Leading off today:
When Neil Kerr, Steve Grandin and I sat down at the Carrier Dome over Thanksgiving weekend to consider options for players of the year in football, the choices were many even though the candidates were few:
- In Class B, should Jake Shaffner of Cazenovia be considered as a quarterback or as a defensive end?
- In Class C, should Tony Silvanic of Chenango Forks be treated as a quarterback or a linebacker?
- In Class D, should Jesse Manuel of Tioga be recognized as a running back or as a defensive back?
By the conclusion of the NYSPHSAA finals, the answer was pretty apparent. The three were deserving picks as the New York State Sportswriters Association players of the year in their respective classes and would be acknowledged for both offense and defense.
The NYSSWA announced its all-state teams in Classes B, C and D today. The selections in Classes AA and A will be revealed next Wednesday.
Shaffner was so versatile that he lined up at QB, tight end, running back and wide out on offense, throwing for 18 touchdowns and rushing for 14 more. For good measure, he also rolled up 13 sacks and 65 tackles on defense and served as long snapper on punts.
Silvanic took over as quarterback at midseason, allowing junior L.J. Wilson to shift to running back to take advantage of his speed and cutting ability. After playing defensive end as a junior, Silvanic took on the linebacker role and was the star of the defense.
And then there was Manuel, whose career numbers were staggering: 125 touchdowns and 8,603 rushing yards in 49 games (43 wins). As a senior, he rolled up 2,885 yards and 45 touchdowns.
In his swan song, Manuel picked off a pass in the final minute and went on to a 33-yard rushing TD to beat Ticonderoga 33-26 for the NYSPHSAA championship.
A few links related to the all-state football team announcement:
• 2015 Class B all-state team
• 2015 Class C all-state team
• 2015 Class D all-state team
• Recent NYSSWA players of the year
• All-state teams, 2000-14
• Final 2015 B-C-D state rankings
Hockey powers tumble: Kevin Dugan scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period to spark Brighton/East Rochester/Honeoye Falls-Lima to a 4-2 victory Tuesday over Webster Thomas, the state's top-ranked Division II team.
Brett Randall scored twice for the Barons and Travis Scroger made 17 saves.
Webster's other state-ranked team also lost, albeit to a ranked Division I squad.
Pittsford rallied from three goals down and beat Webster Schroeder 5-4 on Trevar Hall's goal with 2:03 left in overtime.
Connor Haims scored with :04 left in regulation for the Panthers, ranked ninth in Division I. Schroeder, ranked sixth in Division II, got two goals and an assist from Matt Montgomery and 40 saves by Dominic DelVecchio.
Also in Section 5, Mike Streff scored the shorthanded game-winner with 1:55 remaining in overtime as Penfield upset Fairport 2-1. Fairport is ranked 14th in Division I.
More hockey: Johnny Malandruccolo scored two goals, including the winner with :35.7 to play, as No. 14 Auburn beat No. 4 Skaneateles 3-2 in Division II action.
Tyler Ely also scored for the Maroons and Casey Komanecky added two assists Maroons goalie Jack Farrington made 33 saves, including 17 in the second period.
Molloy triumphs: After falling behind 14-2 in the early going, Archbishop Molloy rallied for a 67-62 boys basketball win over Bishop Loughlin, ranked fourth in the state in Class AA.
The Stanners start three freshmen or sophomores.
"I think everyone in the league looks at us as a question mark, and frankly I think we are a question mark too,"