Leading off today:
If a reporter goes to the state wrestling meet and can't stumble across half a dozen good story ideas then he or she just isn't trying hard enough. As usual, Saturday's finals at the Times Union Center presented plenty of story material.
Chief among them may have been Alex Herringshaw of Holland Patent, who secured his third championship in Division II by pinning Lyle Grant of Alden in the 170-pound final on the same night that teammate Hunter Richard also triumphed.
Donnie Webb of Syracuse.com told Herringshaw's compelling story last week in a feature. Just the fact that he'll carry a 253-32 career record to the U.S. Military Academy is worthy of notice. But the real story begins with the death in September 2013 of training partner Kasey Proper from Vernon-Verona-Sherrill due to Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a rare heart condition.
Herringshaw wears a tattoo in Proper's honor -- a drawing the teen did -- along the left side of his rib cage. Cory Proper, Kasey's father, has the same tattoo.
The kicker to the story -- and you really should read the whole piece -- is that Cory Proper, 42, has stepped in as Herringshaw's training partner. After practice each day at Holland Patent, Herringshaw drives to Vernon to train for another 90 minutes with Proper.
"Wrestling is the outlet for how we get away from things," Proper said.
Said Herringshaw: "He's the only one that'll do it. He's the only coach that'll step out on the mat and wrestle hard with someone for hours."
Hilton's triple-crown day: Junior Yianni Diakomihalis ran his string of NYSPHSAA championships to four and had Cadet company on the podium as his brother Greg and Louie DePrez also brought home the top prize for Hilton.
Eighth-grader Greg Diakomihalis won the Division I title at 99 pounds over Dylan Ryder, a sophomore at Half Hollows West who was top-seeded. Yianni Diakomihalis, who won a world cadet championship last summer, defeated Matthew Grippi of Fox Lane 13-5 at 138 pounds. DePrez was a 9-1 winner over Hauppauge senior Marcus Bisono for his second state championship.
Alexander junior Dane Heberlein defeated Mexico senior Theo Powers 5-3 in the Division II 120-pound final to claim his second title and also avenge a loss in the 113 class a year ago.
Heberlein and Yianni Diakomihalis earned the event's outstanding wrestler awards.
More Yianni: Attendance at the 2016-17 Hilton wrestling opener figures to be higher than usual. Barring the unexpected, that will be the night Diakomihalis seeks to extend his state record winning streak to a rice round number: 200.
There's that name again: The only loss in Vito Arujau's scholastic career came in the state finals when he was in the eighth grade -- an overtime rideout criteria setback to Hilton's Yianni Diakomihallis.
The Syosset junior is now 178-1 with three NYSPHSAA championships after a 19-6 win over Fred Eckles of Lake Shore in the Division I 132-pound final. He finished this season 47-0 to run his winning streak to 136 matches.
"We're seeing in Vito one of Long Island's all-time greatest talents on the mat," Syosset coach Mike Murtha said.
Big leap, same result: Long Beach's Jacori Teemer won championships at 99 and 106 pounds in eighth and ninth