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Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015: Poly Prep right-hander Storz picks LSU

   Leading off today: It doesn't take a large sample size to make a big impression.

   Personally, I learned that long ago. It was confirmed two months ago when the Tampa Bay Rays selected Niskayuna outfielder Garrett Whitley with the No. 13 overall pick in the MLB Draft, setting him up for a nearly $3 million signing bonus.

   Whitley's total plate appearances in his final two seasons of high school ball scarcely amounted to what an American Legion regular might accumulate in one summer. But he caught the eye of scouts at a relatively young age and performed extremely well at a few workouts and big-stage all-star games after his junior season.

   This week, Nick Storz's story played out in a somewhat similar fashion. Though he threw a modest 33 innings (3-1 record, 52 strikeouts) this spring, the Poly Prep right-hander had colleges lining up with scholarship offers. Of course, that's not a startling revelation about a 6-foot-6 pitcher who consistently throws 90-plus mph.

   Storz, a rising junior at Poly Prep, visited Louisiana State University last week and committed to the Tigers over the weekend. He pretty much had his choice of Division I schools from the deep South, which qualifies as an MLB farm system in reality if not in name.

   "I think driving through the campus and then pulling up to the stadium was when I thought to myself, 'Wow, this is amazing, and I really want to be a part of this,'" Storz said. "Then stepping onto the field and looking up into the stands imagining 12,000 fans. It really made me feel like this where I want to be."

   LSU saw Storz at a national tournament last month. The versatile prospect -- he also hits for power in baseball and has drawn some attention in football -- hit it off with LSU pitching coach Alan Dunn and decided he was ready to commit.

   "I could tell what I would love to work with him and definitely get better as a pitcher," Storz said.

   By the way: The Empire State Prospect Games, a baseball showcase meant to give promising prospects a stage to be seen by colleges, is being held at Amsterdam's Shuttleworth Park this Friday through Sunday.

   Organizers say part of the proceeds from the tournament will go to causes involved in kids with cancer and childhood cancer research.

   A sad Section 2 development: Frank Fronhofer Sr. is being mourned by the wrestling community following his death from injuries suffered in a mountain biking accident. Fronhofer, 65, an assistant coach at Salem for 40 years and a teacher there for 38, died Sunday as a result of injuries he sustained in the mishap in Argyle.

   Fronhofer worked first with longtime Salem head coach Mike Poplaski, and later with his oldest son, Frank II. He coached Frank II and nephew Carl to multiple state championships, and this past season helped guide his grandson Luke to a Section 2 title. In all, he had a hand in more than 30 individual sectional championships and 22 Class D team crowns.

   "He was an unbelievable gentleman -- you never heard a bad thing out of him," said former Corinth coach Marty Sherman, now the state wrestling chairman. "I've known him from the day I started coaching, and I had nothing but admiration for him."

   Added Warrensburg coach Mark Trapasso: "He set a standard that the rest of us will never live up to -- in his personal life and in his coaching."

  
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   New Section 1 policy: Administrators in Section 1 have decided to do away with counting games vs. non-section opponents toward playoff seeding, drawing some decidedly mixed reactions.

   "[I]f it's a Section 1 tournament then why not seed everyone based purely on Section 1?" Hendrick Hudson AD Tom Baker told MSG Varsity.

   "I'm definitely not a fan," Suffern hockey coach Rob Schelling told The Journal News. "I'd like every game to count. Now we don't get the bonus points for playing the good teams upstate and that could easily affect seeding."

   The change which was voted upon by athletic directors last spring. Previously, seedings in most major sports factored in overall records and bonus points based upon the winning percentage of all opponents from the state's four major scholastic sports organizations -- the NYSPHSAA, CHSAA, PSAL and AIS.

   The ADs and administrators were swayed by glitches last winter when incomplete information led to inaccuracies and then revisions in seeding points in girls basketball and hockey. (Note: I've heard speculation more than once that some coaches may have committed errors of omission or commission in reporting results that produced more favorable early-round playoff pairings).

   Section 1 Executive Director Jennifer Simmons confirmed the difficulty teams had obtaining records of out-of-section opponents was a factor in the policy change.

   "Our system was good, but it took a lot of work to find out all the records," Ossining girls basketball coach Dan Ricci said. "There is always an easier way, but that doesn't mean it's better -- only time will tell."

   Extra points: St. Joseph by-the-Sea named Kayla Hartley its new girls soccer coach. Erin Kennedy, who stepped down to accept a teaching position at Xaverian, was 25-8-2 in her two seasons in charge.


  
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