Leading off today:
The scaled-down version of New York high school football has grown once again.
Elmira Notre Dame, coming off a 5-2 season last fall, is switching to eight-man football for the upcoming season.
Notre Dame will join Lansing, Newfield Oxford and Unadilla Valley in Section 4's new league. Combined with Section 5's Marcus Whitman, Holley and C.G. Finney/Northstar, they will have enough teams for a seven-game schedule even without the all-but certain arrival of still more eight-man teams once the reality of small turnouts hits more programs in August.
More football: The Democrat and Chronicle reported this week that Aquinas and McQuaid remain in a bit of limbo with regard to their playoff classification for the upcoming season.
Both are requesting to play in Class AA and are awaiting review from the Section 5 Non-Public/Charter School Classification Committee. It's possible that the decision might not be made until mid-August.
Coupled with the distinct possibility that one or two more Section 5 schools might shift to eight-man football in the next seven weeks, the section has not yet released an official 2018 schedule. That could make for some very messy last-minute changes.
For instance, if Aquinas and McQuaid somehow land in Class A, it would give the sport the 18 teams necessary to split 'A' into two sectional classes. If eight teams are allowed into each playoff bracket, then the regular season would have to be shortened to six games.
That in itself creates a boatload of fresh problems, not the least of which is that some of the affected teams currently have Week 7 games scheduled against non-league opponents who would be left scrambling for games. (Personally, I'd pay $10 to watch Aquinas vs. St. Francis in Week 7 than attend a playoff quarterfinal between a 6-0 and a 1-5 team for free.)
Said Aquinas coach Derek Annechino: "Leave us (in 'AA') because there's no reason to take us out of it. They moved us into AA for a reason. It was for a good reason. We didn't complain about it then. We've been able to hold our own."
Former star athlete slain: The New York State Trooper shot and killed early Monday after responding to a suicidal man barricaded inside a home in the town of Erwin was a former state wrestling champion who went on to a notable football career at Alfred University.
Trooper Nicholas Clark was among the responders to a 3:30 a.m. call that sent law enforcement to the community just south of Corning. During the response, Clark, 29, was fatally shot by Bradford Central School District principal Steven Kiley, who was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"Nick is one of the all-time greats that has ever worn the Purple & Gold and did so in a way that left a legacy that will never be forgotten," Alfred University AD Paul Vecchio in a statement.
Clark, who graduated from the New York State Police Academy in 2015, was a four-year letterman with the Saxons and was the first athlete to be selected Empire 8 defensive player of the year twice. He set a Saxons record with 377 career tackles and also recorded 26 touchdowns.
Before that, Clark wrestled for Canisteo-Greenwood, where