Baldwinsville Bowling

F-M Lacrosse

Liverpool Swimming
Jack Andrejko, Josh Foley, Brandon Nguyen, Ian Denny, Julien Brownlow, Curtis Merrick, Griffin Merkling

Fayetteville-Manlius ice hockey
Will Duncanson, Ben Hammond
Christian Brothers Academy Boys Basketball
R.J. Romeo, Luke Valenti, Chris Catalano, Colin Kelly, Will Mackenzie, Jason Boule
Baldwinsville Boys Basketball
Dan Fabrizio, Nate Ray, J.J. Starling

Here is a top 10 for the Web site for the Inside High School Sports show for the week of December 4…

1. In October, when it lost three in a row, the thought of CBA football playing for a state Class A championship was laughable. But on Friday at the Carrier Dome, the Brothers could get a second state title to go with the one Greg Paulus and company earned in 2004, thanks to an unlikely run to the sectional Class A title and then, after a 42-0 shutout of Union-Endicott in the regional finals, a state semifinal where, trailing Jamestown 18-8 in the fourth quarter and the snow flying at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium, CBA got a touchdown from Dan Anderson and then, with a minute to play, Jordan Rae hitting Jason Brunson on a 19-yard touchdown pass that helped the Brothers prevail 20-18. In the state final, it’s CBA against the Somers Tuskers from Section I.

2. Cicero-North Syracuse wanted to join CBA in the state football championship games, but in its fourth straight state Class AA semifinal appearance the Northstars were shut out 38-0 by Bennett on its own home turf. Bennett, a school from the city of Buffalo, had reached this game just four days earlier, beating Rochester McQuaid after a COVID-enforced delay in that regional game. But that didn’t matter as the Tigers’ 2,000-yard rusher, Dominac Allen, scored a 68-yard touchdown on the game’s second play from scrimmage and Bennett never looked back, twice stopping C-NS on long drives in the first half and then sealing the game by returning an interception and fumble for a touchdown during a decisive third quarter, advancing to the state final against Carmel.

3. As it turned out, the other three Section III football champions all were eliminated by Section IV teams that reached the state finals at the Dome. Tioga ousted Dolgeville in Class D, then ripped Oakfield-Alabama/Elba 49-6 to set up a state final against Moriah, from Section VII. Then in Class C, Chenango Forks followed its tough win over Skaneateles by handling East Rochester/Gananda 39-8 as the Blue Devils will meet Section II’s Schuylerville in the title game on Friday night after CBA faces Somers. Finally, Maine-Endwell knocked out Homer in Class B and then proceeded to beat WNY Maritime/Health Sciences 41-8, the Spartans earning a shot at a fifth state championship to go with its run from 2011 to 2014 in the final against Pleasantville, from Section II.

4. And all this happens against the backdrop of the start of winter sports – which includes boys basketball. The big story in Class AA is that CBA, sectional Class A champions in 2020 and unbeaten in last winter’s abbreviated season, will join the big schools once again, though it will have a very late start because Dan Anderson and so many other key players were playing football and Friday’s season opener at Cicero-North Syracuse was canceled, the Northstars instead playing Elmira. Don’t forget there’s also a strong team returning at West Genesee, who lost just one game a season ago, along with an improved side at Fayetteville-Manlius, reigning sectional champion Corcoran and a Liverpool side which features two highly-touted sophomores in Andreo Ash and Bruce Wingate.

5. Elsewhere in boys basketball, it’s hard to figure who will be on top in Class A with CBA moved up. Fulton, Oswego, Bishop Grimes and Utica-Notre Dame were all strong a season ago, but who can stay at that level over the course of a full season? In Class B, Lowville’s long, dominant run that nearly produced state titles in 2019 and 2020 before COVID hit might end, perhaps opening the door for a host of challengers ranging from Syracuse ITC to Marcellus to Chittenango. Then there’s Class C, where Tully returns a strong core of players while other main contenders like Weedsport, Cooperstown and West Canada have to replace a host of key players. Unbeaten the last two years in Class D, DeRuyter took graduation hits, which means the likes of Hamilton could rise to the top.

6. Girls basketball is underway, too. The door seems open in Class AA, dominated the last two years by Cicero-North Syracuse but seeing Jessica Cook graduate and go to Toledo. Baldwinsville might take advantage with a talented returning core led by Sydney Huhtala and Kyrah Wilbur. Class A has even more star power on hand, led first by New Hartford’s Kaia Henderson, who will leave mid-season to early enter at Ohio State, leaving the stage to the likes of Bishop Ludden junior Amarah Streiff, who led the Gaelic Knights to a 9-0 mark last winter, and Indian River, whose 5-2 mark last winter was led by senior Adrien LaMora, who is on her way to Canisius next fall. Look out, too, for strong teams from Central Square, Jamesville-DeWitt and Auburn in a deep pool of contenders.

7. If Kaia Henderson doesn’t reach Emily Durr’s Section III scoring record in girls basketball, Jackie Piddock might do so at South Jefferson, who again will be a front-runner in Class B. Remember, though, that Marcellus and Mexico both had undefeated seasons last winter, while Bishop Grimes, Phoenix, VVS, Mount Markham and Little Falls all coming off strong seasons. Class C basketball is fairly strong, too, with Weedsport returning several key players from last season’s 13-0 run and Waterville also off a strong 6-0 campaign. Madison had the best record among Class D teams last February and March, going 7-0, but Copenhagen, led by All-CNY returnee Raegan Dalrymple, is poisted to take over, along with strong sides from Poland, Hamilton and McGraw.

8. The return of Section III ice hockey features a remarkable unbeaten streak put together by the Skaneateles Lakers. The winners of the last state Division II championship handed out in 2019, the Lakers did not lose a game the following season and were going to the state “Frozen Four” when COVID hit. Then it went 14-0 last winter and, with wins over West Genesee and Fayetteville-Manlius last week, Skaneateles has now gone 60 games without a defeat entering the week. No one in Division II seems close to knocking off the Lakers, while in Division I Syracuse is the reigning two-time sectional champions, but West Genesee and Baldwinsville are both bent on toppling the Cougars, meeting Tuesday in a key early-season measuring-stick game at Shove Park.

9. It’s good to see Section III wrestling back on the mats in gyms this winter after a long-delayed season in the 2020-21 school year that was pushed to the spring and was held, in many cases, outdoors. When they go back indoors this winter, again the strongest teams are expected to be Fulton among large schools and Central Valley Academy among small schools, with the Thunder picking up on its roster Dolgeville transfer and former sectional champion Ethan Randall as the top large-school wrestler might be Central Square’s Cole Mulhauser, who was third in the state at 145 pounds the last time the state tournament took place in 2020. Big events this Saturday includes the Andersen Tournament at Cicero-North Syracuse and duals at Morrisville-Eaton and APW/Pulaski.

10. So many big-name Section III fall sports coaches have announced their departures beyond those that were already known. In football, Skaneateles’ Joe Sindoni left after a sectional title and plenty of off-the-field controversy and East Syracuse Minoa’s Kevin DeParde exited, too, joining Liverpool’s Dave Mancuso. Then an even bigger name made her decision known when Baldwinsville girls volleyball coach Mary Jo Cerqua announced her resignation. All that Cerqua did in 30-plus years coaching the Bees was win more than 20 sectional championships and a pair of state Class AA titles in 2010 and 2014. Like so many of these other names, Cerqua is interested in seeing her children play in the college ranks, though she might coach again one day.


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