Sports Editor’s Playbook, Friday, Jan. 20, 2012

Patrick Newell

One thing we in the media have a hard time ignoring is a state ranking. In high school sports, a state ranking is nothing more than bragging rights, but it is also fodder for discussion. And, truth be told, touting a team’s state ranking has stretched out many a story in this reporter’s career. No, the state ranking does not guarantee any type of higher seeding or favorable playoff matchup. The subjectivity on this level of sports is far more significant than collegiate or professional sports, so it’s hard to truly assess every team. Nonetheless, we will still point out that Norwich’s girls basketball team was ranked number 16 in last week’s Class B poll. The Tornado were scheduled to play at number 12 ranked Oneonta last Friday in a matchup of the highest ranking Section IV Class B schools in New York State. Inclement weather postponed that contest, and the reschedule date is tentatively slated for Monday, Feb. 6. Also ranked in the Class B poll is Seton Catholic Central at number 19. Norwich suffered an opening-game loss to the Saints on Nov. 25, but have since won 10 out of 11 games. On the boys’ side, Norwich stands at 10-2 overall and is ranked number 20 in Class B. The rankings, through Jan. 8 games, do not include NHS’s victories last week over Oneonta and Chenango Valley, and Tuesday’s victory over Chenango Forks.

Perhaps you have noticed a couple of wrestling photos in the past week that were taken by Oxford graduate, Keith Lanfear. Lanfear is an avid photographer, and with sports, his primary focus is local wrestling. We greatly appreciate his contributions, and if you’re interested in contacting him to about photos, his website is

I promised some more information on our new outdoors writer, George Franke, who plans to begin his weekly column Thursday, Feb. 2. In his biography, Franke said he began his love affair with the outdoors at age eight as a fisherman, and began to hunt at age 14. “Who can forget their first fish?” Franke said. “My love of the outdoors sports continues to grow, even after catching that first first back in 1967.” Franke’s interests range from hunting and fishing, and extend to hiking, camping, snowshoeing, skiing, bicycling, trapping, and natural history. He has gone beyond that to foraging for mushrooms, birdwatching, fly tying, fishing rod building, ammo reloading, trap, skeet, and target shooting, wildlife restoration and volunteering to help promote various causes all associated with the great outdoors. Franke is currently a Patron Life Member in the NRA, and Life Member in Safari Club International, Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society, and NY Bowhunters, Inc.

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