Leading off today:
I've always told anyone who'd listen that your team isn't likely to make it very far in the playoffs by lining up a bunch of cupcakes for the regular-season schedule.
There's no need to schedule an endless string of impossible-to-win games, but a lot of smart (and successful) coaches have learned to use a few of the non-league slots on the schedule to take on opponents from larger classifications and historically tougher leagues.
The experience is beneficial later in the season when league titles and sectional trophies are on the line.
Chris Metcalf, regional sports editor for Batavia Newspapers, took a look at the strategy in girls soccer this week.
Mark Stephens of Class B Livonia opted to start his season against a pair of Class A squads.
"It only makes us better, it makes us realize what we need to do to get better," he said. "It highlights our flaws, it is morale building for the girls as a whole."
Bennett runs to win: Four Buffalo Bennett running backs ran for over 100 yards apiece in the Tigers' 51-7 football victory against Lockport on Thursday.
Semaj Clemons led the ground attack with 160 yards and two touchdowns. Djae Perry had 110 yards and two touchdowns, Ja'vair Walker ran for 115 yards and a touchdown and Justin Campbell totaled 101 yards and a TD.
Defensively, Nukahri Funderburk made two interceptions in the win.
Section 1 leader picked: Pearl River AD Todd Santabarbara will be Section 1's next executive director, Southern Westchester BOCES confirmed to The Journal News on Friday.
Santabarbara will be recommended at the next SWBOCES meeting on Wednesday and is expected to start Nov. 26. He will work alongside current Executive Director Jennifer Simmons until her retirement at the end of March.
"I'm grateful to have such an amazing opportunity and to be able to work on behalf of students through the position as Director of Interscholastic Athletics," Santabarbara said in a statement. "I'm eager to begin collaborating with students, school leaders and all stakeholders in the component districts we serve."
Santabarbara began his teaching career in the Clarkstown school district, where he also coached football and girls lacrosse. He's spent eight years as Pearl River's AD and has served as Section 1's softball chairman.