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Friday, June 6, 2014: Royals draft B'ville's Blewett in second round

   Leading off today: The Kansas City Royals selected Scott Blewett in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft, making the Baldwinsville pitcher the only New York senior taken in the first 10 rounds through Friday afternoon.

   Blewett, a 6-foot-5 right-hander who threw only 30 innings (striking out 54 batters) this spring due to minor injuries, got the call late Thursday night. He was the 56th pick overall in the draft, which concludes Saturday.

   Shortly after the announcement, Blewett tweeted: "So blessed to be picked by the Royals and to be a part of their organization. Thank you to all my friends and family for believing in me!"

   Blewett had previously committed to attend St. John's in the fall, but the fact he was taken with a high pick signals that the Royals expect to be able to sign him this month.

   Following up: I mentioned recently that Lake Shore senior T.J. Hornberger ran the 1,600 meters in 4:12.77 to erase a Section 6 record that had been set in 1987. In this morning's Buffalo News, columnist Jerry Sullivan caught up with the previous record-holder, Charlie Kern, who was happy to see his time finally eclipsed.

   "I broke a record that had lasted three years," he said. "So I never would have imagined it (would last so long). I had a great group of guys to compete with. They wanted that title as much as I did, and it made everybody better."

   Kern has had an interesting life since leaving high school and credits many of his joys in life to sports.

   "Running is the most transformative thing I've ever done," Kern said. "Just about everything connects back to running. My parents didn't really have money, so it was my ticket out, my opportunity to earn a college education."

   Running got him to Kentucky, where Kern had a solid career and met his wife, an Illinois girl. That led to him moving to Elmhurst, Ill., where Kern became an assistant coach at York Community High, giving him a chance to learn from Joe Newton, one of the most highly regarded high school distance coaches in the country.

   He's now a freelance running coach and competes from time to time at the masters level while teaching high school sociology, world history and philosophy -- which Sullivan notes is probably an appropriate fit for someone immersed in such a cerebral sport.

   "As a distance runner, it's you and your brain that you're carrying around, so you have a lot of time interacting with your brain, thinking about the future and what's happening," Kern said. "You have to be patient. You have to persevere."

   More on milers: Thursday was the 50th anniversary of Jim Ryun becoming the first U.S. schoolboy to run a four-minute mile. We darn near had another to add to the very short list on Thursday as Garrett O'Toole ran the nation's best time this spring and the No. 14 mark ever with a 4:01.89 effort in

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    the elite race at the Adrian Martinez Classic in Concord, Mass.

       O'Toole is unable to run in the state meet this weekend since he attends The Middlesex School, a non-member private school, so the senior signed up for the race that included Olympic 1,500-meter silver medalist Leo Manzano. He finished sixth of 13 runners, and the top four all went sub-four.

       O'Toole's bid to be the sixth high school runner in the sub-four club will continue June 14 at the Adidas Grand Prix on in New York City.

       Sec. 5 ADs stepping down: Mike Monacelli, who retired as the football coach in 2010 after 186 wins and four state championships, will step down as AD at Caledonia-Mumford at the end of the month, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.

       At Brockport, Chris Bourne, an East Rochester graduate who learned at the side of Don Quinn as a young athlete, will retire and be replaced by Todd Hagreen, son of former Greece Athena football coach Don Hagreen.

       "I still see him and play golf with him to this day," Bourne said of Quinn. "When I was in school, he was funny, very popular and very successful. Those were the qualities I aspired to have."

       The paper also reported that veteran coaches Steve Zaffuto Brockport golf), Mark Hoyt (Brighton) and Jim Johnson (Greece Athena boys basketball) are all leaving teaching, though Hoyt and Johnson expect to continue coaching.

       Hoyt has coached a fall, winter and spring sport for 45 straight years. "I can't go from doing the 12- to 14-hour days to doing nothing," he said.

       Johnson became an author and motivational speaker in the aftermath of the amazing J-Mac story. He'll continue down that path, but basketball will remain a big part of his immediate future since Athena, coming off consecutive Section 5 championships, is expected to contend for a state Class AA title next winter.

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