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Monday, June 26, 2017: Coaching change prompts late switch for Cain

   Leading off today: She had months if not years to work her way through the process the first time around and make a decision.

   Kate Cain didn't have nearly that much time to make the biggest decision of her adult life thus far the second time around.

   After realizing the University of Delaware was no longer the right fit, the Pine Bush basketball star commenced a whirlwind second recruitment tour that ended Friday with her signing a letter of intent with the University of Nebraska in the Big Ten.

   Cain, a fourth-team all-state selection in Class AA as a senior, was able to graduate -- as the salutatorian -- the following day with her future once again secure.

   "I am excited to see what's going to happen," she told The Times Herald-Record. "Jumping from a school that is a mid-major to a really big conference (is) going to be difficult and I know it will be challenging with bigger schools. I am really excited for the opportunity that it will bring me and I'm excited to experience it."

   The 6-foot-5 center had settled upon Delaware, which has a track record with low-post players, a year ago and signed a letter of intent. But everything changed with the abrupt resignation of 21st-year Blue Hens coach Tina Martin on April 28 and the hire three weeks later of Natasha Adair, who was three years into an impressive rebuild at Georgetown. It was quickly apparent that Adair's system wasn't going to be compatible with what Cain does best -- play with her back to the basket as a first or second option rather than cleaning up garbage.

   Class of '17 recruiting was for all practical purposes over by mid-May, so Cain didn't have many options. Though schools on her original list were off the board, she drew interest from several Big Ten and Pac-12 suitors. She made her decision after a good visit to Nebraska, which is a traditionally strong program but struggled to a 7-22 mark in coach Amy Williams' first season.

   "She will fit in very nicely in the Big Ten," Williams said. "There's absolutely no reason she can't come in and make an impact for our program."

   More girls basketball: Cooperstown forward Julie Ford, a first-team all-state pick in Class C as a junior last season, committed to the University at Albany.

   Busy football weekend: New York is definitely on its way to one of the better crops of Division I football recruits in recent history. The state isn't likely to approach the 34 seniors who signed with FBS schools in February 2011, but matching the 27 signings from 2013 (the recent high-water mark) looks to be possible.

   Two developments over the weekend brought the Class of 2018 up to 11 commitments (see list here), with No. 12 expected by mid-week.

   Monsignor Farrell linebacker John Kelly III posted on Twitter that he was "100% committed" to the United States Naval Academy after receiving interest from a variety of schools, and Brockport defensive back/running back Cory Gross Jr. announced he'd picked the University at Buffalo.

   Kelly was selected third-team all-state as a linebacker in Class AA last season. Gross was a third-team running back in Class A.

   The next to commit may by Medina wide receiver Jalin Cooper, a third-team all-state pick in Class B as a junior. Scout.com reported that Cooper was scheduled to visit Washington State over the weekend and anticipated making his decision shortly after returning home.

  

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  •    Buffalo, Rutgers, Toledo and UConn round out his top five.

       "My main thing I'm looking for is a school where I can grow the most," Cooper told the website. "If I grow to be a successful person and football player and get a good degree, that's what I want. Those were my main goals. Every school there, I can get a good degree."

       More football: We've posted the first draft of the week-by-week 2017 football schedule for the entire state. The NYSSWA's Steve Grandin pulled together the info, which is better than 99 percent complete at this point, from a variety of sources this spring.

       Links to each week of the season, which kicks off Aug. 31, are on TheRoadToSyracuse.com.

        • Bishop Kearney, which reached the NYSPHSAA Class C semifinals last fall, losing to eventual champion Newark Valley, will have a different look this fall. The Kings will field a combined team with Rochester Prep, a charter school that had not previously fielded a varsity football team or combined with another school in the sport.

       The Kearney/Rochester Prep team will play in Class C.

        • Attica coach Rob Cusmano was resigned, BataviasBest.org tweeted late last week.

       Extra points: Rush-Henrietta senior Sammy Watson placed sixth in the women's 800 meters final at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento. Ajee Wilson won the final in 1:57.78, and Watson finished in 2:00.99.


      
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