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Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020: All-state football selections for small schools

   Leading off today: Two juniors and three seniors have earned player of the year recognition today as part of the small-school all-state football teams announced by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   The players of the year are:

  • Class B: Chenango Forks junior running back Lucas Scott.
  • Class C: Susquehanna Valley junior back Logan Haskell.
  • Class D: Clymer/Sherman/Panama seniors Cameron Barmore, a receiver, and Gerrit Hinsdale, the quarterback.
  • Eight-man: Oakfield-Alabama/Elba quarterback Colton Dillon.
   Scott completed his season with 305 yards on the ground and three touchdowns as the Blue Devils defeated Schuylerville 38-14 in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B championship game in Syracuse.

   Scott, the runner-up at 220 pounds in the 2019 state Division I wrestling tournament, finished his junior season with 2,668 yards in helping Chenango Forks to its sixth state crown in the sport and fourth in the past seven seasons.

   Haskell was a thorn in the side of opponents as both a quarterback and running back. Besides throwing for more than 1,000 yards in the 2019 season, the Susquehanna Valley star rushed for 1,981 yards.

   In the state final vs. Gouverneur, Haskell rushed for 199 yards. A week earlier, he threw for 148 yards and rushed for 185 in a semifinal win vs. Southwestern.

   Barmore and Hinsdale formed an unstoppable combination in the state title run by Clymer/Sherman/Panama.

   Barmore caught 43 passes for 844 yards and 13 touchdowns in addition to work on defense that included 55 solos tackles, 35 assists, 37 tackles for loss and 11 quarterback sacks. Hinsdale completed 113 of 210 attempts for 1,888 yards and 28 touchdowns.

   Oakfield-Alabama/Elba's Colton is the NYSSWA's first overall player of the year in eight-man football. He capped the team' perfect season with a huge performance in the Section 5 championship game by rushing nine times for 288 yards. His effort included TD rushes 50, 79, 27, 55 and 57 yards.

   Here are links to the all-state teams and additional information:

   • 2019 Class B all-state team
   • 2019 Class C all-state team
   • 2019 Class D all-state team
   • 2019 eight-man all-state team
   • Recent NYSSWA players of the year
   • All-state teams, 1999-2019
   • Final 2019 B-C-D and eight-man state rankings

   The NYSSWA will announce its Class AA and A all-state teams next Wednesday.

   Following up: Yesterday's blog mentioned the Section 6 decision to revert to league play in football in the 2020 season, ending federation-style scheduling based on programs' playoff classification.

   Buffalo's city schools officials were largely opposed to the change, and The Buffalo News reported Wednesday that they seem to have company. Athletic directors Steve Anastasia of Olean and Mike Sarratori of Dunkirk are concerned about being the only two Class B schools in a small-school league.

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   Under the new points system that will determine sectional tournament berths, playing smaller schools could potentially mean fewer seeding points. In addition, they raise the point that teams will be shopping for wins as they fill out their schedules with non-league games that previously did not factor into postseason qualification or seeding.

   "We're going to have to have to play 'C' and 'D' schools and we don't feel that prepares us for the playoffs," Anastasia said. "We don't know who's doing the scheduling (for the

  
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league, yet). Non-league games matter more in the points system. There could be a disadvantage based on points for seeding the playoffs."

   Said Sarratori: "I would prefer to play 'B' or 'A' schools for the sake of getting our kids ready for the big schools if we make the playoffs."

   Interesting read: Jim Vermeulen of West Genesee writes an occasional column for Milesplit.com on cross country and track and field, dealing largely in big-picture topics and coaching approaches.

   His most recent post opens with a great quote from Steve Magness in "The Science of Writing." In it, Magness opines that "We overemphasize the importance of what we can measure and what we already know, ignoring that which we cannot measure and know little about."

   Vermeulen uses it as a segue into his obser- vation that preparation matters, but athletes are more or less on their own once the gun goes off.

   "With the possible except of thoughts to achieve for teammates, to the racer absorbed in the work, completely attuned to that momentary unity of mind and body, all our background noise is just a distraction," he writes. "Better for the rest of us to stand quietly and enjoy watching effort, hoping that effort is also personal excellence. We do know, of course, that it scares some athletes to be so utterly responsible for their preparations and then their race actions. Maybe those are the only ones we really need to cheer for."

   Being out there on their own amounts to a valuable learning experience for athletes uncertain of their status, as noted by author Robert Pirsig when he wrote: "You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in."

   Adds Vermeulen: "In the best possible circumstances, you strive harder when uncertain. So, if you coach an athlete who professes to know exactly what he or she is and wants and can do -- or if you encounter parents who believe they have successfully mapped out their athlete's young life -- there is usually trouble ahead. Nobody's that good."


  
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