Leading off today:
The relatively new -- and still controversial -- academy system in soccer now has a success story to point to.
Tyler Adams of Wappingers Falls signed a contract on Thursday with the New York Red Bulls II, a United Soccer League team owned and operated by the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.
"I look at this as the right opportunity," Adams, a sophomore at Roy C. Ketcham, told The Poughkeepsie Journal. "You don't see 16-year-olds signed every day. I think if you're really into soccer, you want to play every day, and developing as a player -- this is the next platform."
Adams' stepfather, Darryl Sullivan, is a social studies teacher at Ketcham and coached John Jay to two state girls soccer titles. He's now director of soccer operations for the Marist College men's soccer team. Despite Sullivan's obvious connections to the traditional development model -- athletes playing high school and college soccer en route to earning looks from the U.S. Soccer Federation hierarchy, Adams did not play scholastic soccer.
Instead, he was introduced to the New York Red Bulls at age 10, and joined the Red Bulls Regional Development School, the paper reported.
The Red Bulls Regional Development School offers players ages 8-14 supplementary training by the Red Bulls' professional staff. Adams, a member of the national under-17 team, is now the first player to graduate from the Red Bulls Regional Development School and earn a professional contract.
Adams admits missing certain features of teenage life in school.
"I'm missing the social aspect, which is hard for any kid my age," Adams said. "But then again, I have the opportunity to play pro soccer. That doesn't come around every day."
Award time: Cheick Diallo, a 6-foot-9 senior center at Our Savior New American in Centereach has repeated as Gatorade's New York boys basketball player of the year.
Diallo averaged 17.6 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game this past season, leading the Pioneers to a 22-12 record. He has been selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonald's All-American games, as well as the Nike Hoop Summit.
Rice guard Felipe Lopez (1993-94) is the only other New York boys basketball player to win the Gatorade honor twice.
Lockport in mourning: Lockport students will don school apparel Monday to honor Michael Dmochowski, a senior swimmer who was killed in a Friday car crash while returning from a visit to Ithaca College.
Dmochowski was recognized as an Academic All-American by the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association, Lockport Principal Frank Movalli told The Buffalo News.
PSAL recap: Springfield Gardens won the PSAL boys Class A basketball championship by beating Frederick Douglass Academy 58-54 on Saturday. It was the Golden Eagles' first title since recently deceased Anthony Mason was led the 1983 squad to the 'A' crown.
Junior Kissoon, scoreless in the first half, tallied nine consecutive points in the third quarter to help turn a 24-24 tie into a 41-33 lead, and senior Karim Diouf led the Golden Eagles with 13 points.
In Class B, Maspeth topped Frederick Douglass Academy III 57-42 for a title in its first year as a varsity program. Paolo Tamer (13 points) led four Argonauts in double figures.