Leading off today:
A two-time all-state boys basketball player finishing up his senior year at Westhill High School dies early Wednesday in a rollover crash in the Town of Geddes.
Zechariah Brown, 18, died when the vehicle he was driving rolled over on Route 695, according to Sgt. Jon Seeber,Onondaga County Sheriff's Office spokesman. Although weather appears to have contributed to the crash, the cause remains under investigation, Seeber said.
Brown, a senior, was named to the New York State Sportswriters Association all-state team last week. He scored 1,293 career points and was a member of Westhill's NYSPHSAA Class B championship team.
LuHi announces new coach: Former Long island Lutheran standout Christina Raiti is set to take over head coaching duties following the resignation of Rich Slater last week, Newsday reported.
Raiti, 26, spent the past four seasons as an assistant at LuHi.
"I already have a relationship with some of the girls," Raiti said. "Probably one of the tougher parts is going to be changing that role. But we have a great group of kids, so I couldn't ask for a better group to step into."
Raiti played on the Crusaders' first New York State Federation championship team in 2011. The four-year starter went on to play at Trinity College in Connecticut.
Slater stepped down recently with a 234-58 record and four Federation championships in 12 seasons. LuHi was 22-1 this season.
Sections 8, 11 call off spring season: Any chance of a spring sports season at Long Island public high schools ended Tuesday when administrators for Sections 8 and 11 announced the cancellation of the spring season amid concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This pandemic is bigger than high school sports. Our primary concern is our students and our communities," said Pat Pizzarelli, executive director of Section 8. "We're the second-most prevalent area in the state with the COVID-19 infection, according to the governor. ... Even if there was a miracle, how are we expected to play sports and practice social distancing? It's not possible. We need to protect our kids."
Administrators in both counties met this week and concluded that even a shorter, modified season wasn't possible.
"I feel terrible for our seniors, as we all do," Jericho Superintendent Hank Grishman said. "Kids are missing out on so many levels, so many activities, and we all remember our last season of sports in our senior year. That last season is so significant in saying goodbye to your high school. We knew probably two weeks ago that we didn't have a choice. We held off as long as we possibly could. It's the right decision, yet a very painful one."
Said Tom Combs, executive director of Section 11: "The 33 members of our Athletic Council present at the meeting voted unanimously that this was the responsible thing to do."
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week extended the shutdown of schools through at least May 15.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association is expected to make an announcement regarding the spring season on Monday based on feedback from the leadership of the 11 member sections.
Long Island track pioneer dies: Bob Baratta, the founder of Section 8' winter track program, died Wednesday at the age of 88.
Baratta, at one time the sectional coordinator for cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track, taught and coached at Great Neck South from 1964-1994. His cross country teams compiled a 350-34 record and the track teams went 414-38.