Leading off today:
Hello, boys and girls. Welcome to Saturday study hall, where today's lesson is about scheduling.
Question No. 1: The folks at Syracuse Henninger must have known they would be big-time contenders in Class AA boys basketball when the schedule was being built, so why are the Black Knights playing Class B Westhill on Saturday afternoon?
"Because nobody else would," Henninger coach Erik Saroney told Syracuse.com.
Henninger is ranked 17th in the state by the New York State Sportswriters Association this week in Class AA. A defending NYSPHSAA and Federation champion, Westhill is top-ranked in Class B. Win or lose, Henninger is sacrificing seeding points for next month's Section 3 tournament, but Saroney sees the game as an opportunity.
"I don't think any of the double-A's would play them," Saroney said. "It's not in our DNA. We want to play the best teams. We want to be challenged. When the state added the 19th (regular-season game) in August, it opened up an opportunity. So we said, why not?"
Question No. 2: What's Canisius going to do for an encore after running the table in football last season and finishing the year as the top-ranked Class AA squad in the state?
Well, they're starting off by worrying about what kind of schedule they'll be able to piece together in 2015.
So far, the Crusaders have been dropped by NYSPHSAA champion Jamestown -- their 2014 clash was one of Western New York's most anticipated regular-season scholastic sporting events of the decade, fellow Jesuit school McQuaid and three opponents from the state of Ohio. Erie (Pa.) Prep is the only non-Monsignor Martin Association opponent that's confirmed to play again this fall. To date, Canisius has not lined up any replacements, largely a function of so many New York public schools being locked into section-wide scheduling in their own areas.
A few candidates may be available once they confirm where on the schedule their bye week will fall, but the Crusaders will almost certainly have to scrounge up at least two out-of-state opponents. Having some familiarity with what my alma mater (Aquinas) goes through most years to fill out its schedule, I can assure you that will be no easy task.
Question No. 3: What's going on with the Catholic High School Football League these days?
The Journal News reports the league released its divisional setup and 2015 schedule Friday. Somewhat disappointingly, Archbishop Stepinac and Iona Prep will hold the rematch of their 2014 championship game very early, as in Week 2. Both are working to finalize non-leaguers in Week 1.
The paper reports the CHSFL changed its divisional format. As usual, teams will be split into three playoff classes, but the eight Class AAA teams will not be assigned crossover games with the nine AA schools.
That's a lot of work: Emily Dellaneve's goal 38 seconds into the fourth overtime Friday moved Frontier/Orchard Park into the Section 6 girls hockey semifinals with a 2-1 victory vs. West Seneca/Hamburg.
For the record(s): Sweet Home's indoor 3,200-meter relay of Will Schultz, Chris Nowak, Kevin Terranglin and Mitch Daddario broke the Section 6 boys record on the first day of the Virginia Tech Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. The four finished in 8:03.52, breaking the very old -- as in 1978 -- mark of 8:05.75 by Williamsville North.
"Someone will break it eventually ... but they'll always share that memory,” coach Brian Lombardo told The Buffalo News.
And then there's this from TullyRunners.com: Rush-Henrietta's Sammy Watson set the state's indoor record for