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Monday, Jan. 2, 2017: Looking back at last year's most popular blogs

   Leading off today: As we do each January, here's a look back at the 10 most-read blog posts of 2016 on NewYorkSportswriters.org:

    1. The death of Georgetown lacrosse player Ed Blatz Jr. from Garden City. (April 26)

    2. Section 5's baseball committee resigned over a difference of opinion with the Athletic Council over the tournament format. (Feb. 11)

    3. Aquinas linebacker Taylor Riggins found himself unwanted by Syracuse University as the incoming coaching staff rescinded a scholarship offer. (Jan. 21)

    4. The manufacturer of FieldTurf came under fire following a New Jersey newspaper's report about alleged defective materials that may have been used on more than 100 New York fields. (Dec. 8)

    5. A New Jersey runner was called out as being a serial cheater in major scholastic cross country meets. (Dec. 2)

    6. An update on the growing trend of high school track stars opting to turn pro rather than compete in college. (March 27)

    7. The outcome of a Section 1 girls soccer tournament game was overturned on appeal, ousting Yonkers Montessori Academy. (Oct. 23)

    8. Lansing athletic director and boys soccer coach Adam Heck died during a season-opening trip. (Aug. 27)

    9. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association reveals it is considering creating one or two new sections that would consist exclusively of non-public and charter schools. (July 27)

    10. Hilton wrestler Yianni Diakomihalis, a four-time NYSPHSAA and two-time world Cadet champion, sidelined after elbow surgery. (Dec. 22)

   Mount Vernon tragedy: Authorities continue to investigate a New Year's Eve shooting incident that claimed the life of a 13-year-old girl on the Mount Vernon JV basketball team.

   Local media reported Shamoya McKenzie was struck in the head by a stray bullet after being caught in crossfire while in a moving car.

   McKenzie was an eighth-grader at Graham School in Mount Vernon. She was being remembered by family and friends over the weekend as a rising star in both athletics and academics with a goal of playing for UConn and then the WNBA.

   "She just loved to learn. Spending time with her was just amazing. She really influenced a lot of people," David Newton, who coached the 6-foot-2 McKenzie, told The Journal News.

   "She was on her way. If there was a caption you could put on Shamoya, it's, she was on her way, in a big way," said Dwayne Murray, director of the Mount Vernon Junior Knights club teams. "It's just senseless. It really is."

  
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   Coming up: The New York State Sportswriters Association will release the first half of its all-state football team -- Classes B, C and D -- on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

   Looking back: A previous blog mentioned the recent death of Bob Ivory, a highly successful Western New York track coach who later guided Dick Buerkle to a world record in the indoor mile.

   Budd Bailey of The Buffalo News did a follow-up over the weekend that tells some wonderful stories about Ivory and gives insight as to what made him both successful and beloved.

   You can read the story here.

   Extra points: Eric Jantzi has informed Springville that he will not return as football coach next fall, WNYAthletics.com tweeted on Sunday.


  
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