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Saturday, June 25, 2016: Deposit freshman repeats as co-player of the year

   Leading off today: Deposit pitcher Makenzie Stiles has repeated as co-player of the year in Class D on the all-state softball team released by the New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports on Saturday.

   The freshman right-hander dazzled on the final day of the season, throwing a perfect game vs. Heuvelton in the semifinals of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and then a two-hit shutout against Bradford as Deposit defended its state championship.

   Stiles shares the Class D player of the year honor with teammate and battery mate Megan Faulkner, both of whom repeated as first-team all-state picks.

   The other players of the year are:

  • Class AA: Binghamton pitcher and shortstop Paige Rauch.
  • Class A: W.T. Clarke pitcher Sarah Cornell, who repeated as a first-team selection.
  • Class B: Ichabod Crane pitcher Calista Phippen, who repeated as a first-team selection.
  • Class C: Elmira Notre Dame pitcher and shortstop Alivia Clark, who three-peated as a first-team pick.
   Heuvelton senior Hannah Thornhill was selected to the all-state team for the fifth time, including the fourth consecutive year as a first-team pick.

   A number of other players repeated as first-team all-state selections:

  • Class AA: Eastport-South Manor pitcher Marissa Rizzi.
  • Class B: Cohoes pitcher Isabelle DeChiaro and Susquehanna Valley pitcher Sophia Pappas.
  • Class C: Cooperstown pitcher Maria Noto and Sandy Creek pitcher Carly Stoker.
   The complete 2016 all-state team is posted in our reference section.

   It's about to get real: Shenendehowa pitcher Ian Anderson will sign his contract with the Atlanta Braves organization Saturday.

   Anderson and his parents were scheduled to start the day by flying to Atlanta, and the No. 3 overall selection in this month's Major League Baseball Draft will sign his contract at Turner Field following a physical exam, The Daily Gazette reported. Anderson will be on the field for batting practice prior to the Braves' game against the New York Mets, and the right-hander might throw a bullpen session as a combination perk and a media opportunity.

   Anderson's signing bonus has widely been reported as being in the neighborhood of $4 million. "Those numbers are accurate," Bob Anderson, the player's father, told the paper.

   Ian Anderson's twin brother Ben has not yet settled upon his future after having been drafted in the 26th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. If he cannot strike a deal with the MLB team, he is set to enroll at Binghamton University.

   More baseball: In the aftermath of the MLB draft, The Journal News did a story noting the difficult work faced by pro baseball organizations.

   Unlike the NFL or NBA, baseball draft picks typically spend three to six years tweaking their skills in the minor leagues before stepping into a major-league stadium -- and the majority never make it past Class AA ball.

   It's especially true for prospects from the Northeast, where weather severely curtails the high school and college season most years. This, though, was a strong year for New York in terms of the number of players (11) selected straight out of high school and how early a number of them were taken.

   Section 1 had four players snapped up after a total of three had been taken in six previous drafts combined.

   Of course, Section 2 star Ian Anderson was the best of class for New York.

   "What really sealed the deal was the maturity of this


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  • young man at such a young age," Braves scouting director Brian Bridges told "I took the best pitcher available on the board -- that is what we felt as an organization and scouting department. We feel like this guy better fits our organization moving forward."

       Coaching developments: The Ballston Spa school board has appointed Raymond Toohey as the football coach. Dave Murello had stepped down as the varsity coach in February after a 4-5 season last fall.

       Ardsley's boys basketball program is also heading for a change:

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