Leading off today:
This could be the start of something good if you're a fan of high school football in Western New York.
Section 6 already has a tradition of concluding its season at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Now, that's where the season will also start, as The Buffalo News reported that a season-opening tripleheader is stated in the NFL stadium for Sept. 5.
The Kick-Off Classic tripleheader begins at 4 p.m. with Buffalo's Hutch-Tech facing South Park, followed at 6:30 by Lockport vs. Lancaster and then a 9 p.m. tilt between Iroquois and West Seneca East.
"This is a great chance for us to get exposure for our kids and our area," Ken Stoldt, the Section 6 football chairman, told the paper.
Stoldt envisions future editions growing into two-day events, perhaps involving teams from Section 3 and/or the Monsignor Martin Association. He said talks with Section 3 began in April but details could not be finalized in time. Similarly, Monsignor Martin teams were already locked into schedules before the Kick-Off Classic debut could be firmed up.
There has been talk of a similar undertaking in Section 5 in recent years, but availability of Sahlen's Stadium has been a consistent stumbling block.
"Syracuse definitely wants to be a part of this," Stoldt said. "We're opening this to this whole end of the state. If someone out of Rochester wants to come up and we can accommodate them, we'll accommodate them. We just want to get exposure for this end of the state."
On the move: Jobs and high school basketball players with remaining eligibility and huge potential continue to be New York's biggest exports.
The latest player on the move is rising junior Howard Washington. Rivals.com reported Friday that the Monsignor Martin co-player of the year from Canisius will take his game to Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla. The 6-foot-2 guard, who averaged 15 points and 5.5 assists last season, was a third-team all-state selection in Class A.
The Buffalo News reports Washington already holds scholarship offers from Boston College, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia and a slew of mid-majors. He is expected to represent Canada in the FIBA U17 World Championships.
More coming and going: Ciro Frontale, 50, has been named the new AD at Syracuse Institute of Technology to replace Rick Spicer, who moved over to similar responsibilities at the combined Henninger and Nottingham high school programs.
Spicer replaces Ari Liberman, who was hired in the spring to replace George Mangicaro, who retired from Liverpool.
Also in Section 3, Jen Smarrelli is replacing the retired Matt Whipple as Westhill's AD. Smarrelli, who was previously a physical education teacher and dean in the North Syracuse Schools, will also work as an assistant principal at Onondaga Road Middle School.
Seventh-year coach Tyler Slather has opted to step down after directing Rye Neck to the NYSPHSAA Class B baseball championship game. This year's Section 1 title was the team's first under Slather.
Veteran Sherburne-Earlville assistant Jeff Nekton is Oxford's new football coach.
Passings: Rodney Mac, a two-year starting QB a decade ago, died last week. Mac, 27, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January shortly after completing training to become a fire fighter. He also acted in three films.
Don McIntyre, a three-sport star who went on to coach numerous league and sectional girls track and field champions at Valley Stream Central from 1977-88, died last week in Queensbury at the age of 87.
Respectfully disagree: Regular readers of this blog know that I frequently link to MaxPreps content, reflective of the fact that they publish some of the country's most newsworthy and informative material on high school sports.
Having said that, I have to point out a flaw that calls into question the results of their annual MaxPreps Cup standings, which is intended to recognize the best overall sports program in the country.
MaxPreps Cup rankings credit schools with points for finishing first or second at the state level, with certain other factors considered. For instance, champions in larger-school classes get additional points, titles in big states are