Leading off today:
Aquinas teammates Jake Zembiec and Earnest Edwards have been selected 2015 Class AA co-players of the year after helping lead the Little Irish to their second New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship in three seasons.
The New York State Sportswriters Association also selected co-players of the year in Class A -- electrifying Buffalo South Park quarterback Tyree Brown and record-setting Sayville QB Jack Coan, the only junior among the four co-POYs announced this afternoon when the all-state teams in Classes AA and A were released.
Zembiec, a record-setting quarterback who began classes at Penn State this week, was the 2013 player of the year in Class AA and was selected Gatorade's New York player of the year last month. He set Section 5 single-season records by throwing for 3,007 yards and 37 touchdowns. He threw for 6,375 yards and 76 TDs in his career despite missing almost all the 2014 season with an injury.
Edwards, a three-year starter, piled up 28 touchdowns as a receiver, defensive back and kick returner. Edwards, also an uncanny edge rusher on place kicks, caught 56 passes for 1,184 yards and 19 TDs as a senior.
Zembiec and Edwards were joined on the first team by Aquinas linebacker and receiver Jamir Jones, a repeat selection who has committed to play for Notre Dame next fall.
Brown, the proverbial human highlight reel while leading the Sparks to the NYSPHSAA Class A championship, set school records for passing yards (2,615) and passing touchdowns in a season (30). He also ran for 22 scores and carried 122 times for 1,370 yards as a senior.
Coan, one of the projected prizes in the 2017 recruiting class, threw for 2,499 yards and 36 TDs last fall, also running for 1,275 yards and another 17 scores for the Golden Flashes. For his career, he has 7,925 yards passing and 97 touchdowns through the air, putting him on pace to break the Long Island records in both categories in his 2016 debut.
Here are the links to the all-state teams:
• 2015 Class AA all-state team
• 2015 Class A all-state team
A few more 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 AA and A state rankings
• Final 2015 B, C and D state rankings
Huge performance: Thomas Jefferson guard Shamorie Ponds, a St. John's commit in the conversation for the various player of the year awards, put up 51 points Tuesday during a 111-85 win over Brooklyn Collegiate.
Ponds' stat line also included 12 rebounds and six assists.
The PSAL upset of the day saw Bedford Academy pull out a 60-57 win over Paul Robeson, ranked seventh in the state in Class AA by the NYSSWA. Romello Ford (22 points) scored the winning 3-pointer with :01.5 to go.
One more note out of NYC: Marcus Saint Furcy of High School for Construction made a dozen 3-pointers en route to 41 points in a 103-57 victory against Beach Channel.
Section 5 hoops: McQuaid's Isaiah Stewart, already labeled Section 5's next big thing in basketball, scored 41 points in a 63-62 win over Edison Tech. The 6-foot-7 freshman completed his triple-double with 14 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.
Staying is Section 5 for a moment, Rochester World of Inquiry sent Northstar, second-ranked in Class C, to its first loss by a 58-47 margin. CeyQuan Salmon had 26 points and five rebounds to lead the way.
Upset of the day: Here's why we play the games on the court rather than on paper: