Leading off today:
Four senior standouts have earned shares of football large-school player of the year awards from the New York State Sportswriters Association on Friday.
Lindenhurst tight end/defensive lineman Jeremy Ruckert and Troy running back/defensive back Joey Ward share the top honor in Class AA after leading their teams to unbeaten seasons.
The Class A honor is shared by West Seneca West quarterback Matt Myers and Westhampton running back Dylan Laube, whose teams also went undefeated.
Ruckert, an Ohio State commit, became only the fourth player in the 56 years of Newsday's All-Long Island team to land on the first team three times. He finished the season with 61 catches for 1,094 yards and 13 touchdowns on offense and 61 61 tackles, four forced fumbles and 13 sacks on defense. He also kicked 48 of 50 extra points and recorded 42 touchbacks on his kickoffs.
Ward capped a stellar year for Troy with 227 rushing yards and three TDs in a 41-26 win over Lancaster as Troy defended its NYSPHSAA championship. He finished the season with 1,992 yards on the ground and 34 touchdowns while also reaching the 5,000-yard mark for career rushing yardage.
Laube, a University of New Hampshire commit, set ran for 454 yards in a win over Eastport-South Manor en route to 2,684 yards for the season. He scored a Long Island-record 47 touchdowns as a senior, including six in the Long Island Championship game vs. Lawrence. Laube finished his career with 120 TDs and 6,495 rushing yards.
Myers, a University at Buffalo commit, became the third quarterback in Western New York history to pass for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000 in the same season. He completed 153 of 264 passes for 2,407 yards and 24 touchdowns and ran 137 times for 1,040 yards and 22 more TDs.
A few links related to the all-state football team announcement:
• 2017 Class AA all-state team
• 2017 Class A all-state team
• Recent NYSSWA players of the year
• All-state teams, 1999-2017
• Final 2017 AA-A state rankings
• Final 2017 B-C-D state rankings
The NYSSWA announcd its Class B, Class C and Class D A all-state teams last week.
Still unbeaten: Defending NYSPHSAA Division I champion Williamsville North remained unbeaten in boys hockey with a 3-2 win over Niagara-Wheatfield on Thursday.
Bryan Aduddle scored the winning goal with 9:07 remaining as the Spartans improved to 11-0-2 for the season. Williamsville North is ranked No. 1 and Niagara-Wheatfield No. 9 by the New York State Sportswriters Association this week.
N-W was coming off a 1-0 win Sunday vs. No. 10 St. Joe's. Williamsville North and N-W played to a 2-2 tie on Dec. 1.
• Fairport blew out No. 12 Penfield 7-1 as Tyler Knicley rolled up two goals and four assists. Carter Tochelli made 26 saves.
SV girls score big win: Visiting Susquehanna Valley defeated Binghamton Seton Catholic 64-39 in girls basketball action as Trinasia Kennedy led the way with 21 points.
Susquehanna Valley is ranked second in Class B and Seton Catholic sixth in Class A this week.