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Monday, Sept. 14, 2015: Catching up on stuff from the weekend

   Leading off today: Catching up on a few items from the past few days:

   Dedication: The press box above Garden City's multi-purpose athletic field was dedicated in the name of Jack "Jake" White on Saturday in a pre-game ceremony to honor the statistician and historian.

   White, who died in April at age 70, graduated from Garden City in 1962 and taught social studies there for 32 years. He became the definitive source for historical and statistical information for all of Nassau's high school sports over the years and missed only two Garden City football games in 49 years.

   "I'm trying to hold it together," Nancy Kalafus, who retired after 18 years as the district's athletic director, told Newsday. "He was such a wonderful man and key component to our community. He had an unbelievable impact on generations of our athletes."

   Said Richie Smith, who has coached the Garden City baseball team for the past 44 years: "This is a wonderful tribute to a great person."

   One of White's many roles in recent years had been assisting the New York State Sportswriters Association with rankings and all-state nominations. Andy Slawson will continue to help us in that role again this fall and he is joined in the role by statistician Joe Giannotti -- who worked by White's side for 12 years.

   Speaking of rankings: We released our first boys soccer rankings of the 2015 season this afternoon. Arlington (Class AA), Byram Hills (A), Spackenkill (B), Maple Hill (C) and Harley Allendale-Columbia (D) start the season at No. 1.

   The next rankings release will be girls cross country later this evening.

   The first set of football rankings will be released mid-afternoon on Tuesday. I'm still trying to work out a schedule for girls soccer and boys cross country.

   I'll post a firm weekly schedule for all the sports in an upcoming blog once I figure out how the processing can be fit in around the schedule of my real job.

   Girls cross country notes: Elmira's Abby Wheeler put up a blazing time Saturday at the Mountaineer Invitational in Mansfield, Pa. Wheeler, sixth in the NYSPHSAA Class A championships last fall, roared to a win in 17:22.21, a course record and close to 750 yards ahead of second place.

   "Right now I'm in the best fitness I've ever been in and it's very exciting," she told Milesplit.com. "I knew coming into this season I was much faster than previous years and I feel like I'm ready to take another jump."

   In other action, Kaitlyn Neal turned in the fastest girls time at the 12th annual Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Invitational on Saturday. Neal clocked 18:44.2 in her first outing for Fayetteville-Manlius. A year ago, she was seventh in the state Class C meet for Skaneateles.

  
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RoadToSyracuse.com football site



   Neal's arrival doesn't guarantee that graduation-depleted F-M will keep its lengthy hold on the title of the state's best program, but she may be enough to help fight off Saratoga at the end of the season.

   Following up: A blog last week mentioned the situation at Beach Channel, a PSAL school trying to get through the season with just two new footballs because of budget issues. Well, Victor Nazario's job just got a little easier.

   The veteran coach received a phone call from a Wilson Sporting Goods representative on Friday informing him that his program would be receiving a shipment of eight new Wilson GST footballs.

   "This is so big for us," Nazario told the New York Daily News. "We have very limited resources and anything like this really helps."

   Interesting read: Sharon Sarsen, the field hockey coach at Lakeland, penned a pretty interesting column for The Journal News the other day, observing that it's not so much that kids have changed as it is the world around them has changed.

   "The game outside the game has changed," she wrote. "Kids these days are not allowed to be kids. They are not allowed to go outside and play without it being a planned supervised activity. They have to get a certain score on the SAT. They have tutors and attend SAT prep classes. They play club sports at an early age. The pressure mounts. They have to be the best. They have to go to colleges and get scholarships."

   You can read the rest of the column here.


  
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