Leading off today:
Tournament MVP Makenzie Stiles struck out 14 batters in Deposit's 1-0 victory Sunday over Iroquois in the championship game of the 39th annual James "Ace" Morabito Memorial Softball Tournament.
Deposit had advanced to the final of the 16-team tournament earlier in the day with a 4-0 win over Hamburg as Stiles allowed just one hit and struck out 14. Ashton Staton tripled and drove in a pair of runs.
Iroquois had advanced to the championship game in Herkimer with a 5-4 victory over Kingston, which returned later in the day to beat Hamburg 14-2 in the third-place game.
More softball: If you haven't noticed, softball is a pitching-driven sport. In fact, there's not another New York high school team sport more dominated by a single position player.
With that in mind, The Press & Sun-Bulletin ran a story over the weekend examining the effect of a rules change that saw the pitcher's circle moved back from 40 feet from the plate to 43 feet.
The most obvious effect has been an increase in scoring, though it's not as though offenses are putting up video-game numbers. Still, some of the 1-0 and 2-1 scores have been replaced by games ending with scores of 4-3 or 5-4. Station-to-station softball is less prevalent and stronger defensive work has become a necessity with more balls being put in play.
"It's still a pitchers' game, but the hitters have a chance anyway," Maine-Endwell coach Joe Mancinelli said. "Back in those days, you hoped to get a leadoff runner on, you hoped she had some speed (to steal second), and you'd bunt her to third and you'd figure out how to get her home with your outs."
As noted in the story, the tradeoff is that the extra three feet gives pitchers more room to put spin and movement on the ball.
You can read the full story here.
Wrestling commentary: Sal Interdonato at The Times Herald-Record followed up on last week's report that the 99-pound weight class could be eliminated in New York after an 8-3 vote by the members of the NYSPHSAA wrestling committee.
Some of the argument in support of eliminating the class is that there were frequent forfeits and that a number of schools that did enter competitors in that slot were mostly utilizing seventh- and eighth-graders. Perhaps being underestimated is the value of the experience that those younger competitors acquire on the way to becoming multi-time state-meet participants at higher weights down the road.
"What does a coach say to a prospective wrestler who naturally weighs between 95 and 100 pounds?" Interdonato writes. "Wait until next year? Grow some more? Sorry, but no? Wrestling is the one sport that sets itself apart by allowing athletes of similar size to compete against one another."
You can read the whole column here.
More interesting reading: There was a good bit of work from NorthJersey.com last week with an analysis showing inconsistent reporting of concussion data despite legislation nearly a decade ago aimed at improving awareness and proper treatment.
The paper's examination of records showed the number of reported concussions from 2014 through 2018 varied widely -- if officials reported them at all. Manchester Regional (with an 2017-18 enrollment 866) reported three concussions for the period as the same time that Montclair (enrollment of 2,103) logged 196 such incidents.