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Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015: Lake Placid edges No. 1 Beekmantown in hockey

   Leading off today: It looks as though Beekmantown's reign as the No. 1 team in boys Division II hockey will be a one-and-done affair.

   Connor Preston scored at the 2:45 mark of overtime to lift Lake Placid to a 2-1 victory over previously undefeated Beekmantown on Wednesday at SUNY Plattsburgh.

   The Eagles ascended to No. 1 in the NYSSWA r0ankings this week. Lake Placid came into the contest ranked 10th in Division II.

   Preston told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise a loss to Beekmantown in the league championship game provided the Blue Bombers with inspiration.

   "It was amazing taking down the No. 1 ranked team in the state. It was a lot of fun," Preston said. "We were the underdogs going in, especially after losing the championship game to them last year. We've been looking forward to this game all year. It's been a big game in our books and we weren't going to lose to them again."

   Lake Placid had drawn even less than a minute into the second period on a Chris Williams goal after collecting the rebound of a Lucas Strack shot.

   Veteran coach dies: Gary Dillingham, a longtime varsity and junior high coach for Cortland and Section 3 wrestling hall of fame member, died following an apparent heart attack during a match at the school Wednesday, reported.

   Dillingham was keeping statistics at a multi-team meet when he collapsed, Cortland Superintendent Michael Hoose told the website. Dillingham, who was retired from teaching, had been helping to coach middle school wrestlers, Hoose said. He coached Cortland's varsity for 19 years in the 1960s and '70s, winning a pair of sectional championships.

   McDonald's selections: Rosters for the McDonald's All-American basketball games were announced Wednesday, with New York landing one boy and one girl on the squads.

   Our Savior New American forward Cheick Diallo is on the boys roster, and South Shore forward Brianna Fraser is on the girls squad for the all-senior contests in Chicago. Thomas Bryant, who left Bishop Kearney in Rochester after his sophomore season to enroll at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, was also selected.

   Meeting preview: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association's Executive Committee will hold a conference call Friday, and the agenda is pretty lengthy. I've touched on a few items (an OK for moving the boys volleyball championships to Suffolk Community College while keeping the girls in Glens Falls; possibly eliminating the international tiebreaker for the girls softball state semifinals and finals; a vote to likely stage the first competitive cheerleading championships in Syracuse) in recent blogs, but here are a few more meaty topics scheduled for votes:

    (1) The Executive Committee is being asked to approve balancing the maximum number of contests for various sports to get them in to closer alignment with the lengths of the fall, winter and spring seasons. The primary short-term effect is to cut the maximum schedules for golf and tennis teams from 18 contests per season to 16.

    In the bigger picture, it confirms that the old days of 24-game maximums for baseball, softball, volleyball and ice hockey are officially over. They all came down in the NYSPHSAA-mandated cuts in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, and it's been a longshot at best that the longer schedules would ever return. However, the meeting notes do point out that the proposed contest adjustment is based in part on the assumption that basketball increases from 19 games if the current NYSPHSAA moratorium on 20-game seasons expires in June as scheduled.

    Hand-in-hand with the above item will be a vote on adopting the National Federation's standard annual calendar, which has been a goal of NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas. By binding annual events (i.e., the start of the season, the weekends for various state championships, etc.) to a specific week number -- for example, the Monday of Week 8 will always mark the start

of football practice -- the NYSPHSAA can publish event calendars a decade in advance if desired.

    On a more subtle level, Zayas hopes to lock certain meetings like Friday's teleconference (and the release of the corresponding agendas and study materials) into the master schedule. From there, sections can schedule their own meetings to make sure anything requiring their input at state meetings is handled in a timely fashion.

    (2) Barring a late surprise, the two-year experiment of using a sliding enrollment scale for combined teams will be extended through June 2017.

    (3) The Executive Committee is expected to receive and approve the Basic Educational Data System enrollment figures. Finalizing the BEDS data is the first step towards determining classification cutoffs for sectional and state tournaments.

   Though the vote will come at a later date, Executive Committee members will also be discussing the most comprehensive proposal to date regarding limits on live hitting in football practices. The proposal currently in play calls for no more than two "full-contact" practices of 90 minutes or less per week during the season.

   This has been on the NYSPHSAA radar for more than two years, and part of the rationale for setting limits is to get ahead of potential government intervention. New York City, for instance, has begun public hearings on what would be some of the strictest youth football regulations in the country. Besides requiring a doctor at all games, the city council there may order youth leagues to have either a doctor or an athletic trainer present at every practice.

   The bills could also extend to all city public school football leagues as well as Catholic schools and community leagues.

   Repping Section 5: The Democrat and Chronicle did a feature this week on Livonia insurance agent Bill Schuster, a 2006 Section 5 football hall of fame inductee who will be the umpire on the Super Bowl XLIX officiating crew, and the Livingston County News uploaded a 19-minute video interview clip.

→ Recent blogs and news     NYSSWA RSS feed
  • 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)
  • 4/22: Westhill hoops star dies in crash
  • 4/16: Boys all-state basketball (small schools)
  • 4/8: LuHi girls coach Slater steps down
  • 3/24: NYSPHSAA ends winter sports season
  • 3/18: Davis, Poole capture BCANY honors
  • 3/18: Weekly NYC boys basketball recap
  • 3/13: Dutchess Co. teams idle until April 30
  • 3/12: A day unlike any other in H.S. sports
  • 3/11: Coronavirus hits hockey, hoops plans
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