Leading off today: Aron Cruickshank
became the third Erasmus Hall rising senior in two weeks to commit to a Big Ten football program when he announced Tuesday that he will enroll at Wisconsin.
Cruickshank is a run-first quarterback who was recruited as a receiver. His choice came down to the Badgers and Penn State after also being offered by Michigan, Ohio State and Virginia and several other major programs.
Previously this month, offensive lineman Matt Jones picked Ohio State and defensive back Kessawn Abraham committed to Rutgers.
Cruickshank ran for over 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns and threw for another 12 touchdowns as a junior to earn sixth-team all-state in Class AA as an all-purpose player by the New York State Sportswriters Association. He was third in Division I and fourth in the Federation portion of the long jump at this month's state track and field championships after placing second at the indoor meet.
The family business: Utica College offensive coordinator Jim Kramer, 36, was appointed last week as the football coach at New Hartford.
Kramer was 19-17 as the head coach at Schenectady for four seasons before joining the Utica College staff. He replaces Kyle Hutchinson, 5-11 in two seasons, as the New Hartford coach and will teach physical education in the district.
"It's in my blood to be a head coach," he told The Observer-Dispatch.
Kramer grew up the son of a coach, and two of his three younger brothers are coaches -- Rob Kramer is offensive coordinator for the St. John Fisher College football team and Ryan Kramer just guided Oneida's baseball team to its first Section 3 championship. Their sister, Katie Nestler, is the girls basketball coach at Oneida.
"Jim's a winner, just a guy you would want to play for," Utica College head coach Blaise Faggiano said.
Also on the move: Carrie Owens, who had a 34-8 record and a Section 6 championship in two seasons at Cleveland Hill, is the new girls basketball coach at Sacred Heart Academy in the Monsignor Martin Association.
Debbie Laux recently retired after 17 seasons at Sacred Heart. The longtime assistant to Sister Maria Pares was on leave last season when the Sharks were coached by Jack Coppola.
• Vinny Mascia
has retired as the East Meadow football coach, freeing him up to watch his son Matt play on the offensive line at the University of New Hampshire.
Mascia, who played at East Meadow in 1978, started his coaching career as a defensive coordinator at Clarke High. He spent four years there and four years as an East Meadow assistant coach before five years on his brother Tony's staff at Holy Trinity, where he became head coach for two seasons. He was an East Meadow assistant for two seasons before being name head coach in 1998.
Mascia had a 104-68 record in 19 at East Meadow, winning a pair of Nassau Conference I titles.
East Meadow JV coach Doug Bange will move up to run the varsity.
• Jenn Sykes is likely to resurface as a coach in another school district early last month, having resigned as the girls varsity lacrosse coach and modified field hockey coach at Shenendehowa.
Sykes, the lacrosse coach for eight seasons, said she had hoped to surrender only her field hockey duties at Shenendehowa but was unable to work out a deal with AD Chris Culnan.
"Unfortunately, the Shen teaching contract states that a PE teacher can be assigned up to two sports and, with all honesty, I knew that I could no longer maintain the effort required to do both jobs well," Sykes told CNWeekly.com.
Hockey experiment: The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League is expected to change its overtime format for breaking ties.
The PIHL proposal calls for an overtime format that begins with a three-minute period featuring three skaters per team. If no one scores, the teams will go to a three-skater shootout. The shootout would go to sudden death if still tied after three rounds.