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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016: Lansing coach, AD Adam Heck dies

   Leading off today: Lansing athletic director and coach Adam Heck died early Saturday while on a trip to the Capital Region with his boys soccer team. He was 42.

   His death was confirmed in a Facebook post from district Superintendent Chris Pettograsso. District employees were informed of Heck's death through emails and phone calls.

   Heck, who was also the school's dean of students, was just starting his 21st season as the head soccer coach. He previously coached boys varsity basketball and girls junior varsity basketball at the school. He was also the Interscholastic Athletic Conference coordinator for boys soccer and basketball.

   He coached Lansing to the NYSPHSAA final four in boys soccer four straight years from 2012 to 2015 and reached 250 career victories in 2013. Heck coached the basketball team for 14 seasons and reached two Section 4 championship games before stepping down from the role in 2015.

   "As an AD and a coach, what I would say about Adam is he was always good at balancing what was the best thing to do for kids in terms of creating a quality, competitive program or league, whether it be as AD or the coordinator, while at the same time doing what was right," Odessa-Montour athletic manager Greg Gavich told the Ithaca Journal. "He always had a great feel for that. What's the right thing to do to create the best experience for the kids involved?"

   Jolting news from Schalmont: Freshman Davia Rossi, a contributor to Schalmont's run to a NYSPHSAA girls Class B soccer championship last fall, has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, The Daily Gazette reported.

   Rossi, 14, who scored the game-winning goal in last year's state championship game, started experiencing back pain several months ago. Results from a biopsy performed this month confirmed the presence of cancerous cells. The morning after her surgery, her doctor at Albany Medical Center told her the news.

   "It was shocking," Rossi said. "It wasn't something I was expected them to say."

   "But they said it. Now I have to deal with it."

   Rossi has been attending practices and hanging out with teammates. Chemotherapy treatments start Monday.

   Even without Rossi's diagnosis, the preseason has been rough for the Sabres. The paper reported junior Molly Older and senior Alexis Ryder are likely to miss the whole season. Coach Alaina Resue has been coaching with a broken collarbone.

   "Davia is one of the most positive, bubbly people I've ever met in my whole life," Reue said. "She's always thinking about the positives in everything and this has been no different. This last week has been like every other week with her, honestly. The only difference is she's been on the sideline instead of the field."

   Running for a cause: OK, attending one of these fundraisers in the future is now officially on my high school sports bucket list.

   For many years, McQuaid's distance runners have held 24-hour runs in which the athletes take turns on one=mile legs on the track. It's a team-building experience and raises money for worthy causes. Penfield's runners launched their own version and raised in excess of $5,600 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in honor of two former teammates who took their own lives in the last year.

   Starting at 10 a.m. Friday, each team member logged four laps around the Penfield track. Over the 24-hour span, about 65 teens took turns, which meant they ran once every four or so hours and passed the remaining time socializing, tie-dying shirts and conducting water balloon fights. There may have been some occasional sleep as well.

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   He's out of here: For the 10th year running, New York State's top exports remain jobs and basketball players.

   Archbishop Stepinac small forward Jordan Tucker, a ninth-team all-state pick in Class AA last winter, announced last week he will transfer to Wheeler (Ga.) for his senior season.

   Tucker played at White Plains as a freshman and then two seasons at Stepinac, where he averaged 17.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists as a junior. His list of potential Division I suitors is lengthy, including Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Syracuse, UConn and Villanova.

   Tucker told The Journal News his father accepted a new job in Atlanta. Tucker contemplated either staying home to attend Stepinac or enrolling at a prep school before settling on Wheeler, which plays a highly competitive schedule and has the roster depth that will likely allow him to spend more time as a wing guard. Wheeler point guard Darius Perry, a Louisville commit, is a friend from the summer circuit.

   "He's showed that level at times that he could be a pro," said Stepinac coach Pat Massaroni, who lost eighth-team all-state pick Aundre Hyatt to prep school earlier this summer. "I think that's the ceiling for him. I think it's clicked for him that his potential is to be a professional player, but you have to work at that every day. I think he keeps doing that."

    • In the context of Tucker's departure and a few other noteworthy decisions to leave for prep schools this summer, the New York Post checked in with Isaiah Washington, another ninth-team all-state junior and one of the most highly regarded NYC guards of the past decade. Washington told the paper he will definitely return to St. Raymond's next month as he wraps up his scholastic career.

   It's not for a lack of offers. Washington was approached by numerous prep schools since the end of his junior season.

   "I'm following my own path," he told the paper. "This summer, I used it as motivation. It doesn't matter where you play. If you're good enough, they're going to find you."

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