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Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015: All-state football pick leaves for Texas

   Leading off today: Well, that was a nice parting gift.

   On Wednesday, John Vavrecan was selected to the all-state football team. On Thursday, he was gone from Cuba-Rushford, having boarded a plane bound for Texas to finish his senior year in school closer to an older brother in the military.

   After having spent his junior year playing soccer, Vavrecan returned to football and was named a Class D first-team defensive lineman by the New York State Sportswriters Association after helping his team to a late-season four-game win streak and a 5-4 record.

   "It was a little bittersweet, but it's a great honor for him," Cuba-Rushford coach Chris Fee told The Daily Reporter in Wellsville of the two-way starting lineman. "I'm happy for him, and it's a pretty good honor for a program to have a player recognized like that. The school announced it over the announcements. His teammates were really happy, and it was just a great feeling today."

   Tough break: Bad weather Friday kept several downstate wrestling teams from competing at the prestigious Eastern States Classic. Among them was Minisink Valley, fresh off a triumph at the Union-Endicott Duals.

   Minisink Valley administrators canceled classes Friday due to bad weather, but the wrestling team was ready to board a bus twice, at 5:45 a.m. and 8 a.m., The Times Herald-Record reported. District officials made the decision to keep the team home due to safety concerns. Monroe-Woodbury, Valley Central, Port Jervis, Washingtonville and Highland were among other districts making the same choice.

   "I understand it's a safety issue," Minisink Valley coach Kevin Gallagher said. "But, not only does it hurt the wrestling. It hurts our kids for wild-card points and seeding (for the Section 9 tournament) and for college coaches to watch them."

   What a streak: Bath's swimmers may have lost to York 55-47 on Thursday, but the Rams' dual-meet season ended with a half-century streak still intact.

   "We concluded the 50th season in a row without a losing record," Rams coach Dan Easterbrook told The Leader. "That's an accomplishment."

   Milestone: Canastota girls volleyball coach Marcia Laidlaw earned her 750th career victory Thursday with a straight-sets win over Dolgeville that improved the Red Raiders to 8-0 this winter.

   Unplanned rest: Rosa Graham was part of Bishop Kearney's NYSPHSAA girls Class C basketball state title team in 2013 and a starter on last year's Class B runners-up. Right now, though, the junior point guard is a spectator, having broken her left foot Dec. 19.

   The Kings are hopeful Graham can be back by the end of this month and play in the Section 5 Class A tournament.

   With some unexpected time oh her hands, Graham finished sifting through college possibilities this week and committed to Monmouth for the 2016-17 season, Kearney coach Kevan Sheppard told the Democrat and Chronicle.

   Boys basketball: Cooperstown freshman point guard Tyler Bertam made a school-record 10 3-point baskets in 16 attempts in a 69-25 victory at Dolgeville on Thursday. He finished with 33 points.

   Bertram topped the school record of nine 3-pointers by Ethan Bliss in 2012. He's made 38 3-pointers this season in the team's 4-3 start.

   "He's been shooting well all year long," coach David Bertram said of his son, who is averaging 19.6 points per

game in his first varsity season.

   Honor coming up for Houston: The U.S. Military Academy will retire Kevin Houston's No. 11 jersey during halftime of a Jan. 31 game vs. Loyola (Md.) at West Point.

   The 1982 Pearl River and 1987 West Point grad will join fellow Army Hall of Famers Mike Silliman and Gary Winton in becoming the first men's basketball players to have their jerseys raised to the rafters inside Christl Arena.

   Like father, like son? Buffalo Bills assistant coach Tyrone Wheatley is leaving to join Jim Harbaugh's University of Michigan staff as the running backs coach. Wheatley spent two seasons with the Bills after following Doug Marrone from Syracuse University.

   Marrone's departure at the start of the week threw the Bills staff into limbo. Rather than run the risk of not being retained by the next Bills head coach, Wheatley took the safe approach and returned to his alma mater.

   What makes the decision especially interesting to people who follow college recruiting news is that Wheatley's son T.J., a four-star recruit who led Canisius High to a state CHSAA championship, has had the Wolverines on his short list of college choices. It's not a great leap to think he'll commit to Michigan in the coming days.

   Extra points Tommy Dutton of Rocky Point broke his brother Stephen's Long Island record of 227 career wrestling victories late last month.

   "I'm still missing the last piece to the puzzle," Dutton told Newsday on Saturday. "All those wins and no state title for me. That's what I'm focused on this year: winning a state championship."

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  • 5/27: Football gets approval to add a game
  • 4/29: Officials turning focus toward the fall
  • 4/23: Boys all-state basketball (large schools)
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  • 4/16: Boys all-state basketball (small schools)
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