Leading off today:
So, I decided to take a break for a few minutes from rebuilding the RoadToGlensFalls.com boys basketball site -- a new and improved version should make its debut early next week -- by taking a spin around the Internet to see what's been happening in the wacky world of high school sports.
I thought the oddball note of the week was the story out of Minnesota about hockey goalie Tony Bruns, a Morris/Benson senior who gave up 12 goals Saturday in a shutout loss ... but stopped 98 other shots. That's 14 more saves than what's listed as the U.S. scholastic record by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Sadly, no, that's not the actual oddball note of the week. In fact, it's not even in the ... uh ... running.
That "distinction" goes to Union City (N.J.) senior distance runner Terry Varicelli in a story that's amusing for perhaps the first three-tenths of a second after you hear it but is annoying and disappointing beyond that.
Varicelli had been accused of cheating in the prestigious Eastern States championship at the Manhattan Invitational (that got him dubbed the "Manhattan Bandit" on social media), and now there are reports he pulled the same stunt Saturday at the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional meet. MileSplit.com reported didn't have a 1.5-mile split entry logged and didn't appear in any race footage before the finish line. Yet he "finished" 27th place overall in 16:35, at least 2½ minutes superior to his presumed PR -- though all of his marks now have to be viewed with suspicion.
The good news is that he was disqualified after a review of footage, split times and results pointed to him skipping half the course or more.
Left unanswered, however, is this" Where's the kid's coach in all this? I know coaches who can project the finish times, plus or minus 10 seconds, of any of their kids on any given day. Does Varicelli's coach not notice when this kid suddenly drops 2½ or 4 minutes off a PR?
In any case, school and New Jersey officials would do well to put an end to this nonsense, which is an insult to athletes who are actually logging the miles and doing the work.
A real accomplishment: Hilton senior Yianni Diakomihalis notched a huge milestone in his 2016-17 wrestling debut on Wednesday. By pinning his Lockport opponent in 14 seconds, Diakomihalis secured his 200th consecutive win on the mat to extend the four-time NYSPHSAA champions's state record.
Hilton won the meet 48-26.
By the way, New York Wrestling News has anointed the Cadets the state's best dual-meet team heading into the new season.
Stepinac junior decides: Rutgers, which has at least three commitments from football players in New York's current senior class, has landed its first recruit from the Class of 2018 with the news this week that Archbishop Stepinac standout Trill Williams has given a verbal.
Williams, a WR/RB/DB at Stepinac, is projected as an "athlete" at the college level. Williams, whose 2016 season was limited by injuries, had an offer from Syracuse and has also heard from the likes of Ohio State, Penn State and Pitt.
I haven't been keeping as close an eye on the recruiting scene as usual, but I think this is how we shape up so far with commitments by current New York seniors:
- Tim Barrow (Tottenville), DB, Rutgers
- Jack Coan (Sayville), QB, Wisconsin
- Eric Coley (Fayetteville-Manlius, DB, Syracuse
- Matt Conlon (Fordham Prep), DL, Navy
- Olakunle Fatukasi (Grand Street Campus), LB, Rutgers
- Blake Haubeil (Canisius), K, Ohio State
- Shameen Jones (Cardinal Hayes), WR, Rutgers
- Cam Jordan (Half Hollow Hills West), WR, Syracuse
- Noah Jordan-Williams (Syracuse CBA), WR, Boston College
- Isaiah McDuffie (Buffalo Bennett), LB, Boston College
- Garnett Nicolas (Burke Catholic), RB, Army
- Ethan Wiederkehr (Shoreham-Wading River), OL, Northwestern