpen complex for his school.

   On Monday, that unselfish act was repaid -- with interest -- by means of a $20,000 college scholarship from Foot Locker. The sports apparel retailer has made such gifts to deserving high school athletes for the past six years through its Foot Locker Scholar-Athlete Program. Sheridan is one of 20 recipients this year out of 37,000 applicants, the company said.

   The CBA senior returned to the field last spring and is nearing the end of his chemotherapy treatments. He'll enroll in the fall at LeMoyne College, where he intends to continue his baseball career.

   "He'll be remembered long after he leaves here," CBA coach Tom Dotterer told Syracuse.com.

   Speaking of inspirational: Most of you know the story of Oscar Pistorius' climb into the ranks of world-class track and field sprinters. The South African, whose legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, ran sub-11 seconds in the 100 meters and :21.30 in the 200 on his prosthetics.

   Now, a Utah teen who competes with similar prosthetic blades is capturing the imagination of sports fans and the attention of college coaches.

   On Saturday, Hunter Woodhall set a state record in the 400 meters while competing for Syracuse High in Utah. Woodhall's :46.56 showing is the fourth-fastest time among U.S. scholastic runners this spring.

   The senior reportedly is considering offers from North Carolina, Arkansas and Long Beach State.

   "A lot of schools weren't giving me the time of day," Woodhall told MileSplit. "And I appreciated the fact that these schools fought for me. In my mind, you don't have to go to a huge school to do a lot on the track."

   Hall of Fame: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has announced the six 2017 inductees for its Hall of Fame.

   Coach Richard Castellano, athlete Ed Danowski, and administrators Lloyd Mott, Pat Pizzarelli, Hank Roth and Mark Ward will be inducted on July 26 at 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton as part of the NYSPHSAA's annual Central Committee meetings.

   Castellano began coaching girls varsity basketball at Northport in 1979 and racked up 613 wins, 10 sectional championships and three appearances in the NYSPHSAA state semifinals. He was enshrined into the BCANY Hall of Fame and the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

   Danowski was a three-sport athlete at Riverhead, earning all-county honors while competing in football, basketball and baseball from 1927-30. He continued a football career at Fordham University, where he was an All-American in 1932 and 1933, and as the quarterback of two New York Giants championship teams. In 2011, he was recognized by The Suffolk Times as the greatest athlete in Suffolk County history.

   Mott served as the athletic director as Broadalbin (1966-73) and Cobleskill (1973-83) while coaching basketball, track and field and modified football. He took over as AD at Queensbury in 1983 and in 1997 began a decade-long career as assistant director with the NYSPHSAA. He was inducted into the NYSAAA Hall of Fame in 2016.

   Pizzarelli began his career coaching football and lacrosse in Connecticut. He arrived at Plainedge in the early 1980s to coach football, basketball and wrestling and then established the school's first lacrosse program. He went on to serve as the AD at Hicksville and Lawrence, where he launched another program. Pizzarelli remains the only person to serve as president of both the NYSPHSAA (2008-10) and the NYSAAA. He was inducted into the NYSAAA Hall of Fame in 2016.

  




   Roth is the longest-tenured Section 1 athletic administrator in history. He served as the AD at Greenburgh for 25 years and Ardsley for 22. As a coach, Roth led his teams to 453 wins as a varsity baseball and basketball coach.

   Working primarily at Ellicottville but with stints in Salamanca and Olean, Ward has been a coach, AD, principal and superintendent in Western New York as well as president of the NYSPHSAA from 2010-2012 following a term as Section 6 president. He was a referee for 24 years and currently serves on the NYSPHSAA Championship Advisory Committee.

   Rankings progress: The new state rankings in boys lacrosse were posted to NewYorkSportswriters.org on Monday. Amazingly, we are down to just eight unbeaten teams in the state. At the same juncture a year ago, there were 13 unbeatens -- including the top-ranked team in all three classes.

   This spring, three of our four No. 1 teams are carrying losses on their records -- with all five setbacks to out-of-state teams, lacrosse editor Neil Kerr notes.

   "Most of those losses would not have happened two or three decades ago, but the sport of lacrosse has mushroomed in popularity, spreading from the East all the way to California and Washington," Kerr wrote this weekend. "Both those states now own powerful high school teams as many of you know. A few top Western teams are coached by former players from New York and other parts of the East."

   On the move: Nichols boys basketball coach Darren Fenn is leaving after one season to become director of basketball operations and facilities coordinator at Lancaster St. Mary's. The Buffalo News reports he'll move WNY Premier Basketball Training business into the Lancers' athletic facility.

   Fenn won't be coaching basketball at St. Mary's but will work with the staffs on preparations for practices and games. He will also put together camps and clinics.

   "Every decision I have made in business thus far is a means to grow the game of basketball in Western New York," Fenn told the paper. "The opportunities St. Mary's offers with its state of the art facility and their commitment to their student-athletes, really makes the decision to become a member of the Lancer family a no-brainer."

    • The Broadalbin-Perth Board of Education approved the appointment of Matthew Ehrenreich as athletic director effective July 1. The Canajoharie native has worked as a physical education teacher in Jericho, Vt., since 2014.

    • Former Syracuse University defensive back and Rush-Henrietta all-state pick Chauncey Scissum will use his final year of football eligibility at UNLV. Scissum missed the first half of the 2016 season after surviving an off-campus attack at a party in which he was stabbed multiple times by former SU teammate Naesean Howard.

   Extra points: I've been bogged down in my bid to get the girls basketball all-state team compiled and now project that the announcement will by made May 10.

   The Akron School District will dedicate the varsity baseball diamond in honor of retired teacher, coach and AD Thomas Wetzen on May 10. Wetzen coached baseball at Akron from 1956-1989, leading the team to five Section 6 titles. He also coached football from 1953-81.


  
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