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Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014: Lawrence RB Fredericks wins Gatorade award

   Leading off today: Lawrence running back Jordan Fredericks was named Gatorade's New York football player of the year on Thursday.

   The 5-foot-11 senior, who verbally committed to Syracuse University before the start of the season, ran 183 times for 2,158 yards as a senior and scored 35 TDs. Lawrence defeated Sayville 40-35 for the Long Island Class III championship Friday.

   He finished his career with 98 touchdowns to set a Section 8 record.

   A telling stat: Though I've quibbled from time to time with their player of the year picks in various sports (See: full list of N.Y. boys winners) over the year, it's indisputable that Gatorade's player of the year awards are among the most credible and prestigious handed out.

   (Full disclosure: From time to time, the Gatorade folks ask for my input on possible candidates for some of their awards; I generally work up lists of five to 10 contenders, but the selection is entirely in their hands.)

   If you accept the premise that Gatorade gets it right far more often than it misfires, then doesn't it blow you away about how the state's highest-level Division I college program seldom lands the Gatorade POY?

   If Fredericks follows through on his verbal commitment to sign with Syracuse in February, he will become New York's first Gatorade honoree to join the Orange the following fall since Clifton Smith of Freeport in 1999.

   That adds up to a lot of swings and misses for a program badly in need of hitting some home runs.

   Streak continues: Maple Hill extended its Patroon Conference winning streak in girls basketball into a ninth season -- 129 games and counting -- Wednesday with a 47-34 triumph vs. Hudson.

   Lindsay Mannion scored 12 points to lead first-year coach Bryan Dailey's Lady Wildcats. Previous coach Mark Bubniak is now the athletic director at Averill Park.

   Gym dedicated: Catskill opened its boys basketball season Tuesday with a 70-42 win over Rensselaer 70-42 and dedicated the gymnasium to former coach Jimmy Franco.

   Franco coached Catskill to 485 basketball wins and seven Section 2 championships from 1958-1991. He was presented with a plaque from AD Bruce Schmidt before the


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  • varsity game tip-off.

       "Memories. That's what I see in the faces of everyone. Memories," Franco told the crowd. "I'd like to thank the people responsible for having this night to me, especially a priceless gift. It's a priceless time of year, the holidays. I certainly will enjoy it."

       Mark your calendar: The showdown between the state's top two Class AA football teams will be streamed live on MSG Varsity.

       The first-ever CHSAA state championship game pairs No. 1 Canisius vs. No. @ Archbishop Stepinac on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Mitchel Field.

       Following up: I missed the obvious last week when I wrote up the list of scheduled 2015 New York State Basketball Hall of Fame inductees.

       Will Montgomery pointed out that Becky Ahart will join her husband, longtime Roscoe boys' coach Fred Ahart, in the state hall during the ceremony in Glens Falls in March.

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