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Friday, Dec. 14, 2012: Braedon Gait commits to Princeton lacrosse

   Leading off today: How does one go about making a name for himself?

   Well, not going to the same school that your legendary father attended might be a pretty good start.

   Syracuse CBA junior Braedon Gait has made a verbal commitment to enroll at Princeton in 2014 to continue his lacrosse career, The Post-Standard reported this week. Gait is the son of Gary Gait, the Syracuse University women's coach who was one of the greatest players in men's history during his career at SU.

   Princeton head coach Chris Bates played alongside Gary Gait for the Philadelphia Wings in the National Lacrosse League.

   Hes always been very bright and focused on his academics," Gary Gait said of his son. "Throughout school, hes been a straight-A student. When it came down to it, he considered if he wanted to go Ivy League. He did have Syracuse on the list. It just wasnt at the top.

   Cross country stars: Arlington sophomore Bella Burda has been selected the girls cross country runner of the year on the NYSSWA all-state team.

   Slowed by a stress fracture in her left shin as a freshman, Burda put the exclamation point on her sophomore season with a victory in the Federation championships last month a week after placing second in Class A at the NYSPHSAA championships. Her time of 17:56.7 broke her own school record for the course by nearly half a minute.

   Class by class, the other runners of the year selected by NYSSWA rankings editor Dan Doherty are: senior Taylor Driscoll (Saratoga), junior Katie Lembo (Penfield), freshman Megan Reilly (Warwick) and junior-high runner Lydia Williams (Holy Names).

   The complete girls all-state team has been posted in our site's reference area.

   Sutherland junior honored: Luisa Schirmer, a junior outside hitter for Pittsford Sutherland, was named Gatorade's state player of the year in girls volleyball this week. She led the Knights to the NYSPHSAA Class A final last month in Glens Falls.

   The 6-foot-1 Schirmer finished her junior season with 588 kills, 489 digs, 114 service aces and 71 blocks.

   Milestone alert: Austin Oldfield (113 pounds), Mike Byrne (195) and Kevin Santos (285) recorded pins Wednesday as Minisink Valley beat Washingtonville 51-15 to give wrestling coach Kevin Gallagher his 300th career win.

   Gallagher is 300-85 overall, including a 229-46 mark in 13 seasons at Minisink Valley.

   All-state request: Last call for all football helpers.

   For over four decades, the NYSSWA has selected and published the New York State all-state football teams.


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So it's time to make one final request to reporters and league/sectional chairmen across the state for nominees.

   We ask that you forward to us your all-area team, as well as any all-section, all-class or all-league teams from local coaches. We would also be interested in any specific information that you might have about your local players and, in the case of all-area teams we would be interested in additional feedback on worthy Class B, C and D candidates who may have been squeezed out by players from larger schools but would still be worthy of all-state consideration. That's especially true for linemen and defensive players.

   We ask that those submitting information to the New York State Sportswriters Association take their best shot at rating players within their own class to help us determine the appropriate order. The deadline to submit nominees is Monday, and we assure reporters whose all-area teams will not appear until a later date that we will not publish in advance anything that might reveal their local selections.

   As per our tradition, the NYSSWA will announce the all-state team in early January.

   Nominations and related info should be emailed to Steve Grandin.

   Seeking hoops help: After more than two decades of compiling weekly rankings and all-state teams for girls soccer, softball and basketball (in addition to his "real" job in the newspaper business), editor

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Perry Novak has decided to dial it back a bit to spend more time with his family.

   To that end, he's looking to hand off responsibility for the NYSSWA and NYSSCOGS girls basketball rankings to another individual who's up to the task. Perry and his network of helpers have already gotten the ball rolling on the first set of rankings, which we expect to post Monday, but wants to make the transition to a new editor as soon as possible.

   Shoot me an email if you're interested in helping.

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