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Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015: Wrestling community mourns Brad Paddock's death

   Leading off today: Trying to pin a label to Brad Paddock is an exercise in futility much like trying to score a last-second escape from one of his sons with a wrestling match on the line.

   Paddock, who died Tuesday at the age of 50, was more than just a parent, a coach or a businessman. He was relentless in his desire to do the best with what he had to offer.

   It helps explain the outpouring of support to his family in Warsaw ahead of calling hours his weekend and his funeral on Monday.

   "I'm a pretty optimistic person. I've never taken something as hard as I've taken this," former Warsaw coach Robert Hirsch told the Democrat and Chronicle.

   Paddock was a Livingston County wrestling champion in 1983, and many of his children took up the sport with a passion, bringing their father back in as both a Warsaw assistant and the force behind a club team -- Team X -- that raised the profile of the sport and the performance of competitors several notches n the region of upstate west of the Finger Lakes.

   The Livingston County News links Paddock to 90 Section 5 individual titles, eight Section 5 team championships, and three state team crowns. More than 20 of his charges went on to wrestle at the NCAA Division I level, including three of his boys -- Paul (Edinboro), Ian (Ohio State) and Burke (Iowa).

   The Paddock boys have earned seven state championships and won well over 1,000 career high school matches. Aaron is a highly regarded 195-pounder looking to add to the numbers this season.

   For more on Paddock, including a touching first-person recollection, read the Livingston County News story.

   Boys basketball: Hameir Wright put on an impressive all-around performance with 26 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots in leading Albany Academy to a 69-54 victory over Green Tech.

   Green Tech is ranked 16th in Class AA and Albany Academy is eighth in Class A according to the New York State Sportswriters Association. Their rivalry has become one of the highlights of the Section 2 basketball season.

   "Outside of the game, I am friendly with the guys from Green Tech and we play ball all the time. Once we step through the lines, it gets kind of hectic," Wright told The Times Union. "We stayed together."

   The Cadets took control late in the first quarter with a 10-0 run, sparked by 3-pointers from Max Roemer and Wright. Another 3-pointer from Roemer made it 25-12 with 5:35 left in the second quarter.

   Boys hockey: Otto Thomas scored with just over five minutes left as Salmon River edged Norwood-Norfolk 2-1. Jarrad Jackson made 34 saves for the Shamrocks against the state's 12th-ranked Division 2 team.

   New members OK'd: Saratoga Catholic and Waterford-Halfmoon have had applications to join the Wasaren League for the 2016-17 school year unanimously approved, The Record reported.

   The two newcomers will join Greenwich, Stillwater, Mechanicville, Hoosic Valley, Hoosick Falls, Cambridge and Tamarac. Granville left for the Adirondack League in September.

   "This is a great opportunity for our schools," Saratoga Catholic AD Phonsey Lambert said. "This is a very, very competitive league. They are very competitive in all sports form the fall through the springtime so our teams will be challenged."

   Saratoga Catholic benefits immediately from shorter trips for many of its away contests.

   Briarcliff star done: The Journal News' Mike Zacchio tweeted that Briarcliff all-state point guard Carly Fanelli has a torn ACL and will have surgery in January.

   The junior, who was 13th-team all-state in Class B last season, suffered the injury in the season opener against Irvington on Dec. 1.

   Deadline approaching: The deadline for entering the third annual "Battle of the Fans" is rapidly approaching.

   Entries for th NYSPHSAA contest is noon on Jan. 11. The program is aimed at highlighting the best student cheering sections that promote sportsmanship.

   To get started, schools need to post videos showing their student fans in action. The NYSPHSAA will view the videos, make visits to three finalists and conduct online voting Feb. 10-12.

   The complete contest details are available on the NYSPHSAA website.

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