Top 10 for April 27, 2019

Here are the top 10 topics for the April 27 edition of the Inside High School Sports Show.

  1. If any more indication was needed to how good high school girls lacrosse is in Central New York, look at the latest state rankings. Baldwinsville is on top in Class A, zooming to an 8-0 start this season augmented by two wins on a spring-break trip to Tennessee. Now this week, the Bees get two big tests, facing West Genesee on Tuesday and F-M on Thursday, the Wildcats still dangerous despite back-to-back defeats to Rush-Henrietta and Canandaigua, and the Hornets having moved up to no. 4 in the state in Class B. F-M’s lone blemish was an 11-10 defeat to B’ville a couple of weeks ago, and it just made a big comeback to beat Pittsford 14-13 last weekend as 7-1 Auburn enters the week no. 12 in the state Class B poll.

2. And the quality of girls lacrosse here is again reflected in the Class D state rankings. Fresh off lopsided wins over the likes of reigning state Class A champion CBA last week, Skaneateles, even with a 6-2 record, returned to the top of those rankings, and Westhill, who is 7-1, is in the no. 2 spot. Not only that, but Marcellus and South Jefferson also have spots in the top 10 and LaFayette and General Brown are close behind. It’s more modest in Class C, where everyone in the area chases J-D, who went 7-1 in its first half of the regular season, the lone blemish an overtime defeat to West Genesee, and are no. 7 in the state rankings as ESM just entered those same state rankings for the first time this spring.

3. Though it was the spring break, it was far from quiet in boys lacrosse. This was especially the case among the large schools, where Liverpool made a big late-game comeback to win at Baldwinsville, only to turn around and lose to F-M two nights later as the Hornets also got a tough 8-7 win over Pittsford at week’s end. Watching all this happen, West Genesee used wins over Syracuse and Hilton to pick up momentum lost in earlier defeats to J-D and F-M, all this before the Wildcats had its own tough games with B’ville and Liverpool this week. This week completes the first half of the SCAC Metro rotation, with no real idea which team might end up on top in the sectional playoffs a month from now.

4. Then again, it’s quite clear in Class C boys lacrosse that everyone is chasing J-D, 9-0 this season and no. 2 in the state rankings, behind only Mount Sinai. Even CBA, with its no. 6 ranking, and Westhill, with its no. 8 rankings, would need special games to stay with the potent Red Rams. It’s far less clear in Class D because of the way games have gone this season. State no. 3-ranked Skaneateles lost to Marcellus early in April, but the Mustangs beat the Lakers in a rematch a couple of weeks later, and a third match in the playoffs would not be a surprise. General Brown, with the no. 7 state ranking, could build up its 6-1 record as, by far, the strongest of the Frontier League teams.

5. We had our first state softball rankings of the season arrive this week. To no one’s surprise, C-NS planted itself near the top in Class AA – no. 7, to be exact – helped by a 7-0 start, while Liverpool occupied the no. 20 spot following a split of four games in Myrtle Beach during the school break. J-D, at 4-0, was no. 11 in the state in Class A, while Oneida found its way into the Class B top 10. No one was better ranked, though, than Sandy Creek, expecting to challenge for state honors again in Class C and starting out at no. 4 in the rankings, with Weedsport, West Canada and Oriskany also state-ranked. Fabius-Pompey, Hamilton and Stockbridge Valley all find themselves in the state Class D top 10.

6. To demonstrate the challenge Class AA baseball teams have when they try to face Baldwinsville, junior ace Jason Savacool threw a no-hitter when the Bees defeated Auburn 4-0 last Saturday following a successful week at the Disney complex. Ironically, the Bees were, at no. 12, three spots behind Liverpool in the state Class AA rankings last week, but that was likely to change after the Warriors took defeats at Myrtle Beach and then lost 2-0 to B’ville at the start of their series this week. Don’t forget about West Genesee, either, who roared out 5-0 before entering league play and then beat C-NS 2-1 right after the Northstars got coach Kevin Rockwell his 300th win during their Myrtle Beach trip.

7. With wins in each of its first six games, including one over state-ranked CBA, the J-D baseball team rose all the way to no. 3 in last week’s state Class A rankings, and then promptly got humbled at the start of this week when the Red Rams lost 7-2 to Auburn, furtther proof that Class A will be tough as Whitesboro is also state-ranked. No Class B baseball team got off to a better start than Holland Patent, who is already 8-0 and looking to improve upon a no. 8 state ranking as Solvay started out no. 3 in those same rankings and played well at Myrtle Beach. Canastota, moved to Class C this spring, is no. 4 in the state in Class C and Thousand Islands is no. 10 after not even having a varsity team in 2018.

8. Now we’re into the heart of the track and field season. Some athletes went to Westhill’s Spring Break Invitational last week and there C-NS’s Jeremiah Willis won four events – the 100 and 200-meter sprints, plus the long jump and triple jump. Then Utica Proctor hosted its Cook-DeStefano Invitational, with the Raiders winning the boys title and Clinton prevailing on the girls side. Aside from a full slate of league meets this week, there’s also the big Chittenango Invitational on Friday, where the Fleet Feet Mile events feature the top distance runners in the area. That same day, Whitesboro hosts the Ed Wadas Invitational while a few teams might venture to the historic Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
9. This is also the week where, after relatively light activity the last couple of weeks, boys tennis and boys and girls golf hit full stride. In girls golf, the graduation of multi-time state champion Lindsay May from Auburn leaves individual honors to players like the Avotins sisters from Liverpool along with the deep pool of F-M golfers favored again in Class A. Then, on the boys side, there’s the New Hartford boys with its long win streak, Marcellus in front of the OHSL contenders, and Manlius-Pebble Hill’s Johnny Gruninger just finishing second in a national invitational tournament on the same Tampa, Florida course where the PGA Tour holds an event each March.
10. So on Monday it finally happened. The Syracuse Common Council approved the $20 million project to build a proper athletic complex – Field Turf, track, tennis courts and all the other features – to Fowler High School on the West Side. For a decade, the high school, now known as PSLA-Fowler, never could play home football or soccer games because of a city sewer that ran underneath the land, but the promise of a home stadium went back more than 20 years. Pilings and concrete slabs should address those problems. The city itself won’t have to pay that much since the state will reimburse at least $19 million. Now Fowler will join Corcoran, Henninger and Nottingham with turf fields at city schools.

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