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Saturday, May 3, 2014: Double blow for No. 1 New Hartford

   Leading off today: Life at the top isn't so peachy these days for the New Hartford baseball team, ranked No. 1 in Class A by the NYSSWA this week.

   In the span of less than an hour Thursday, Spartans coach John Randall learned he'd lost shortstop/pitcher Zack Kesterson to a possible season-ending arm injury and senior catcher Connor Manderson to mononucleosis.

   "We're certainly not in the same situation we were in three days ago,” Randall told The Observer-Dispatch. "We're not going to replace either one of those guys, but no one is ready to pack it in."

   Randall is awaiting news on Kesterson's injury, but he fears the junior with the 2-0 record and 45 strikeouts in 23 innings is out for the season. He threw 92 pitches in eight innings during a 1-0 win over Rome Free Academy in 10 innings Monday, striking out 16 before telling Randall he felt some "discomfort" in his throwing arm, the paper reported.

   Manderson, a four-year starter and third-year captain, missed two games with tonsillitis and has since been diagnosed with mononucleosis. Randall doesn't expect his clean-up hitter back until the final weekend of the regular season.

   Milestone: Mike Chiapparelli earned career win No. 500 with Mamaroneck's 12-0 baseball victory at Mount Vernon on Friday. Junior lefty Kumar Nambiar allowed just the one hit over six innings and walked none, while striking out 12.

   Chiapparelli is 500-213 in 30 seasons.

   Following up: John S. Burke Catholic principal John Dolan isn't expected to respond to a complaint filed by five local schools alleging the boys basketball team inappropriately recruited players until next week, The Times Herald-Record reported.

   Dolan declined comment Friday, stating that he had not seen an eight-page report that includes 10 specific allegations of recruiting, the paper reported. Assistant coach Bobby Rahn is mentioned in nine of the allegations summarized in a law firm's report following an investigation initiated by Middletown superintendent Ken Eastwood and four other districts.

   According to the law firm's report, Rahn used his AAU team to recruit players. Section 9 will investigate the claims in the report, although no timetable has been set.

   Expanding his horizons: The Journal News reported that Iona Prep junior basketball standout Matt Ryan, who recently was offered by Marquette, may depart for a prep

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   If that turns out to be the case, he might want to consult with Thomas Bryant's travel agent.

   Bryant was a freshman and sophomore standout at Bishop Kearney in Rochester before leaving last summer for Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, where he averaged 14.1 points and 13.1 rebounds. MaxPreps reported this week that Bryant, one of the top 10 recruits in the Class of 2015, could end up making a pair of basketball-related trips to Dubai this summer.

   The 6-foot-9 forward's first journey to the Middle East will take place next month on a tour with Huntington Prep to help prepare the city for the FIBA U17 World Championship in August. In July, Bryant will head to Colorado Springs, Colo., for USA Basketball's U17 training camp. If he makes the cut -- and he helped the U16 squad win a gold medal at the FIBA Americas competition in Uruguay last year -- Bryant will represent the U.S. at the U17 tourney.

   "I never thought I would be traveling around the country, let alone the whole world," Bryant told MaxPreps. "Going down to South America and Uruguay and winning a gold medal, I never thought that would happen. I'm blessed and I'm proud of myself for getting this far."

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