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Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014: Capobianco repeats as player of the year

   Leading off today: The quarterbacks of two championship teams have been selected players of the year in the large-school classes by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   Senior Joe Capobianco, who led Lawrence to the Long Island Division III championship, was named player of the year in Class A for the second consecutive season.

   Sophomore Jake Zembiec, who led Aquinas to a 13-0 record and a New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship, was named the player of the year in Class AA. Zembiec threw for 1,932 yards and 26 touchdowns in becoming the first sophomore to be selected All-Greater Rochester player of the year. He is the third Aquinas player in four years to be chosen a state player of the year. (See: Democrat and Chronicle story)

   Capobianco is the first two-time state POY since quarterbacks Zack Sopak (Southwestern) and Chris Secky (Maple Grove) each repeated in 2009. He finished the 2013 season with 2,967 yards passing and 33 touchdowns en route to becoming the only quarterback in Long Island history to throw for 100 career TDs.

   Capobianco is joined on the Class A first team by Lawrence junior Jordan Fredericks, selected as an all-purpose player. Also representing Aquinas on the Class AA first team is senior linebacker Charlie Rist.

   The all-state teams in Classes B, C and D were announced last week.

   A few links related to the all-state football team announcement:

2013 Class AA all-state team
2013 Class A all-state team
2013 Class B all-state team
2013 Class C all-state team
2013 Class D all-state team
Recent NYSSWA players of the year
All-state teams, 2000-12
Final 2013 AA-A state rankings
Final 2013 B-C-D state rankings

   As always, a big shout-out goes to the NYSSWA's Steve Grandin, who spends many hours each year editing the all-state teams for football and boys basketball with the help of a great network of sources throughout New York.

   Last-minute plea: One of the teams in Utica Notre Dame's boys basketball tournament this Saturday and Sunday had to back out, leaving the Jugglers scrambling for a replacement.

   If there's a team with two openings on its schedule -- admittedly unlikely at this juncture -- ND says it can help with hotel arrangements and assist with some meals.

   Contact the school at (315) 724-5118 for more information.

   Hockey showdown: Anthony Thurston scored two goals and Connor Hynes set up two and scored the game-winner as No. 1 Irondequoit defeated Aquinas 5-2 in a battle of the state's two top-ranked Division II boys hockey teams Monday.

   Thurston and Hynes worked together on the first goal, a Thurston tally just 51 seconds into the contest. When Matthew Comanzo scored his 11th goal, at 6:37, the Eagles led 2-0.

   "The energy was just through the roof," Thurston told the Democrat and Chronicle.

   The Little Irish fought back to a 2-2 tie in the third period, but Hynes scored from the left circle less than a minute later and Louis Cup connected another 31 seconds after

  
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that.

   Suffolk may add tourney: Section 11 will likely conduct an annual dual-meet wrestling championship beginning next season, similar to what neighboring Nassau County has held since 1979. Four other sections also hold dual-meet championships.

   "The motion to add a dual-meet championship passed the tournament committee vote with more than 90 percent of the coaches voting in favor of the proposal," Bob Panariello, the Suffolk wrestling chairman, told Newsday. "We're awaiting the approval of the executive council of Section 11."

   Suffolk's proposal is for a 16-team event before the seven individual league championships. The top two teams in each of the leagues and two at-large teams, selected by a seeding committee, would qualify.

   "Every league has its rivalries and we'll see teams go at it that have never wrestled before," East Islip coach Guy Leggio said. "It's a sport all about the passion and the intensity. It's always personal."

   Care to help? We ended publication of the New York State Sportswriters Association newsletter in the summer of 2012. Most of the membership fee up until then went toward the 46-50 newsletters per year, but what was left after printing and postage helped defray other expenses.

   Now, online ads cover the expense of providing rankings, news and reference material to readers of NewYorkSportswriters.org and its related sites such as RoadToSyracuse.com, which has allowed us to drop the membership fee.

   If you enjoy our content and feel inclined to help, we do maintain a page that allows contributions via PayPal transfers and encourage you to check it out.


  
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