Leading off today:
With the new school year upon us, here's a by-the-numbers view of scholastic sports in the Empire State:
Amount of sense it makes to limit members of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association to 18 regular-season basketball games by means of a ruling at the state level rather than by the choice of respective leagues or sections. (Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest; most of the rest of this feature will carry a more neutral editorial tone.)
Number of Federation tournament basketball teams that traveled less than 125 miles (one way) to participate in last March's tournament in Albany.
Number of NYSPHSAA boys basketball teams other than Mount Vernon to win a Federation championship in the large-school class since the event switched to a three-class format in 1987. Niagara Falls (2005) was the exception.
The number of 2011 NYSPHSAA football champions (Maine-Endwell and Hornell) that are dropping down a class this fall based on enrollment dips.
The number of teams ever to drop down a class between winning consecutive NYSPHSAA football championships -- Caledonia-Mumford in 1994-95 and Onondaga in 2002-03.
Number of New York athletes (Nicole Kaczmarski, Sachem basketball; Aisling Cuffe, Cornwall cross country and track) who've won three Gatorade player of the year awards. Nick Ryan of Fayetteville-Manlius can match or surpass them if he can add to the pair of awards he won in cross country and track as a junior.
New York girls cross country teams ranked in the preseason top 25 by DyeStat.com: No. 1 Fayetteville-Manlius, No. 7 Saratoga and No. 12 Holy Names.
Consecutive Kerr Cup All-Sport Championships for overall excellence at the state level by Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. The Spartans will be pursuing one for the thumb in 2012-13.
Active streak for Section 11 when it comes to crowning five or more state wrestling champions in Division I. Since the tourney was split into classes in 2004, no other section has landed more than four championships in the large-school division in a single year.
Times a New York male athlete has been selected national player of the year in his respective sport by Gatorade: Kenny Anderson (basketball, 1989), Felipe Lopez (basketball, 1994), Stephon Marbury (basketball, 1995) and Greg Paulus (football, 2004).