Leading off today:
Up is down as the 2012 high school football regular season kicks off tomorrow.
Two teams that reached the top in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association playoffs by winning championships a year ago are favorites to hoist trophies once again in the Carrier Dome -- but they'll be trying to do so in lower classes.
Lower enrollment numbers have dropped Maine-Endwell from Class A to B, where it will debut Sunday in the Carrier Dome vs. Marcellus. And three-time reigning Class B champion Hornell carries its 39-game winning streak into Class C competition beginning Friday at Bishop Kearney.
Section 5 Hall of Fame coach Gene Mastin retired with 240 career wins after the Red Raiders' third championship, and veteran assistant Erik Werner takes over. Graduation losses, including three-year QB Dom Scavo, were severe, but the Red Raiders look loaded again.
At Maine-Endwell, memories of the Spartans' rally to beat Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in the final linger -- as does the heart of the 2011 roster.
“We’ve talked about the fact that what the program did last year was something special, they should enjoy and cherish it and feel good about it,” coach Matt Gallagher said. “But at the same time our goal from Day 1 is to win this year. We’re not defending a state championship; our focus is on winning in 2012.”
Site updates: I still have some fine-tuning to do, but much of the updating has been done on RoadToSyracuse.com, which is where we present much of our football news and information.
Among the additions from the last few days is the week-by-week schedule for every team in the state. You can find it here.
Elsewhere, our most valuable reference document has been updated. The NYSSWA's Steve Grandin compiles the list of all past NYSPHSAA champions in all the team sports. It's an essential resource throughout the year.
The list grows by one: Canisius offensive lineman Ryan Hunter has committed to Bowling Green of the Mid-American Conference, making him the 11th member of the Class of 2013 to firm up major-college plans.
The full list is on the RoadToSyracuse.com home page.
Moving out: A veteran head coach is done at one school and starting at another. Bill Tribou and the Chappaqua Central School District released a joint statement saying he has resigned as a teacher and coach effective tomorrow after more than 25 years in the district, The Journal News reported.
The statement does not disclose what led to Tribou’s suspension as a teacher last spring. It said the district and Tribou will not comment further.
Tribou has already lined up his new gig, joining Frank Bucci’s staff as Peekskill as an assistant.
Closing in: Baldwinsville football coach Carl Sanfilippo is closing in on his father's mark for career victories.
The Post-Standard lists Sanfilippo, entering his 36th season at B'ville, with 167 career wins and tied with his father, who retired in 1982 after 38 years at Salamanca and Jamestown. NYSSWA records show Joe Sanfilippo with a 170-166 lead, but that doesn't detract from their combined accomplishments.
Joe Sanfilippo may be in attendance when the Bees open at Cicero-North Syracuse on Friday. He remains very interested in the sport.
“Every time I leave, I leave with a napkin with a play drawn on it,” Carl Sanfilippo told the paper.
Familiar face at the helm: The second-winningest coach in state history is about to begin his 59th season in charge of the sideline at St. Francis Prep in the CHSFL. The legendary Vin O'Connor is 81 years old and not