Leading off today:
Practice for spring sports may have started less than two weeks ago, but the baseball folks are most definitely rarin' to go.
In fact, Prep Baseball Report is off to a flying start, having delivered a preseason top 25 for the state of New York and begun posting previews of those teams.
Not surprisingly, there's a metro flavor to the top of the rankings. But the New York City area also happens to be where the greatest concentration of top-end talent has been for a number of years. PBR's top 10:
The complete top 25
- Poly Prep-AIS
- Shenendehowa-Section 2
- James Monroe-PSAL
- Orchard Park-6
- Monsignor Farrell-CHSAA
- George Washington-PSAL
(as well as 20 bubble teams) is available on the PBR website.
The aforementioned previews begin with No. 24 Fairport
and No. 25 Valley Central
PBR was launched as a magazine specific to Illinois in 2005. It's methodically evolved since into a large, independent scouting service across 27 states and Canada thanks to a network of staffers and correspondents, and more than 450 colleges and pro scouts subscribe to Prep Baseball Report services.
The New York State Sportswriters Association began brainstorming with the Prep Baseball Report New York editors over the winter and we have decided to collaborate this spring. Beginning next month, we will run their statewide rankings alongside our own class-by-class rankings on NewYorkSportswriters.org.
We'll also add PBR New York to the list of sites we peruse for news of interest and link to the best stuff in blogs just as we do with other media throughout the state.
Another honor: Shenendehowa senior Kevin Huerter has picked up his second statewide award in two weeks, having been selected New York's boys basketball player of the year by Gatorade.
The Maryland-bound wing was named Mr. Basketball by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York last week. He led the Plainsmen to a 24-1 record and a spot in last weekend's New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinals.
The third and final major award of the season, the NYSSWA's Class AA player of the year, will be announced next month.
Livonia shorthanded: Livonia will be limping into Friday's Federation basketball tournament semifinals short-handed on Friday. Bulldogs forward Niki Templeton, the team's second-leading scorer and top rebounder has a concussion, and another starter will be unavailable due to travel plans heading into spring break.
The manpower situation was dire enough that the school reportedly considered withdrawing from the Class B bracket, advancing Monsignor McClancy to the final.
"We're going to go there and fight, like we have all year long," coach Karen Schuster told the Democrat and Chronicle.
More basketball: Verbal Commits tweeted that Long Island Lutheran guard Charles Manning, the state Class D