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Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014: Schroeder grad Holt makes late commitment to Indiana

   Leading off today: Well, that's more like it.

   A month ago, reports had recent Webster Schroeder graduate Emmitt Holt heading off to prep school to refine his basketball skills even though he had Division I offers on the table. If you'd seen him play, though, you pretty much knew the NYSSWA Class AA second-team all-state post player was already fairly polished and wouldn't stand to gain much with a post-graduate year.

   On Thursday, the Democrat and Chronicle reported Holt has done a 180 and will not be heading to Vermont Academy. Instead, he has informed the Indiana University staff he will accept the Hoosiers' one remaining scholarship following their surprise offer.

   "I think Emmitt has unlimited potential, he kept getting better and better," Schroeder coach Matt Spadoni told the paper. "He is a team player, and I think when you put him in a highly competitive environment like that it will bring even more out."

   Holt averaged 19.8 points, 14.6 rebounds and 5 blocks last season. The more he played on the spring and summer AAU circuits, the more that college coaches came calling. The list of schools offering scholarships eventually reached 25, making the plan to improve his visibility via prep school redundant.

   "I think he'll represent Section 5 well," Spadoni said. "I think he's going to surprise some people, I really do."

   Over before it started: With only 16 players on the field for Tuesday's practice, the Section 6 Class D team from Pine Valley has scrapped its upcoming varsity football season.

   "We have a number of juniors and seniors and then a lot of eighth and ninth graders on the roster," Pine Valley interim superintendent David Kurzawa said in a statement, The Observer reported. "Having those underclassmen fill a spot against players who are seniors, it's not a safe thing to do. With the limited number of students who came out, we realize if we do have injuries, which does happen, telling a ninth grader to start is not appropriate."

   Pine Valley was 0-8 last fall. The district reportedly is arranging for players to latch on with Gowanda's varsity for the upcoming season.

   Soccer is the only other fall sport for boys offered by the Pine Valley district.

   Things that make you say hmmmmm: Until a couple of days ago, I thought Section 5 had the most perplexing football scheduling nugget of the year: Caledonia-Mumford and LeRoy, who may very well have the best small-school rivalry in the entire state, are slated to meet each other in Week 1 rather than early- to mid-autumn.

   Well, NYSSWA football guru Steve Grandin came across something much more interesting while he was doing some tidying up of the 2014 schedules on our website.

   On Sept. 20, Poly Prep of the AIS is scheduled to host Canada Prep Football Academy. The St. Catharines, Ontario, school bills itself as "the only high school football program in Canada that teaches American rules football."

   Canada Prep's schedule -- listed as tentative on the school website -- is eye-popping. The week after the Poly Prep trip, Canada Prep is supposed to play Prime Prep, the controversial Texas charter school co-founded by former college and pro great Deion Sanders.

   The two games following that are against two of Ohio's 800-pound gorillas -- St. Ignatius and St. Edwards. Later

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in the month comes a game against Steubenville, Ohio, regrouping after a scandalous rape episode at a team party that led to convictions of school officials for their subsequent attempts to hinder prosecution.

   Grandin, though, unearthed the best part of the whole Canada Prep story when he checked out the admissions page on the website, where he found this note:

   "Updated 6/23/2014: Please note that at this time, we are no longer accepting or considering NEW applicants for positions of running back or wide receiver. These positions will be filled from among those students who've already indicated an interest in Canada Prep.

   "All other positions are welcome to apply. We especially encourage offensive linemen and defensive linemen to apply."

   More football: Brad Patchett, has been promoted from JV to varsity head coach for the Palmyra-Macedon football team. One of his moves was to lure Dave Lanning, who was enormously successful in football and baseball at Fairport, out of retirement to serve as offensive coordinator.

   Pal-Mac is coming off a 3-6 season.

   Help wanted: The New York State Sportswriters Association is looking for someone to take over the weekly compilation of our girls soccer rankings this fall.

   We expect most of our network of local helpers from across the state to return to duty next month; the editor's job is to pull together the info from the respective regions to compile weekly rankings in each class.

   If you're interested in becoming the rankings editor, let us know via e-mail as soon as possible. The money isn't spectacular but we do have a few bucks budgeted for the job.

   Extra points: The MaxPreps gallery of its photos of the year by 1,000 shooters from 2013-14 contains a number of images from New York schools. Check them out here.

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