Leading off today:
Tom Blackford may be on his way back to Hamilton, where his extraordinary run of success in boys basketball began.
The Observer-Dispatch reported Wednesday that Blackford, 63, has resigned after 14 seasons at Fayetteville-Manlius and expressed interest in returning to Hamilton and coaching the Emerald Knights.
Blackford, who was inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, had a 317-138 record with two NYSPHSAA championships during a 20-year run at Hamilton. With an overall mark of 497-252, he's fifth on the Section 3 list for career wins and second to Bishop Ludden's Pat Donnelly among active coaches.
"There's really no specific reason," Blackford said of his decision to leave F-M. "It just feels like the right time, and it looks like I will have the opportunity to go back to Hamilton, where I coached and taught for so many years. I've coached in four decades now, but I still feel I have a lot of energy, a lot of competitiveness left."
Hamilton was 12-10 this season under first-year coach Joe LePage, the school's longtime baseball coach. LePage seemed to voice support for Blackford's return, and Superintendent Anael Alston said the basketball position would be posted this summer.
Heading to Germany: Several New York high school boys basketball standouts are scheduled to represent the United States at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheim, Germany, beginning Saturday with a pool-play contest vs. France. The tournament runs through April 2.
The roster has four players heading to Division I colleges in the fall, including Rochester Bishop Kearney wing and Temple recruit Quinton Rose.
Jamesville-DeWitt senior Jimmy Boeheim and Bishop Ludden sophomore Will Engelhardt will also make the trip, as will junior Hameir Wright, who just led Albany Academy to a Federation Class A championship last weekend.
Troy's Anthony Mack, a guard who transferred out of Catholic Central to a New Jersey prep school last summer for his junior year, is also on the roster.
Wrestling development: The Press & Sun-Bulletin reports that New York may be a bit closer to holding an official state dual-meet championship in the 2017-18 season.
Chenango Forks coach Rick Gumble, who is chairing a committee looking into the idea, said surveys have been sent to coaches across New York and findings will be discussed at a meeting next month.
"I think people are receptive to it," Gumble said.
A ton of details --- when to hold it, how many classes, how to select teams -- would have to be hashed out. And there's also a huge hurdle that's not explored in the story: How to get approval from administrators at the state level. The NYSPHSAA's Executive Committee recently said no to adding one class to the state football tournament based in part on not wanting to open the door to expansion requests from other sports. So getting them to green-light entirely new event -- even though it's one that coaches, athletes and fans have wanted for years -- will require more than a little bit of work.
Kicking around an idea: With too much time on his hands between the final stages of basketball season and the start of the New York Yankees' regular season, NYSSWA editor