Leading off today:
The automatic intentional walk
will become a rule in high school softball next season, the National Federation of State High School Associations recently announced.
Meeting last month, the softball rules committee approved a revision allowing the catcher or her coach to request the automatic walk before or during an at-bat as a measure to speed up the process. The recommendation was subsequently OK's by the NFHS Board of Directors.
"The Kentucky High School Athletic Association experimented with intentional walks for the 2017 season, and the response from coaches and umpires was overwhelmingly positive," Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and staff liaison for softball, said in a statement announcing the change. "The NFHS questionnaire response from constituents was also very favorable."
In another change, it will no longer be the umpire's responsibility to inspect equipment prior to the game. The rules committee shifted responsibility for ensuring that players are legally and properly equipped to the head coach and school administration.
All-state lineman picks UB: Elmira lineman Dan Fedor has become at least the 14th rising senior to have committed to a FBS college football program.
The 6-foot-7 offensive lineman committed to play for the University at Buffalo, the Star-Gazette reported over the weekend.
Fedor, also an accomplished member of the school's basketball and track teams, was named a 2016 second-team all-state pick as a junior in Class AA by the New York State Sportswriters Association. He was also attracting attention from Albany, Colgate and some members of the Ivy League.
"As a kid, I always wanted to go (Division) I," Fedor told the paper. "It probably wasn't until the summer going into my sophomore year that I really started thinking, 'Hey, this really could happen if I keep working.' More schools started getting in contact my junior year. Once the offers started coming in, it was a dream come true."
Fedor is the third New York high school commitment to the Bulls from the Class of 2018. You can check here for the list of the 14 non-binding commitments we're aware of at the mometn.
That's a loooong jump: Rising Rush-Henrietta senior Lanae-Tava Thomas now has a legal 21-foot long jump on her resume. She hit that mark exactly during the USATF Region 2 Outdoor Championships over the weekend.
It gives her the state high school record, previously held by three others at 20-10.75. Keyon Soley (Uniondale, 1997) still holds the wind-aided mark of 21-6.75.
Thomas' best legal jump had been 20-7½ last month at the NYSPHSAA championships, when she also had a 20-5 effort that observers swear was launched from two feet behind the board.
Ambitious to say the last: In Illinois school that's never fielded a full squad in any team sport is going to offer football this fall for its students ... all 18 of them.
Officials at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Academy in Rockford., Ill., say they have commitments from at least 13 current students and expect others to join in as well when practice starts later this summer.
"We just need 11," Principal Lou Bageanis told the Register Star. "I wouldn't want to do that, but we are committed to doing this for the kids, and we can't let the