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Friday, Sept. 27, 2019: Pembroke edges Maple Grove in eight-man football

   Leading off today: The eight-man football era at Pembroke is off to a 2-0 start following Thursday's 30-22 victory over Maple Grove.

   Running back Colby Cerasani rushed 11 times for 143 yards and three touchdowns. He also produced three 2-point conversions. Defensively, Chris Good led the way with 13 tackles and an interception.

   Pembroke's defense held Maple Grove to 0-for-9 on third-down conversions.

   "We have a group of guys that want to play football and focus on the game and preparation," said Pembroke coach Mike McKenrick. "We don't focus on numbers (11- or eight-man), but on how we can execute plays and continue to get better."

   As noted by the The Post-Journal, the game was moved up by a day due to a lack of officials available in Section 5. That brings us to ...

   Officials Appreciation Day: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. has announced that its inaugural Officials Appreciation Day will be marked on Wednesday, a day designated for athletes, coaches, administrators and fans to thank the officials for their role in scholastic sports.

   The initiative was launched by the NYSPHSAA Sportsmanship Committee.

   "We are excited to honor the officials across New York State on October 2nd," NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas said in a statement. "Without officials there would be no interscholastic athletics for our student-athletes to participate. It is important for us to thank officials for the job they do and show them how much we value and appreciate them."

   Boys soccer: Riley Cook scored with an assist from Bennett Medyn four minutes into overtime as Palmyra-Macedon edged Wayne 3-2.

   Wayne is ranked 20th in Class A by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   Both teams are 7-2-0 following Pal-Mac's sixth consecutive victory.

   Girls swimming: Eighth-grader Elle Noecker broke two Eden swimming records in a 121-62 win over Alden.

   Noecker completed the 100 butterfly in 58.80 seconds, beating the :59.55 in 2004 by Samantha Eckert. She then broke her own record in the 100 backstroke in :59.79.

   Quarterback transfers: Senior quarterback Robert McGee has left St. Anthony's and enrolled at Shoreham-Wading River, Newsday reported.

   The Penn State lacrosse commit will be in uniform for the Wildcats on Friday against John Glenn, but it appears unlikely that his future with S-WR is as quarterback because of the presence of senior Xavier Arline, who guided the team to a Suffolk County championship in 2018 and has the current squad off to a 3-0 start.

   "I met with Coach (Aden) Smith and I'm going to work out at some different positions and see where I fit best for the team," McGee said. "Whatever works best for the Shoreham football team is good for me. I'll play wherever they want me."

   McGee has thrown for 403 yards and rushed for 3-1 in the Friars 1-2 start. He was sacked 17 times.

   McGee said he'd been contemplating leaving St. Anthony's for awhile because he wasn't happy in football or lacrosse.

   "My parents were fully supportive in my decision. I just felt like I was letting them down by leaving the school because they invested so much money and time in St. Anthony's. For the first three years they had to drive me back and forth to school because we had no busing from Wading River."


   McQuaid Invitational tomorrow: I mean no disrespect to any of the big weekend meets that have already taken place this month, but cross country season for me doesn't begin until the McQuaid Invitational.

   That massive meet attracts a mix of outstanding teams from across New York as well as other nearby states and the province of Ontario. When weather conditions are right, the fast and flat three-mile course at Genesee Valley Park produces lightning-fast times and some dramatic finishes. And the teams winning the seeded races are most certainly deserving of their trophies.

   Race assignments for the 248 schools entered at McQuaid were finalized earlier this week, and there will be some interesting battles in the seeded races for bragging rights amongst New York teams.

   Boys A -- No. 1 Saranac Lake, No. 2 Skaneateles, No. 7 football site

Jordan-Elbridge, No. 11 Newfane, No. 17 Westhill and No. 19 Newark Valley from Class C will line up against No. 1 Beaver River and No. 9 Honeoye from Class D.

   Boys AA -- Xavier, ranked No. 3 in Class A, comes up from New York City to face a Class B lineup that includes No. 1 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, No. 2 Pittsford Mendon, No. 4 East Aurora, No. 5 Honeoye Falls-Lima, No. 8 Pioneer, No. 18 West Seneca East and No. 20 Lewiston-Porter.

   Boys AAA -- No. 2 Shenendehowa, No. 5 Guilderland, No. 6 Corn- ing, No. 14 Shaker, No. 16 Webster Thomas No. 18 Frontier, No. 19 Ithaca and No. 20 McQuaid from the Class A ratings are all entered.

   Girls A -- Class C contenders No. 2 Cam- den, No. 4 Newfane, No. 11 Skaneateles, No. 13 Lansing, No. 15 Harley/ Allendale-Columbia, No. 22 South Jefferson square off with Class D squads No. 1 Tully, No. 3 Maple Grove, No. 5 Clymer/Sherman/Pana- ma, No. 12 Plattsburgh Seton Catholic.

   Girls AA -- Brighton, rated 13th in Class A goes up against Class B's No. 1 East Aurora, No. 6 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, No. 7 Pittsford Mendon, No. 9 Honeoye Falls-Lima and No. 19 Maine-Endwell.

   Girls AAA -- No. 4 Shenendehowa, No. 5 Liverpool, No. 9 Corning, No. 10 Shaker, No. 14 Niskayuna and No. 24 Fairport from the Class A rankings are all scheduled to compete.

   None of that takes into account the out-of-state challengers, and no squad from outside New York will be watched more closely than Beavercreek, Ohio. Led by senior Taylor Ewert, who was third to New York stars Katelyn Tuohy and Kelsey Chmiel at Nike Cross Nationals a year ago, Beavercreek is regarded as one of the nation's five best teams.

   Ewert is one of the most intriguing athletes to come along in recent years because of her versatility. Besides the obvious distance-running ability, she is a New Balance Nationals champion in the steeplechase and the best scholastic race walker in U.S. scholastic history, having booked record marks at 5K and 20K.

   More cross country: Speaking of top-notch running programs, the latest installment of "Captains Club" on the NYSPHSAA website is a well-done video peek at Fayetteville-Manlius, a multi-time national championship winner.

   Chris Watson handled the interviews and production, getting lots of good insight from runners, coach Bill Aris and AD Scott Sugar.

   If you're not familiar with Captains Club, which is headed up by the NYSPHSAA's Kristen Jadin, you can check out previous topics on the YouTube channel.

   Impending milestone alert: Marion girls soccer star Chloe DeLyser is within striking distance of career goal No. 300 heading into games Monday at Mynderse and Tuesday at Red Creek.

   DeLyser, the 2018 Gatorade state player of the year, scored seven goals Wednesday during an 11-0 victory over Sodus to raise her totals to 36 for the season and 296 for her six-year varsity career.

   That puts her 20 goals away from matching the national career record of 316 goals.

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