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Friday, Jan. 6, 2017: Moravia player recovering after near-fatal wreck

   Leading off today: A captain on Moravia's top-ranked boys basketball team is breathing on his own and slowly recovering from a serious accident last week, the Ithaca Journal reported.

   Senior Dustin Mondics was traveling to practice when his car slid and crashed head-on into a tractor trailer Dec. 27. Mondics was airlifted to a Syracuse hospital, arriving with no pulse and an extreme loss of blood. Doctors were able to remove him from life support on Wednesday and he has begun talking, his sister Megan Lee Evans posted on Facebook.

   Mondics, who also played football this past fall, suffered a broken pelvis, a small brain bleed and other internal injuries. His spleen was removed in one of operations since the accident.

   Evans started a GoFundMe page the day after the accident with the goal of raising $5,000 to help with medical bills. As of early this morning, more than $21,500 has been raised.

   Additional donations are being accepted Friday when Moravia hosts Groton in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game. Moravia ((-1) rose to No. 1 in the NYSSWA Class C rankings earlier this week.

   UPrep wins: Jeenathan Williams scored 31 points as University Prep, ranked 23rd in the state in Class AA, downed No. 13 Aquinas 62-48 in Section 5 non-league action. Williams also had seven rebounds and three assists.

   Aquinas got 23 points and eight rebounds from Jalen Pickett.

   UPrep outrebounded Aquinas 43-25.

   Diakomihalis confirms he's done: Multiple outlets reported Thursday that Hilton senior Yianni Diakomihalis has confirmed his scholastic wrestling career is over. The four-time NYSPHSAA and two-time World Cadet champion recently had surgery on his right elbow. During a follow-up it was determined that there is a similar growth-plate issue in his left elbow that will require surgery.

   "I kind of had to make a decision," he told the Democrat and Chronicle. "I could try to wrestle through it, but if it gets worse, then I would miss the Junior World trials and states. I kind of had to pick the better of two poisons. I've kind of come to peace with it."

   Diakomihalis, who'll attend Cornell in the fall, ends his career with a 243-3 record -- including a state-record 210 consecutive triumphs to end his career.

   "As big as it would have been to win five state titles, I hope I can keep moving forward and do more," Diakomihalis said. "I don't want this to become a long-term issue where its affecting my college wrestling."

    • With Diakomihalis out of the picture, the dominoes have already started falling in the 145-pound bracket for next month's New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

   The Journal News reported that junior Matthew Grippi of Fox Lane, who lost the 138-pound final to Diakomihalis 13-5 last season, dropped down from 152 to 145 on Wednesday during a 47-33 win over Port Chester.

  
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   Grippi certified at 145 pounds in the preseason, meaning that is the lightest weight at which he could wrestle, but he had previously stated his intention to compete at 152 for the postseason.

   "I feel bad for him," Grippi said. "I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but to be honest, nothing changes for me. ... It helps out a lot knowing he's not there and it's one less guy I have to worry about, but my confidence and my mindset and training is the same with or without him there. The goal is to win a state title this year."

   "I feel awful for Yianni," Fox Lane coach Anthony Rodrigues said. "He is an all-time great and represents New York with class."

   New coach: Assistant Christopher Megwa has been promoted to head football coach at Seton Catholic in Binghamton. Seton Catholic was 3-5 last season under Brian Mister.

   Extra points: Campus Magnet renamed its gymnasium in honor of late coach Chuck Granby, second on the all-time PSAL wins list.


  
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