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East High's Webb signs with North Dakota; Hunter back to recruiting trail

East High grad Jamal Webb, who was a first-team All-Western New York selection in 2008, has signed with North Dakota.

For the last two years the 6-foot-3 guard has been at prep school Carolina Tech, where he battled back from an ACL injury. Webb was also the large school Player of the Year in the Yale Cup in 2008.

North Dakota, home of the Fighting Sioux and a tremendously successful Division I hockey program, is in the transition stage of attaining Division I status in basketball and has played (and beaten) several Division I teams in recent years. The upcoming season will be its fourth in a five-year transition process; UND will be a full Division I school in 2012-13.

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Meanwhile, 2008 Buffalo Arts grad Jerome Hunter, who also played at Carolina Tech, signed with Robert Morris -- and a few days later they had a coaching change.

Mike Rice left for Rutgers in late April and was replaced just last week by Andrew Toole (at 29 years old the youngest coach in Division I), prompting Hunter to ask for a release from his scholarship. In an email, Hunter said that process should be finished within the week and that he would be going on some visits -- he did not elaborate on which schools.

In going a-googling, I see that Hunter had been linked to Saint Joseph's, as this blog states -- that's East Aurora native Dave Mallon getting a mention in there. 

---Keith McShea

More from cross country

I wrote a story about this season's proliferation of eighth-graders succeeding in girls cross country for today's Scholastic Spotlight.

Here are some additional notes on the eighth-graders as well as notes on all sorts of cross country topics:

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Among the top 18 at the 15-team Bemus Point Invitational were more eighth graders (five) than seniors (four).

Caroline Benson of Maple Grove won the race, while two other fellow eighth-graders were teammates … Emma Verdonik (fifth) and Abby Sirwatka (18th). Falconer's Kirsten Holmberg was third and Fredonia's Micaela Tramuta was 11th.

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Kiki Dy is an accomplished swimmer who came to the Newfane program from field hockey, while Sarah Ziemba and twins Kelly and Kate Bocknewetch all excelled in modified track and cross country last year.

Dy "fell into our lap," said Newfane coach Mike Heitzenrater. "Because of the way our league is run in swimming, with the girls competing in the winter, she could never qualify for states. So she said, "I want to do cross country and get to the states.' "

The youngsters have meshed well with senior Bethany Dewey and juniors Erin Hannah and Amy Lanighan.

It may have helped that Newfane had a significant amount of spots to fill in its lineup after graduating much of its team last year.

Continue reading "More from cross country " »


About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

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