Leading off today:
The rich get richer.
Already one of the nation's most successful track and field programs, Texas A&M landed a huge prize Thursday when Sammy Watson announced at a noontime ceremony that she had committed to the Aggies.
The Rush-Henrietta senior holds national high school indoor records in the 600 (1:27.13), 800 (2:01.78) and 1,000 meters (2:40.72). Her mark in the 800 this season broke a record that Mary Decker had held since 1974.
Watson, 17, took official visits to A&M, LSU and Southern Cal. Arkansas, where her sister Ceara Watson competes, was also in the recruiting mix.
Watson's versatility -- she has twice pulled off 400/1,500 doubles at the NYSPHSAA outdoor championships and was a consistently high finisher in sectional and state cross country meets the past two seasons -- promises to help A&M remain in the national championship conversation. The Aggies have won four NCAA Division I women's outdoor titles in 12 seasons under Pat Henry and have finished in the top five 10 straight seasons.
With Watson's decision now official, several dominoes on the national recruiting scene should fall quickly as the other finalists for her services are free to allocate scholarship money that they had been holding in reserve for Watson.
(I'll be going off the grid for a day, so be sure to check DemocratandChronicle.com Thursday and Friday for additional reporting from Jeff DiVeronica, who's sure to have some fascinating details about the process that saw Watson ultimately choose A&M.)
Fifty and out: Mike Messere will complete his 50th season with West Genesee schools and his 43rd season coaching the boys lacrosse team a little more than a year from now. On Wednesday, he told Syracuse.com that 2018 will be his last season on the sideline.
Messere, 73, the winningest lacrosse coach in U.S. high school history, said he and his wife Barbara came to the decision about a year ago and that he's informed school officials of his plans.
Messere, who's been retired from teaching or several years, took over the Wildcats program as head coach in 1976. His record is 823-81 with 15 NYSPHSAA championships and eight runner-up finishes. The turf field behind the high school is named in his honor, and Messere has been inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the National High School Hall of Fame.
What a day: Marcellus freshman catcher Evelyn Webster had an absurd day at the plate Wednesday, hitting for the cycle during a 5-for-5 day and driving in 11 runs in five innings of an 18-2 win over Hannibal.
It was the latest in a strong of recent monster performances in New York softball. Late last month, Blind Brook junior Julia Bucci tied the presumed NYSPHSAA record when she drove in 12 runs in a game, The Journal News reported. A few days later, Panas senior Danielle Petrovich hit two grand slams and a solo homer to drive in nine runs in a game.
"I can't recall a player hitting for the cycle like that before. Even if we've been close, it has not been with that many RBI. She was just clutch," 20th-year Mustangs coach Lisa MacLachlan told Syracuse.com.
Said Webster: "I didn't realize how many RBI I had until we run-ruled (Hannibal). When we were reading out the stats