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Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016: Grand Street WR Mack flips to Indiana

   Leading off today: A rare -- for New York, anyway -- last-minute flip was the most noteworthy event Wednesday as the state's Class of 2016 football players began signing letters of intent to FBS colleges.

   Grand Street Campus wide receiver Taysir Mack, who'd been a long-term commit to Rutgers, changed his mind and instead signed a National Letter of Intent with Indiana. Rutgers broke even for the day with receivers from Grand Street by bringing Ahmed Bah back into the fold. Bah, another early commit to the Scarlet Knights, had reopened his recruitment after Rutgers made its coaching change at the end of the 2015 season.

   Mack made an official visit to Indiana on Jan. 22, followed by a trip to Rutgers. The 247sports.com website also reported Mack received late interest from Penn State.

   Bah was one of three New York seniors whose decisions came to light in the final 36 hours before signings commenced. Christ the King linebacker Brent Priester picked Old Dominion and Huntington receiver Infinite Tucker became the third member of the New York class to opt for UMass.

   Here's the list of the 19 New York seniors making FBS commitments for scholaships:

  • Ahmed Bah (Grand Street Campus), WR, Rutgers
  • Brandon Barlow (Shaker), DE, Boston College
  • Conrad Brake (Aquinas), LS, Pittsburgh
  • Leon Flanagan (Curtis), DL, UMass
  • Jake Fuzak (Williamsville South), DL, Buffalo
  • Jamir Jones (Aquinas), LB, Notre Dame
  • Adam Korutz (Johnson City), DL, Boston College
  • Zac Lefebvre (Victor), TE, Buffalo
  • Taysir Mack (Grand Street Campus), WR, Indiana
  • Ray Marten (Poly Prep), TE, Boston College
  • Justin Morgan (Poly Prep), OL, Pittsburgh
  • Mike Palmer (Maine-Endwell), Ath, Boston College
  • Brent Priester (Christ the King), LB, Old Dominion
  • Elias Reynolds (Poly Prep), LB, Pittsburgh
  • Taylor Riggins (Aquinas), LB, UMass
  • Elijah Riley (Newfield), CB, Army
  • Infinite Tucker (Huntington), WR, UMass
  • Jahsen Wint (Erasmus Hall), S, Ohio State
  • Jake Zembiec (Aquinas), QB, Penn State
   More football: Dave Murello resigned as Ballston Spa's football coach on Tuesday, The Saratogian reported.

   "Coaching high school football, especially in this area, is year round," Murello told the paper. "It's kind of at the point right now where coaches don"t do this often but I'm ready for a break. I'm excited to experience the summer and the fall not coaching football."

   Murello joined the Scotties as the freshman coach in 2007 and took over the varsity job from John Bowen in the spring of 2013. His teams finished 4-5, 3-6 and 4-5.

   "I never want to be a coach who felt like I wasn't putting my all into coaching," Murello said. "I think now was a good time to reevaluate for where I was at coaching-wise."

   Regular-season sweep: Playing on a sprained ankle suffered last week, Justin Jones came through with 10 points and four assists Wednesday as Canisius edged Park School 45-37 in boys basketball.

   Canisius is ranked third in the state in Class A and Park is fourth. The schools won classes A and B, respectively, in the 2015 Federation tournament.

   Canisius came away with a 56-53 win when the teams met Jan. 23.

   Top-ranked ER falls: NYSSWAA editor Neil Kerr and I have had a running conversation about the woes of boys Class C basketball this year. With an general lack of dominance by any one or two teams in several sections of the state, the pool of teams we've regarded as genuine state-title contenders has been as slim as we can recall.

   It led to Neil introducing multiple two-and- three-loss teams to the weekly rankings sooner than typically happens, and now four-, five- and six-loss squads. Half-joking -- but only by half -- he wondered last week if anyone would win the NYSPHSAA championship in that class next month in Glens Falls.

   The comment takes on a little more meaning today following Clyde-Savannah's 50-47 win over No. 1 East Rochester on Wednesday.

   Jarrod Faniel had 16 points and nine rebounds for Clyde-Savannah.

   Wrestling milestone: Minisink Valley coach Kevin Gallagher earned his 400th win as the Warriors downed Washingtonville 57-15. Gallagher is 400-94 in his career.

   800 and still going: The Buffalo News did a feature this week on Frewsburg swimming coach Bruce Johnson, 60, who earned his 800th coaching win on Jan. 8. He started the boys and girls programs there in 1977.

   "I get more satisfaction from the kids who continue swimming after high school," Johnson said. "We've had maybe 40 to 50 go on to junior college, Division III or even Division I. That to me is satisfying, and then they come back after finishing their college careers and see us during the winter when they are home. They thank me for what I did.

  
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   "There are a number of kids I've coached who have gone on to coach swimming, and that really makes me feel good."

   Invincibility: A 103-76 win Tuesday over Peekskill was the 80th straight triumph over Section 1 competition for the Ossining girls basketball team. Ossining can make it five straight calendar years of undefeated play against local foes should it win at Panas on Thursday.

   "I think it means so much because it's different kids," Coach Dan Ricci told The Journal News. "Kids come and go, and the program just keeps on winning."

   Disciplinary action: Numerous North Tonawanda athletes are facing 10-week suspensions from basketball and cheerleading after being caught at an underage drinking party held last week, The North Tonawanda Sun reported.

   The Jan. 29 party triggered noise complaints that brought police to investigate. Police found more than a dozen partygoers still in the home, where alcohol and marijuana were present, according to reports.

   Members of the boys JV and varsity basketball teams, girls JV basketball team and the cheerleading




squad are among those facing disciplinary actions Students from other nearby school districts were also reported to have been at the party.

   North Tonawanda AD Cynthia Bullis told the paper in a text that there is an ongoing investigation and she could not comment.

   Showing some vision: Western New York's major tourism bureau is piecing together a plan to lure more amateur sporting events to the region, presumably including high school championships.

   Patrick Kaler, president and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, said VBN and the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission have been making gains in recent years and want to do more. Last year, VBN landed 168 sports events, generating about 80,000 hotel room nights.

   To keep moving forward, Kaler would like to construct 30 to 50 fields and some indoor facilities. The 10-year plan also calls for upgrades to existing facilities.

   A consultant's report suggests building a new 3,000- to 5,000-seat arena, plus a multi-field complex to accommodate soccer, lacrosse, rugby, baseball and softball. Such a project also would have to feature hotels, restaurants and related infrastructure.

   The report also recommended modifying the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center so it could be used for indoor sports, such as volleyball, gymnastics, judo and wrestling.


  
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