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Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019: Tuohy wins another Gatorade national honor

   Leading off today: Well, there she goes again ...

   The state's most accomplished high school distance runner ever picked up yet another honor Wednesday when she was selected Gatorade's national female cross country runner of the year for the second team.

   It marked the fourth national Gatorade honor for North Rockland junior Katelyn Tuohy, who was also selected the top cross track and field athlete at the conclusion of the 2018 season and then named the overall national female athlete of the year.

   The trophy presentation was made during a morning ceremony at North Rockland.

   Tuohy is coming off her second consecutive undefeated cross country season capped by the championship at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Ore.

   Nine other New Yorkers have been selected national athletes of the year by Gatorade, which began its awards program in the 1986-86 school year:

    • Kenny Anderson, basketball, 1989
    • Felipe Lopez, basketball, 1994
    • Stephon Marbury, basketball, 1995
    • Christie Welsh, soccer, 1998
    • Nicole Kaczmarski, basketball, 1999
    • Greg Paulus, football, 2004
    • Tina Charles, basketball, 2006
    • Aisling Cuffe, cross country, 2010
    • Breanna Stewart, basketball, 2012

   Paulus and Stewart went on to be named overall national athletes of the year at then end of their high school careers.

   Gatorade posted a video regarding Tuohy's honor.

   Another ho-hum year: It was widely understood that last year's senior football class was a once-in-a-generation wave of top-end talent as 34 players signed letters of intent with Football Bowl Subdivision colleges.

   Perhaps there was reason for optimism that maybe the Class of 2018 was the launch of a new era and the momentum would carry forward. Unfortunately, that was not even close to the reality. Between December's early signing period and opening day of the regular signing period on Wednesday, New York came up with only 13 commitments to what used to be known as Division I-A programs. (Full list here.)

   We'll undoubtedly see an addition or two to the list courtesy of the service academies and the mid-majors holding open scholarships for players still trying to make the cut academically, but the bottom line is that New York has returned to its non-entity status as a college football breeding ground.

   There were no last-minute surprises or flips among those signing Wednesday.

   One of the few items of note was the University of Maine's continued mining of the state. Coming off a 10-win season and loaded with returning talent, the Black Bears continued working the state hard under new head coach Nick Charlton, promoted from offensive coordinator after Joe Harasymiak departed to join the University of Minnesota staff.

   Maine's signings this cycle included New Rochelle defensive end Khairi Manns, Erasmus Hall linebacker Xavier Nurse and McQuaid tight end Connor Zamiara. In addition, former Spring Valley QB Ori Jean-Charles is transferring in after two years at Louisville.


   Manns was first-team all-state in Class AA last fall and Zamiara was on the second team. Jean-Charles was highly regarded until losing almost his entire senior season in high school to an opening-game injury.

   Cause of death determined: The New York City medical examiner has reported that the PSAL boys basketball player who died after collapsing during a practice was born with a heart problem.

   Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said that 16-year-old Lenny Pierre had a major vessel in an abnormal location, resulting in cardiac arrest.

   Pierre was a member of the John Bowne High in Queens.

   Hired: Former Harrison coach quarterback Jay Ciraco is the school's new football coach. He replaces Dom Zanot, who resigned after five seasons.

   Ciraco spent the last two seasons as an assistant football coach after 12 years at Scarsdale. The 2016 Raiders reached Section 1's Class AA championship game for the first time in school history.

   Ciraco was a three-sport captain in football, basketball and baseball at Harrison. He played on three Section 1 championship football teams, including a state championship team in 1999.

   Boys hockey: Charlie Merkley scored 4:35 into overtime as McQuaid edged Fairport 5-4.

   McQuaid is ranked third in the state in Division I this week. Fairport, which fell behind 3-0 early, is ranked sixth.

   David Batisti made 35 saves in the win.

   Extra points: Belfast senior Adam Enders became Allegany County's all-time leading scorer Tuesday during a 56-44 victory over Fillmore. Enders surpassed Friendship star Jason Amore, who held the mark since 1998 with 2,332 career points.

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