Leading off today:
I swear I'm not going to try to read too much into this, because comparing high school and college football in this particular context is like comparing New Kids on the Block with U2.
Having said that, I think Section 3 just flipped the bird at ESPN and several college football conferences and schools. Trust me when I say it will have no monetary impact on the big boys, but it feels as though there's a certain tone behind the decision of the Section 3 football committee to team with Time Warner Cable Sports to show seven Thursday night contests among more than 20 live game telecasts in the upcoming season.
ESPN and a number of conferences long ago carved out the Thursday night telecast niche long ago, which was fine as far as most high school football enthusiasts were concerned. The more recent phenomenon, however, of broadcasting college games on Friday nights during the heart of the scholastic season does intrude on what had previously been high school turf. Syracuse University, in what can been characterized as nothing less than a shameless money grab, has lined up two such telecasts this fall -- both home games that will affect area high school attendance and media coverage substantially those nights. (Read my spring rant on the subject.)
I doubt a Thursday high school game on TWC's Central New York outlets can attract much more of an audience than Charlie Sheen at a Promise Keepers fundraiser, but every person watching Section 3 action those nights is one less watching the colleges on ESPN. If it ends up knocking down the cost of a 30-second local ad on the four-letter network from $250 to $245 over the long haul, well so be it.
Anyway, Section 3 Executive Director John Rathbun told The Post-Standard he does not feel threatened by Friday night NCAA games but thinks the Thursday high school games -- which will not be up against other local high school football games -- will promote the sport in Central New York.
“It will be a golden opportunity to showcase the community and school,” Rathbun said. “I think it’s pretty cool.”
You can view the whole Syracuse-area TV schedule here.
All-state softball: Niagara-Wheatfield senior shortstop Caitlin Attfield is the state Class AA player of the year in softball, the New York State Sportswriters And Coaches Organization For Girls Sports announced this weekend.
Joining her as players of the year are Sayville senior pitcher Merissa Selts in Class A; co-recipients Jessica Calvini (Rye Neck) and Kayla Doty (Chatham), both pitchers, in B; co-recipients Dani Degregory (Greenwich-2) and Alysa Russell (Mechanicville-2), both shortstops, in C; and Batavia Notre Dame senior pitcher Carly Pike in D.
The full list of all-stars and coaches of the year in all five classes can be seen here.
Baseball status: NYSSWA baseball editor Tom Vartanian is close to finishing up the all-state team for the just-completed season.
If you have players you think are worthy of consideration and believe they may escaped notice of the local consultants who've helped compile rankings during the season, shoot Tom an e-mail. We're particularly light on candidates from Sections 1, 2 and 10 at the moment, though all input is welcomed.
Farrell coaching update: Veterans Mike Proffitt and John Sexton have been named co-head coaches for the Monsignor Farrell track and field and cross country