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Friday, July 14, 2017: Skaneateles' Sears earns national player of year award

   Leading off today: Recent Skaneateles graduate Kyla Sears has been named the national high school girls player of the year by US Lacrosse Magazine on Thursday.

   The Princeton-bound midfielder scored 65 goals and added 37 assists in 15 games after returning from a torn meniscus. Sears missed her junior season after injuring an ACL, then missed six games in the 2017 season after tearing the meniscus in the same knee in the Lakers' opener.

   The Lakers were unbeaten after she returned to the lineup and won 15 straight, including a double-overtime victory vs. Bronxville in the NYSPHSAA Class D state final decided by a Sears goal.

   "I was kind of shocked," Sears told after learning of the honor. "I just had no idea."

   F-M promotes coach: Longtime junior varsity coach Doug Madden was appointed Thursday to replace recently retired Fayetteville-Manlius boys lacrosse coach Chris Kenneally.

   Madden, 45, is a former F-M midfielder and football player. He becomes only the third coach in the history of the program, established in 1964 by Tom Hall and then run by Kenneally for 19 seasons.

   "We appreciate all of the years coach Kenneally put in with us. Doug's been around for 15-16 years. It's neat to have an alum taking over the program," AD Scott Sugar said. "Doug's got great passion for the game."

   Upstate guns a-blazin': Around the time competitive cheerleading made the list 2016, someone asked what I thought would be the next sport to become a full-fledged NYSPHSAA championship event.

   At the time, I thought rowing was the leader in the clubhouse because there was already widespread participation in the New York State Scholastic Rowing Association championships each May on Fish Creek in the Capital Region. Though not part an official offering of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, I felt rowing had more momentum than girls ice hockey, which qualifies as a NYSPHSAA regional championship event but still has very narrow participation at the sectional level.

   Now, though, I wonder whether skeet shooting might leapfrog everyone, either coming on board as a stand-alone discipline or folded into the annual NYSPHSAA rifle championships, another sport that has the "regional" designation because not enough sections participate. The Post-Star was the latest to write about the New York State High School Clay Target League, which is experiencing rapid growth.

   New York's league, open to students in grades 6-12, runs for nine weeks each spring (teams compete at their home club and compare scores online) and culminates with a state championship. There's a heavy Section 3 and 5 flavor to the 19 schools that fielded teams in the 2017 spring league, but there's also representation from most Upstate sections.

   The Tri-County High School Trap Club Initiative is creating critical mass in Section 2, with Argyle, Bolton, Fort Ann, Hadley-Luzerne, Hartford, Hudson Falls, Glens Falls, Granville, Lake George, Warren-Washington BOCES and Whitehall expressing interest in forming a club league, which would be privately funded rather than as part of school budgets, based at Hudson Falls Fish & Game Club.

   If even half move forward, it would maintain momentum for the state league, which grew from five teams and 128 competitors in 2016 to 370 students on 19 teams this spring. Marcus Whitman in Section 5 had 18 members this spring, The Daily Messenger reported.

   All-state baseball: Monsignor McClancy outfielder Quentin Holmes completed his sweep of major awards by being selected New York City player of the year on the NYSSWA all-state baseball team announced Friday.

   Holmes, selected in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Cleveland Indians last month, was previously named Gatorade's New York player of the year. He recently turned down a scholarship to Mississippi State to sign with the Indians.

   Pitchers for five state championship teams ran the table for player of the year recognition in the five NYSPHSAA classifications. Pulling down top honors were:

  • Class AA: Jeff DeStefano, Liverpool, senior.
  • Class A: Kyle Taborne, Vestal, sophomore.

  • NYSPHSAA boys lacrosse brackets
  • 2017 statewide boys lacrosse playoff summary
  • NYSPHSAA girls lacrosse brackets
  • NYSPHSAA baseball brackets
  • NYSPHSAA softball brackets
  • Past years' brackets

    • Class B: Reid VanScoter, Livonia, senior.
    • Class C: Connor Mahoney, North Salem, senior.
    • Class D: Tyler Mattison, Fort Ann, senior.
       The full 2017 all-state team is available in the reference section.

       Heading to arbitration: Section 3 and the 43 boards in Central New York that supply officials for more than 20 high school sports are heading to arbitration after failing to agree on a new contract, reported.

       Negotiations on a four-year contract due to take effect this fall started at the beginning of the just-concluded school year. After officials rejected the section's initial proposal, a state fact-finding committee in early May modified the offer, but the officials also rejected that offer. Now, the contract will go before an arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association whose decision will be binding.

       Section 3 Executive Director John Rathbun said the process will not be complete when the school year opens, so officials will continue to work under the old contract.

       The fee for working most varsity contests this past school year was $85 plus mileage. The Section 3 offer was for a flat $100 for assignments requiring less than 50 miles (one way) of travel. Longer trips would also earn the IRS mileage rate (44 cents this past year) for the additional mileage.

       Jim Magnarelli, a longtime basketball referee who has been chief negotiator for officials, said the proposed change in the rate structure would be detrimental to board members in outlying areas who routinely face longer trips.

       Can we call it CIA? The Cool Insuring Agency has purchased naming rights to the Glens Falls Civic Center in honor of longtime company owner, Charles Cool, who was the first mayor of Glens Falls.

       The Civic Center, opened in 1979, has be renamed the Cool Insuring Arena under a five-year deal worth an unspecified amount. The facility plays host to the New York Public High School Athletic Association girls volleyball championships and the Federation boys and girls basketball tournament.

       "We are acutely aware of what this building means to the community," said Jack Bieniek, vice president of the Queensbury-based insurance agency, said at the Tuesday announcement.

       The arena is operated by the Adirondack Civic Center Coalition, a nonprofit organization of local business and civic leaders.

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