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Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015: Hilton wrestler Diakomihalis wins world cadet crown

   Leading off today: Hilton wrestler Yianni Diakomihalis rallied his way to the freestyle gold medal at 58 kilograms Saturday in the UWW Cadet World Championships in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

   Diakomihalis, a rising junior who is already a three-time New York State Public High School Athletic Association champion, defeated Jintaro Motoyama of Japan 6-3 in the gold-medal match.

   Motoyama rode a double leg takedown to a 2-0 lead, but Diakomihalis responded with a takedown and a turn late in the first period to take a 4-2 lead. Diakomihalis scored a takedown midway through the second period for a 6-2 lead. He was assessed a one-point penalty late in the period to make the final score 6-3.

   Diakomihalis, the only New Yorker on the boys freestyle or Greco-Roman rosters, won five matches en route to his championship, including a 10-5 decision over Soslan Guchakov of Russia in the semifinals. He registered a pin and two technical falls in his first three matches.

   Diakomihalis, who has already committed to Cornell University, was a 2014 Cadet Nationals runner-up and won the 2015 UWW Cadet Nationals.

   In the girls freestyle competition, Alexis Bleau of Schoharie, climbing back from a September 2014 soccer injury that kept her off the mat until May, captured the 70-kilogram bronze with a 6-3 victory over Mongolia's Tsetsegbayar Byambadorj on Friday.

   On the move: Kennedy Catholic's Elijah Hughes, a first-team all-state basketball pick last season in Class A who has committed to East Carolina, will complete his scholastic career outside the state.

   The 6-foot-5 guard, who averaged 15.7 points and 7.2 rebounds a game last winter, told The Journal News he has enrolled at South Kent School, a top prep basketball program in South Kent, Conn.

   Hughes arrived at Kennedy Catholic last September from Beacon High.

   Hughes' departure was the second blow for Kennedy in the last week. The Gaels also lost 6-foot-7 Dominick Cristiano, an eighth-team all-stater who averaged 17 points a game, to Greens Farms Academy in Westport, Conn.

   Team overcomes helmet heist: Four days before the Walnut Ridge Scots were scheduled to take the field for their Ohio high school football opener, someone made off with 22 helmets from the equipment room.

   An equipment salesman in Ohio for Riddell put in a rush order for replacement helmets and then drove to the factory near Cleveland so that the team could practice Wednesday. The hustle paid off as Walnut Ridge beat Watterson 14-6 on Friday.

   The Columbus Dispatch reports police are looking into the theft.

   The price of success: I don't typically go to Bloomberg.com to get my sports news, but the finance-oriented service certainly served up a fascinating story this week under the headline "The brutal costs of raising the world's 631st-best tennis player."

   It's an eye-opening look into 19-year-old Noah Rubin -- the 2014 junior Wimbledon champion and 2015 NCAA singles finalist -- and his parents, Eric and Melanie Rubin from Merrick, N.Y.

   Eric lost three jobs in commercial lending as he skipped

  
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work to train his son, the couple borrowed money to pay for $130-an-hour lessons and Melanie worked for nothing at a tennis club to get free court time for their son. The annual cost for attending tournaments from Costa Rica to France reached about $40,000.

   "He went through hundreds of rackets. We'd buy five to six rackets at a time at $250 per racket," Eric said. "There were times I was unemployed, so it was a problem. I borrowed from my parents a ton."

   After going 26-4 this spring as a freshman at Wake Forest University, Noah turned pro in June and received a wild-card entry into the qualifying tournament for the U.S. Open. Winning his opening match meant a $10,000 payday, but he lost in the second round and didn't make it to the main draw.

   "What were they spending on me? Absurd numbers, and I was still young and they didn't know what potential I had," Noah said. "It's putting down a lot of money for something that may never be. They've put a lot of money into it, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that's why tennis is one of the toughest sports to get into. I mean, if you want to be good there's no happy medium. Money will be spent."

   How much? The British Lawn Tennis Association estimates it costs about $385,000 to develop a player from age 5 to 18. On top of that, the U.S. Tennis Association estimated in 2010 that the annual average cost to be a "highly competitive" pro was $143,000 (including $70,000 for coaching) and that only the 164 highest-ranked players on the men's tour would have broken even.

   It's a lengthy story online, but I highly recommend giving it a look.


  
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