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Monday, May 16, 2016: Men's Tewaaraton finalists are all from New York

   Leading off today: What are the odds of this?

   The Tewaaraton Foundation announced the finalists for the 2016 Tewaaraton Award -- lacrosse's version of the Heisman (a valid comparison since defenders generally need not apply) -- on Sunday, and all five candidates for the men's award are from New York.

   And despite the presence on Cornell, Syracuse, Albany and any other number of established lacrosse across the state, none of the finalists are playing for a New York college this spring.

   The finalists are:

  • Connor Cannizzaro, Denver, junior attackman
  • Myles Jones, Duke, senior midfielder
  • Matt Landis, Notre Dame, senior defender
  • Dylan Molloy, Brown, junior attackman
  • Ben Reeves, Yale, sophomore attackman
   The 16th winner of the award will be announced June 2 in Washington, D.C.

   Cannizzaro is a former Cazenovia star who led the nation's second-ranked offense with 44 goals, 23 assists and 67 points. He was selected the Big East's offensive player of the year.

   Jones, who played at Walt Whitman, is a Tewaaraton finalist for the second consecutive year. This season, Jones became the first midfielder in Division I history to reach 100 goals and 100 assists in his career. His 228 points are second all-time by a midfielder, trailing only Gary Gait's 253 at Syracuse.

   Landis, who played for Pelham, is a two-time ACC defensive player of the year and the reigning USILA defenseman of the year. Landis is only the fifth defensive player named a Tewaaraton finalist -- none of the previous four left the awards ceremony with the hardware.

   In March, Landis was the first defenseman picked (by the Florida Launch) and the No. 3 selection overall in the 2016 Major League Lacrosse college draft in March.

   Molloy, who played for St. Anthony's, leads the nation in goals (56), assists (50) and points (106) in helping Brown to a school-record 14 wins and earning his second consecutive Ivy League player of the year award.

   Reeves leads Yale this season with 73 points and is the school's first Tewaaraton finalist. He's arguably the most intriguing finalist because despite being selected his league's player of the year three times he largely flew under the radar in Section 5, where the Monroe County League and Penn Yan dominate the landscape.

   Playing for Palmyra-Macedon beginning in eighth grade, Reeves tallied 278 career goals and 307 assists. At the time of his graduation, his 585 career points stood as the presumed NYSPHSAA record, though Zed Williams of Silver Creek (729) and Larson Sundown of Akron (641) have since eclipsed the mark.

   Baseball: Ian Crawford's sixth-inning grand slam sparked Jamesville-DeWitt, ranked 20th in the state, to an 8-2 win at host Syracuse CBA for the Red Rams' 11th straight win.

   Casey Kretsch also drove in a pair of runs and pitcher Dylan McGree improved to 5-0 in the contest at CBA, where the renovated field and facility were dedicated in honor of longtime Brothers coach Tom Dotterer.

   Crawford's grand slam came at the expense of junior pitcher Jack Sheridan, who had the batting cages and bullpen dedicated in his name before the game. Sheridan, who has been battling leukemia for the past two years according to, made a wish to Make-A-Wish Central New York in November 2014 for baseball improvements in honor of Dotterer.

   Things that make you wonder: Tuesday is school vote day for most districts across New York, with budgets, propositions and school board candidates getting the thumbs up or thumbs down.

   I'm admittedly worried about what's happening in my own

district (Gates Chili) where we have three board seats up for grabs and only two candidates for the second time in three years. If I recall correctly, a write-in candidate won the third seat in 2014 with just nine votes.

   As far as issue go, though, that's minor stuff compared to what a TV station recently unearthed about a suburban school district in Illinois.

   Residents there were outraged to learn that the Lincoln Way District 210 rented a two-bedroom house it owned to Lincoln Way West football coach Dave Ernst for just $500 a month -- despite the fact Ernst pulls down a $110,000 annual salary.

   Ernst reportedly moved out of the house after parents uncovered the deal. The TV report indicated similar homes in New Lenox pull down rents more than triple what the coach was paying under what appeared to be a handshake deal for which no paperwork could be located.

   The district is in the process of closing one of its four high schools due to declining enrollment and fiscal problems that have forced it to borrow $30 million to continue operating.

   Records show the district paid $110,000 in 2013 to buy the two-bedroom home on an acre of property adjoining the campus of West High.

   There was this gem of a statement from a district spokesman: "The anger and frustrations that many citizens are experiencing is understandable, as there are a number of instances when the district could have done things differently."

   Uh, yeah.

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