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Strongest to survive a busy week

Of all the weeks on the high school sports calendar, from fall to winter to spring, there aren't any that can compete with this one. The high-quality, high-quantity week of action has something for everyone. Here's a quick day-by-day look.

Today: Speaking of quantity, there are 43 postseason volleyball matches. Speaking of quality, one of the most anticipated boys soccer games of the season has top-ranked, top-seeded and undefeated Clarence trying to beat ECIC I mate Williamsville North for the third time in a game which is also a rematch of last year's Class AA final. Two heavy hitters meet when Lockport travels to Orchard Park.

In Class A, the postseason tension is amped up even more when you've got Williamsville vs. Williamsville (South at East). Grover Cleveland tries to extend a great postseason (the Presidents beat Sweet Home at All High on Friday) at top-seeded Kenmore East.

Wednesday: There's a full plate of semifinals (16 games), and talk about some fantastic fours.

In boys soccer, Nichols is at St. Joe's after the teams split their meetings. The Class B final four has small school showdowns as Akron plays City Honors at All High and Wilson heads down to top-ranked, top-seeded, undefeated East Aurora.

In AA girls soccer, No. 5 seed North Tonawanda is at No. 1 Clarence -- the teams have split 1-0 games the last two postseasons, with NT winning at Clarence last year.

In field hockey, Amherst is the No. 5 seed but will be home when it tries to get in the way of Williamsville South's great season; then it's a battle of two of the sport's best programs as Pioneer faces Iroquois.

Thursday: A little variety here, with the ECIC girls swimming championships at Sweet Home and the Section VI boys gymnastics meet at Williamsville South, while there will surely be some five-set marathons during a lineup of 10 girls volleyball semifinals. The other AA girls soccer semifinal was moved here (and to St. Joe's), as defending champion Kenmore West hopes to beat Williamsville North for the second straight year.

Friday: At Elma Meadows, 10 races will determine the best in Section VI cross country. At Amherst, soccer takes over with the Class B boys and girls final. At Pioneer, two more girls soccer champs will be crowned.

Saturday: Amherst High will host five games and three different kind of championships. A field hockey tripleheader will be followed by two Class A soccer finals, with the boys scheduled for a past-prime time start of 9 p.m. Sectional titles will also be fought for at Lancaster (girls gymnastics) and Southwestern (boys soccer).

Sunday: The only place to be is Canisius' Complex on Clinton St. in West Seneca for three championship soccer games: two girls and the seemingly always-dramatic boys final.

Monday: Three doubleheader options are major league. Amherst hosts the Class AA soccer doubleheader. The Class AA (which should be outstanding) and A girls volleyball finals are at Medaille. Meanwhile, the St. Mary's girls volleyball team is likely to be playing for its fourth straight Monsignor Martin championship in its own gym.

Think we forgot something?

This weekend's football lineup is more fan-friendly than most, as three schools which traditionally host Friday night games moved their Section VI semifinals to Saturday night due to Halloween and SATs. Fans could be able to catch three full games: Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night.

And trips to The Ralph aren't the only things on the line: On Saturday, Grover Cleveland and Riverside will show who's best in the Harvard Cup, while some bragging rights will be fought for when Canisius visits the new field at St. Joe's.


McLimans said to pick today

Hamburg grad Blake McLimans, an All-Western New York fourth-teamer in basketball last year who is currently attending prep school at Worcester Academy, will make a verbal commitment today to Michigan or Providence. That's according to Don Marsh, McLimans' AAU coach with the Northeast Basketball Club, who said he spoke with McLimans Monday.

McLimans just visited Michigan, coached by former Canisius College coach and Newfane native John Beilein. McLimans is also an standout baseball player who did not play AAU basketball until this summer, when he turned heads with his 6-foot-9 frame and three-point range.


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