Leading off today:
It's time to catch up on some stuff I haven't been able to get to in the last few days ...
Tragic story detailed: USA Today reported this week on the suicide of a former New York high school football star, whose downward spiral from a promising future may have begun with a head injury sustained in a college game.
Matthew Benedict was an all-state selection in Class B for Nichols in Western New York in 2010. Playing for Middlebury College three years later, Benedict took a hard knee to the head in an October game against rival Trinity.
"It was the first time in any of my kids' lives when I said, 'Get up, Matt. Get up, Matt,'" Anne Benedict told the paper.
He did get up and went on to finish the game, making 19 tackles from his defensive back position. Within weeks, however, his family noticed changes in his personality. They described him as tense, reclusive and having difficulty sleeping and focusing.
Less than six years later, the young man took his own life at the ago of 26 by jumping from the 17th floor of a building.
"I just can't take the pain anymore," he wrote to his parents. "I don't know who I am anymore."
The Benedicts suspect their son had the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), possibly the result of multiple hard hits in football and ice hockey. The paper said they are speaking out about the importance of parents educating themselves and the need to erase the stigma that persists around mental health issues.
You can read the full story here.
Lincoln gridder honored: Abraham Lincoln running back and defensive back Israel Abanikanda has been selected Gatorade's New York football player of the year.
The 6-foot, 195-pound senior, who has committed to Pitt, rushed for 1,350 yards and 20 touchdowns on 136 carries this season. e also averaged 36.3 yards per kickoff return and made 30 tackles and two interceptions on defense.
He finished third in :11.01 in the 100 meters final for non-NYSPHSAA members at last spring's state track championships.
Sec. 6 assistant dies: Buffalo South Park volunteer football assistant coach Nate Dunbar died Thursday at the age of 46. He had suffered a heart attack last winter and had since been in a coma.
"The kids loved him," head coach Tim Delaney said. "He knew a ton of guys ... even kids who didn't know him before joining the program would get to know him and love him."
Coming home: Brianna Allen Carpenter, who pitched Aquinas to a New York State
Public High School Athletic Association championship in 2008, has been named the new softball coach at her alma mater.
Carpenter, the state Class A player of the year as a senior, most recently coached at Houghton College and was previously on the staff at Alfred University. She graduated from Niagara University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in sports management.
Weather woes: Inclement weather and concerns about preparation time forced the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference to postpone its football postseason this week.