Here are the top 10 topics for the October 19 edition of the Inside High School Sports Show…
1. This last week of the football regular season includes a rare situation where two 6-0 teams square off. It’s Oneida against New Hartford, the two sides battling for both a Class B East division regular-season title and a crucial top playoff seed away from 6-0 Solvay, while in B West two 5-1 teams, Marcellus and South Jefferson, meet to determine who hosts a first-round home playoff game. It’s also fairly clear-cut in Class C football, where with their 6-0 records, top-five state rankings and lopsided victories every week, Cato-Meridian (C West) and Lowville (C East) are likely to have the top two seeds, though with three divisions Canastota may snare a top seed as the regular-season champions in C South.
2. Utica Proctor football’s 50-14 romp over Rome Free Academy, and C-NS fighting off Baldwinsville 35-28, means that the 6-0 Raiders and 4-2 Northstars (3-1 in league) meet Friday at Bragman Stadium to decide the Class AA-1 regular-season title and an important top seed since the winner avoids deailng with 6-0 Liverpool until a possible sectional final. Having rocketed up to the state Class A top five, Carthage backed up that move by smashing ESM 50-24. Two weeks remain in the regular season, with the Comets playing Whitesboro this week, but no doubt wondering bout its regular-season finale against Auburn, who at 5-1 could put an end to ESM’s playoffs hopes this week before it meets Carthage next week.
3. There was a big turning point in Class D football last weekend when undefeated Frankfort-Schuyler got knocked off by Beaver River 43-38 in what could prove a sectional finals preview. Dolgeville also was surprised last week by 1-4 Thousand Islands and has its own key game at Beaver River this weekend. Meanwhile, in eight-man football, there was Weedsport and South Lewis both at 4-0, the Warriors prevailing 76-56 over New York Mills in a game where the Marauders’ new quarterback, Anthony Talerico, who never even played the position until this year, threw for 465 yards and six touchdowns in defeat. West Canada and Morrisville-Eaton are both 3-1, and have a key game against each other this weekend.
4. All eyes in the last week of the girls soccer regular season turn mostly to seeing how the Section III playoffs get seeded. It’s particularly important in Class A with three clear favorites, long-time champion J-D challenged by both New Hartford and Central Square, so getting the top seed is crucial. In Class B, Holland Patent ascended to the top of the state rankings – right before it lost to Clinton, as those two, along with Marcellus and Westhill, likely hold the top playoff seeds. F-M and Baldwinsville are the clear Class AA favorites and split their regular-season matches. Poland remains atop the state rankings in Class D, with Copenhagen at no. 4, while Little Falls and Waterville are both in the state Class C top 10.
5. Scanning the boys soccer scene in the last week of the regular season, you have 14-0 Clinton, in Class B, and 14-0 Belleville-Henderson, in Class D, both trying to complete undefeated regular seasons, as is state no. 5-ranked Baldwinsville in Class AA with just one blemish, a draw with no. 9-ranked F-M. PSLA-Fowler and Whitesboro could be working their way to the top seeds in Class A. Clinton will have plenty of company in Class B as three teams – Westhill, Marcellus and Skaneateles – have all traded places in the state rankings and Cazenovia just beat Skaneateles to announce its presence. Two other state-ranked teams, Bishop Grimes (in Class C) and Manlius-Pebble Hill (in Class D), meet each other early this week.
6. It was quite a trio of Section III girls tennis tournaments. The big story in Class A was F-M having its long reign ended in the semifinals by CBA, who stunned the Hornets 4-3 and then went on to claim the final against Baldwinsville by that same margin. Then, in Class B, it was Oneida avenging its first regular-season loss in years, defeating New Hartford 5-2. Finally, the Class C tournament had Skaneateles knock off the Utica-Notre Dame team it lost to in last year’s semifinals before holding off rival Marcellus 4-3 in the championship round. Now, this week, top singles and doubles players hit the courts for their sectional tournaments, the top 16 of them advancing to next week’s state qualifier at Drumlins.
7. Section III girls cross country runners dominated last the featured Eastern States Championships at last Saturday’s Manhattan Invitational. Not only did F-M win this event for the 10th time and Liverpool finish third, it posted four of the top 11 individual times, including second-place Claire Walters, while Tully’s Brooke Rauber, Liverpool’s Jenna Schulz and Camden’s Elizabeth Lucason all had top-10 finishes, too. Elsewhere at the Manhattan meet, C-NS won its division with Kate Putman finishing second. Much closer to home, Rome Free Academy held off Clinton to win its own Coughlin Invitational, Beaver River won at is own invitational meet and West Genesee put up a second-place finish in the Newark Valley Invitational.
8. When area boys cross country teams went to the Manhattan Invitational, F-M and Liverpool were in the Eastern States Championships, the state Class A no. 1-ranked Hornets finished sixth and the Warriors were 12th, with F-M’s Peyton Geehrer finished fourth among individuals. Another division at Manhattan had Skaneateles’ Caleb Bender finished second and Baldwinsville’s Jack Michaels finished third. Large-school teams got ready for this Wednesday’s SCAC championships at Baldwinsville, where in the Metro division F-M will be tough to catch and the Empire division could be a great battle between J-D and Central Square. This weekend features invitational races at Weedsport and Chittenango as
9. So when field hockey superpowers Holland Patent and Clinton met again last Tuesday, someone finally got a goal – and it was the Golden Knights, who prevailed 1-0 when Maja Helmer scored in the second half. The first game between them was 0-0. Now the Warriors and Golden Knights both make their way to the final week of the regular season, favored in their respective classes, while in Class A likely everyone is chasing F-M, whose lone defeat of the Season was to Whitney Point and has swept both of its closest challengers, C-NS and Baldwinsville. Weedsport, with a 6-1-1 league record, has moved to the top of the Onondaga High School League, having gone 1-0-1 against Cazenovia.
10. One dent was made in girls volleyball last week to reigning state Class B champion Westhill, who dropped a set to Marcellus – but still won in four. C-NS’s boys volleyball team also lost a set, to Midlakes, also won in four, and will go after 2016 and 2017 state champion Penfield this weekend as it entered the week carrying a 13-0 record. Moving to girls swimming, the league races remain as they are, with F-M atop the SCAC, CBA setting the pace in the Onondaga High School League and Watertown leading the Frontier League. And this week brings the Section III girls gymnastics championships at Valley Gymnastics, determining spots in the state meet that takes place in March.