News, notes and observations on New York high school sports
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Saturday, July 6, 2019: NYSSWA expands its all-state football archive
Leading off today: We have a huge development to report for high school football fans.
Our RoadToSyracuse.com reference section had previously contained complete all-state football teams dating back to the 1999 season, and its been a fairly popular portion of the site for visitors. It's also been the subject of requests from past players and fans, who've wanted us to expand the archive to include selections from earlier years.
In the past couple of days, we have added the first-team all-state picks from 1968-1998. It's the product of work by our Steve Grandin, who retyped material that had existed only in hard-copy form. Lending a hand from Long Island was Andy Slawson, who had copies of files that Steve did not have access to until recently.
We're hoping to fill in the 1968-98 era with the rest of the picks beyond the first team at same later date, but you can now at least review 52 years worth of first-team picks on our site.
That's big news, right? But I promised huge news.
While Steve was typing, the names of many memorable athletes jumped out at him as players he recalled for their success on the field. But another name caught his eye for a different reason.
The 1973 team included an offensive end from Greenport in Section 11 by the name of Bill Fuccillo. And yes, it's that Billy Fuccillo.
Fuccillo earned a scholarship to play at Syracuse University and went on to build an automotive dealership empire that includes 24 addresses in New York and five in Florida, all in markets saturated by the founder's "It's huge!" TV commercials.
Player moves: A couple of prominent Section 6 basketball players will be wearing different uniforms next season.
Niagara Falls star Jalen Bradberry, a fifth-team all-state pick in Class AA alongside teammate Willie Lightfoot, will spend his junior season at the Park School where the 6-foot-3 standout expects to play point guard, he announced on social media Thursday.
Bradberry's father, Carlos, was a Niagara Falls assistant and had applied for the head position following the resignation of Sal Constantino. The job went to veteran assistant Brent Gadacz.
"I made this decision to transfer to Park mainly because of academics," Bradberry said in a text message to The Buffalo News. "I talked to my parents and we came up with the best fit to prepare me academically and socially for college."
Park has won consecutive state Catholic Class A championships under coach Rich Jacob, a Niagara Falls native. The Pioneers were Federation champions in 2018. Bradberry averaged 19.3 points to help the Wolverines win their fourth straight Section 6 Class AA title and is on pace to become the Western New York career scoring leader, but Park will be his fourth school in four years. He played for Niagara-Wheatfield as an eighth-grader, Niagara Catholic as a freshman and Niagara Falls last year.
Meanwhile, rising sophomore Roddy Gayle, who averaged 22 points a game and was second-team all-state in Class A last winter at Lewiston-Porter, is headed to Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High outside o Philadelphia.
Football commitment: Rye Country Day linebacker and running back Cullen Coleman announced on Twitter that he will enroll at Northwestern next year.
Coleman, who ran for 996 yards and eight touchdowns during an 8-1 junior season, was besieged with offers from the likes of Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Penn State earlier this year. He ultimately picked Northwestern over finalists that included Stanford and Virginia.
Severino retires: Jerry Severino, a pioneer in coaching the sport in a region that barely knew of lacrosse when he started, has retired after 37 seasons at Orchard Park and Hamburg.
"It's been a long, wonderful journey in the sport, and I have no regrets," he said.
Severino was a longtime assistant until taking over as head coach at Hamburg in 2006. His teams won 12 Section 6 championships in 13 seasons. He may stay involved in the sport at some level, but Severino can walk away satisfied with what he helped build.
"But if I never set foot again on a Hamburg field, we won't skip a beat," he said.
Also on the move: Ray Gallagher, sports editor at The Examiner, has been tweeting some significant Section 1 changes this week.
Leading off, former AD Frank Miele is returning to that position at Mahopac, this time in an interim capacity through the end of the upcoming school year. He replaces John Augusta.
In boys basketball, Mike McDonnell has resigned after four trips to sectional semifinals in six seasons at Putnam Valley, and Gallagher reports that McDonnell is destined for Kennedy Catholic in the CHSAA.
And still more changes: Mike Grasso, who coached football with his father at Bishop Maginn and was also on the staff at Troy, had been named boys basketball coach at Niskayuna.
Assistant David Wild has been promoted to head football coach at Cuba-Rushford. Wild is a 2008 graduate of C-R, where he was a two-way lineman. He replaces Chris Fee, who is taking an associate principal position after a 28-22 mark in six seasons.
Getting together: As expected, the proposed consolidation of the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake boys ice hockey teams now has the approval of both school boards. The merger now goes to Section 7 for approval.
The schools' girls hockey teams merged in 2017 and that squad has reached back-to-back sectional finals.
The Lake Placid school board is also in talks regarding baseball with Keene, where officials anticipate not having enough players to form a team in 2020. Keene already sends its nordic skiers to Lake Placid and participates in merged track and field and cross country teams with Lake Placid.