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Thursday, April 23, 2020: Boys basketball all-state team, large schools

   Leading off today: Long Island Lutheran point guard Andre Curbelo has repeated as the boys Class AA basketball player of the year, the New York State Sportswriters Association announced Wednesday. Curbelo shares the honor with Archbishop Stepinac senior guard R.J. Davis.

   The Class A player of the year is Albany Academy wing Andre Jackson.

   The NYSSWA also released its all-state selections for Classes AA and A.

   Curbelo and Davis are repeat selections to the 'AA' first team as is Jackson in Class A.

   Curbelo, who shared player of the year honors in 2019 with Cardinal Hayes guard Joe Toussaint, is joined on the first team by teammate Zed Key. The rest of the Class AA first team consists of Jordan Riley (Brentwood), Randy Crosby (Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School), Khalil Brantley (Boys & Girls), and Luis Kortright (St. Raymond).

   The rest of the Class A first team consists of JaVaughn Jones (Buffalo Health Sciences), Dior Davis (Murry Bergtraum), Jeremy Moranta (Transit Tech), Andre Snoddy (St. Anthony's), and Dwayne Vass (Canisius).

   Curbelo has signed with Illinois and Jackson picked UConn. Davis, previous selected the state player of the year this season by Gatorade and Mr. Basketball by the the Basketball Coaches Association of New York, has committed to North Carolina.

   The NYSSWA released its small-school selections for the all-state team last week.

   Thanks to our helpers: Our appreciation goes out to the NYSSWA's Steve Grandin for once again editing the all-state team after also filling in during the season in compiling the weekly rankings.

   Assisting in the compilation of the all-state team were: Ted Thomas (Long Island), Mike Libert (New York City), Josh Thomson (Westchester), Stephen Haynes (Poughkeepsie), Sal Interdonato (Middletown), Jim Schiltz (Schenectady), Will Springstead (Glens Falls), Keith Lobdell (Elizabethtown), Bill Merna (Ogdensburg), Dave Shea (Ogdensburg), Cap Carey (Watertown), Phil Sanzo (Watertown), Nolan Weidner (Syracuse), Pat Spadafore (Syracuse), Marquel Slaughter (Utica), Tom Vartanian (Cortland), Jared Bomba (Oneonta), Nate Lull (Sidney), Kevin Stevens (Binghamton), Andrew Legare (Elmira), James Johnson (Rochester), Paul Gotham (Rochester), Bob Chavez (Canandaigua), Chris Metcalf (Batavia), Bill Collmer (Avoca), Chad Andrews (Buffalo) and Dave Universal (Buffalo).

   Rough road ahead: Newsday was first of the date with reporting on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on school sports budgets for the 2020-21 school year. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement on Monday that districts across New York could be looking at a 20% cut in state aid is very bad news.

   Any reduction in state aid has implications for athletic departments and other extra-curricular activities, but 20% has the potential to trigger this scenario repeatedly across the state:

  • The school board does its best to contain costs but still proposes a 10-20% increase in school taxes.
  • Voters reject the budget in the annual vote.
  • A new budget is sent to the voters, this team with the increase in the 8-15% range.
  • The budget is rejected a second time, forcing the district to go with an austerity bedget that does not include funding for sports.
   That would leave it to the community to raise funds for sports and other extra-curriculars at a time when the local unemployment rate will still likely still be in double-digits and numerous restaurants and other small businesses that traditionally supported sports programs have ceased operating.


   "We have had hundreds of student-athletes over the past several years make their way to college through athletic scholarships, and to have that opportunity taken from them would be a travesty," said James Montalto, a spokesman for the William Floyd School District. "Our graduating seniors are already missing out on so many experiences and opportunities. It would be a pity for this pandemic to continue to be felt by students for years to come."

   Softball HOF class announced: The New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports recently announced the honorees for its 10th New York State High School Softball Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

   The ceremony is scheduled for May 1, 2021, at the Mudville softball complex.

   Those being honored are:

   Section 1: Joan Spedafino, Rye Neck (coach/contributor).

   Section 2: Don Arceneaux, Mechanicville (coach/contributor).

   Section 3: Alicia Hansen, Liverpool shortstop, Class of 2015.

   Section 4: Bridget Baxter, Binghamton infielder/pitcher, Class of 1993; Cindy Bostelman, Afton (coach/contributor); Shelly Burrell, Owego shortstop, Class of 1997); Steve Weber, Elmira Notre Dame (coach/contributor); Nicole Osovski, Maine-Endwell pitcher, Class of 2009; Kristen Waldron, Windsor catcher, Class of 2009.

   Section 5: Brandice Balschmiter, Newark pitcher, Class of 2004.

   Section 8: Kim Zagajeski, Hicksville pitcher, Class of 1987.

   Section 11: Erika Sullivan, Bay Shore pitcher, Class of 2007; Courtney Syrett, Bay Shore catcher, Class of 2013.

   CHSAA: Krista King, Kellenberg infielder, Class of 2014.

   Extra points: Veterean Kenmore East boys soccer coach Rolfe Freidenberg is stepping down in order to spend more time watching his children play sports. Freidenberg coaches for 17 seasons, including the last 13 as the head coach.

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  • 5/27: Football gets approval to add a game
  • 4/29: Officials turning focus toward the fall
  • 4/23: Boys all-state basketball (large schools)
  • 4/22: Westhill hoops star dies in crash
  • 4/16: Boys all-state basketball (small schools)
  • 4/8: LuHi girls coach Slater steps down
  • 3/24: NYSPHSAA ends winter sports season
  • 3/18: Davis, Poole capture BCANY honors
  • 3/18: Weekly NYC boys basketball recap
  • 3/13: Dutchess Co. teams idle until April 30
  • 3/12: A day unlike any other in H.S. sports
  • 3/11: Coronavirus hits hockey, hoops plans
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