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Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013: NYSSWA announces all-state football selections

   Leading off today: Three running backs, a quarterback and an offensive lineman earned player of the year honors Wednesday as the New York State Sportswriters Association announced its 2012 all-state football teams in Classes B, C and D.

   In Class B, running back Nick Sorrenti shares the honor with Maine-Endwell teammate Jake Haddock, an offensive lineman. In Class C, the co-recipients are Hoosick Falls QB Billy Pine and teammate Brad Burns, a running back.

   The Class D player of the year is Randolph RB Jordan Dowiasz. All five of the players of the year are seniors.

   The NYSSWA made a slight modification this season, cutting back Classes B and D to three and two teams respectively to reflect a more realistic distribution of schools and players, but adding honorable mentions across the board. The selections for player of the year and all-state teams in Classes A and B will be announced Jan. 9.

   And, once again, thanks goes out to the NYSSWA's Steve Grandin, who edited the all-state team with help from numerous reporters, league officials and coaches across the state.

   A few links related to the all-state football team announcement:
2012 Class B all-state team
2012 Class C all-state team
2012 Class D all-state team
Recent NYSSWA players of the year
Final 2012 B-C-D state rankings

   Rankings progress: The first team wrestling rankings of the season have been released by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Wantagh (large schools) and Midlakes (small) open the season in the No. 1 spots. The full rankings can be viewed here.

   Speaking of wrestling: I am not a huge fan of consolidated sports programs, the mechanism that allows two or more schools to join forces in one or more sports. Though the option to merge gives schools the chance to continue in a sport while rebuilding their feeder system and eventually go back to fielding single-school squads -- a sensible goal -- the truth is these are too frequently moves of desperation that are not accompanied by a sound plan for the long haul.

   What's happening in Greece this season is a textbook case of a consolidation that can be both loved and hated in the same conversation.

   The four Greece Central School District high schools -- Athena (959), Arcadia (800), Olympia (743) and Odyssey (348) -- have a combined BEDS number of 2,850, which is a pretty healthy number. So, right off the bat, it's fair to ask why they're rolled up into one team instead of being split in two as the district has done for many years in ice hockey.

   Olympia has placed six wrestlers on the NYSPHSAA championships awards podium in the last seven years, but that team has now been uprooted to practice and compete at Arcadia. Athena, Odyssey and Arcadia, were a

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consolidated team last year and have produced a combined seven state-meet place-winners from 1976 to 2007 but none since.

   If this experiment nurses the other three schools' programs back to health, then that's great. Frankly, though, it seems to have at least as much a chance of negatively affecting Olympia.

   The Marrone watch: Syracuse University football coach Doug Marrone's name has been mentioned in connection with several of the seven NFL jobs that opened on Monday. There's chatter from critics that a 25-25 record and two wins in the Pinstripe Bowl do not merit consideration.

   Forgotten there, of course, is that Marrone inherited one of the 10 worst major-college programs in the country and that he has six years of experience of the staffs of the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints.

   He wouldn't be No. 1 on my NFL wish list, but with so many jobs open at the same time, very few teams are going to land their No. 1 candidate this month. With Syracuse's impending move to the ACC likely to make for a rough adjustment, now is as good a time as any for Marrone to make his move.

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