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Tuesday, May 9, 2017: Sec. 3 will run open tournaments this spring

   Leading off today: In a nod to the nearly unprecedented rain that's drenched the spring schedule, Section 3 announced Monday that all of its baseball and softball teams will receive a one-time waiver from the qualifying standard and be eligible for the playoffs later this month.

   The traditional qualifying standard for sectionals in Central New york is to win 40 percent of league games or 40 percent of all games in the team's class.

   Executive Director John Rathbun announced the decision by the section's Executive Committee, which cited baseball's new pitch-count rules, the limited availability of umpires as teams attempted to reschedule games and the numerous cancellations due to wet fields.

   Seeding for the softball and baseball tournaments will take place May 21.

   The decision could add one or more rounds to class tournaments, making for some especially difficult decisions for baseball coaches on how to manage pitchers.

   "Now, the 1-2-3 top seeds have to play some team that may not be equally good record wise, but has some pitcher that's hot and really good," Cazenovia coach Jay Steinhorst told Syracuse.com. "It's risky."

   Said Liverpool coach Fred Terzini, whose team is 12-1: "What are we playing for? Just the seed? If you know you're at the top or bottom, you can save somebody (for sectionals) because nothing else matters. I don't like the idea."

   Milestone: Rye Country Day senior Enzo Stefanoni picked up his 40th career pitching victory over the weekend, likely becoming the state's all-time leader in that category.

   He threw a complete game Saturday during a 5-2 win over Fieldston in a matchup of NYSAIS schools.

   "I felt a rush when I finally got it; the quest was over," he told The Journal News. "It's amazing. Forty is a big number, it's hard to wrap your head around. Forty wins over the course of five years, that's so many."

   The New York public-school record is held by Ichabod Crane's Josh Horn, who finished in 2005 with 39 victories. Records for AIS, CHSAA and PSAL schools are sketchy, but Stefanoni's 40 would seem to be the leader in the clubhouse.

   Football progress: A 72-hour early signing period for Division I football recruits has been approved by the Collegiate Commissioners Association, the outfit that administrates the National Letter of Intent program.

   This signing period had been approved by the NCAA last month to coincide with the 72-hour junior college signing period. Prospects will still be able to sign a Letter of Intent in the current February signing period.

   The 2017 early signing period will start Dec. 20.

   The change should help bring about some stability and clarity in the recruiting process for second-tier recruits. The thought is that a significant number of three- to five-star recruits will sign in December, giving remaining prospects a clearer picture of what opportunities remain.

   At least as significantly -- and as a bit of a double-edged sword -- the rule change creates a guarantee in the event of a coaching change. Though most firings happen from mid-November to early December, the coaching carousel remains active beyond the start of the new year.

  




   Recruits more interested in committing to a school (as opposed to a coaching staff), can immunize themselves against those late changes by signing in December. However, that could also lock a player into a program about to undergo a significant change in offensive philosophy or defensive alignment.

   Benefit scheduled: Wrestlers ranging from 19 to 68 years old will relive their glory days and have a few laughs this weekend for a good cause.

   "The Bald and Fat Classic" on Saturday at Pearl River will benefit the family of Tappan Zee AD Liam Frawley, who is in the midst of a rehabilitation after an aneurysm burst in his brain last year.

   "I saw this as, you know what? This is something we can do for Liam," said Bob Gullo, who organized the event. "It's about giving back to Rockland and the community, and using wrestling as the vehicle. The community is tight, and through wrestling, it's even tighter."

   As of Monday morning, 123 had registered to compete in one of five age divisions -- Open (19+), Past My Prime (25-35), Over The Hill (36-45), AARP Card Holder (46-80) and Joan of Arc (women). Wrestling will begin at 9:30 a.m. and it will be a double-elimination format. 

   "It's going to be fun," Tappan Zee wrestling coach Peter Dene said. "Everyone will pitch in and the goal is to contribute to the cost of converting Liam's house to make it more compatible for his therapy."

   Those who cannot attend but would still like to make a donation may do so at www.gofundme.com/frawleystrong, which has picked up more than $14,000 since mid-2016.

   Back in the game: Kurt Bryan, who gained fame for the short-lived A-11 offense at a California school, is returning to high school football coaching.

   Bryan, who left Piedmont (Calif.) High six years ago, will become the head coach at San Lorenzo (Calif.) Arroyo.

   The A-11 offense was short-lived because the National Federation banned the formation in 2009, two years after Bryan and offensive coordinator Steve Humphries installed a system in which all 11 players wore eligible numbers, allowing them to shift on and off the line of scrimmage.

   The formation created chaos for opposing defenses.


  
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