Leading off today:
Shakur Rasheed made the most out of a very short season.
Slowed by arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a meniscus and then nearly derailed by a torn labrum in his league tournament, the Longwood senior carried a modest 15-0 record into the NYSPHSAA wrestling tournament in Albany this weekend.
Wrestling in front of his future college coach, Cael Sanderson of Penn State, Rasheed walked away with his second state championship. He dominated Columbia's Angelo Kress 13-0 in the 160-pound championship match to cap a painful season with the Division I most outstanding wrestler award.
"We joked at my house that I didn't want to be Boobie Miles from 'Friday Night Lights,' who's promising athletic career ended with a knee injury," Rasheed told Newsday. "This is a tough sport for tough guys. And you have to work through some injuries. This has been a difficult season but I got through it."
Rasheed was one of six individual champs from Section 11 as Suffolk County matched Sections 4, 5 and 8 for most trips to the top of the podium in the two-day meet. Among the other Section 11 champs was Ward Melville's Nick Piccininni, who earned his third straight state title by beating East Islip's Jesse Dellavecchia for the Division I 120-pound title. In doing so, Piccininni ran his winning streak to 133 matches.
Longwood, Norwich and Hilton each produced a pair of champions.
One of Norwich's two champs was Tristan Rifanburg, not a stranger to the land of state titles -- just an infrequent visitor who keeps on battling.
Rifanburg's Division II 138-pound championship was his first title since 2010, when he became the state's first seventh-grader to win it all. He was a runner-up the past twice in the past three seasons and decisioned Central Valley Academy's Laken Cook 7-1 in Saturday's final.
"It (took) four years, but it's awesome," he told the Press & Sun-Bulletin. "I've been training all year for this moment."
In the semifinals, Rifanburg avenged his only loss of the season when he beat Locust Valley's Sam Ward 5-0.
Hilton brothers Vincent (145 pounds), Anthony (152) and Louie Deprez (138) placed first, second and third, respectively in Division I. The Cadets' other victor was freshman Yianni Diakomihalis, who scored an 11-2 decision over Peter Pappas of Plainview JFK in the Division I final at 106 pounds. It ran Diakomihalis' record over the past two seasons to 94-0.