It's that time of year again, when my email box fills up with the college destinations for senior after senior who will be playing sports next year.
We recently began putting together our annual list of where local seniors will be playing sports in college.
It is a working list for where the student-athletes of the Class of 2012 will be headed this fall, and it is located at the high school home page at buffalonews.com.
Our list is based on signings reported to The News throughout the school year, as well as college press releases and other reliable sources. Athletic directors, coaches, parents and athletes can help make additions to this list by emailing the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We ask that submissions simply include: athlete, sport, college, competition level (NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, junior college) and any other pertinent information.
Some of the highlights:
This may be a first -- two football players have signed with major college programs in Canada. Of course, it makes sense when you see that running back Mercer Timmis and quarterback Chris Jugovic came to Canisius High from the Toronto area. Timmis will play for the University of Calgary, while Jugovic is headed to the University of Toronto. Both are part of Canadian University Sport, Canada's (much-smaller) version of the NCAA.
Timmis' signing with Calgary -- the four-time conference champion of Canada West -- was lauded in a university press release, which stated that the Dinos had led the conference in rushing for four of the last five seasons.
"Our need to fill voids at tailback were obvious," said Calgary head coach Blake Nill. "Mercer gives us the size and talent we need at that position to continue our tradition of being a powerful run-oriented program."
* Many Division I signings have been announced in the paper already -- add to that Williamsville North's Sarah Loud continuing her track career at Binghamton.
* Doubling up will be Emily Koestler of Williamsville North (both field hockey and lacrosse at Mercyhurst), Heather Titanic of Sweet Home (both field hockey and lacrosse at Oswego), Amanda Mesi of Lackawanna (both soccer and lacrosse at Medaille) and Jenna Phillips of Eden (both softball and baskteball at Geneseo).
> Around the halls
* The Hamburg girls lacrosse team's home game last Friday was a special one -- and not because the host Bulldogs won, 9-4.
Hamburg and its visiting rival partnered in a fundraiser dubbed "Laxin' for Lemonade." The event was coordinated through the "Alex's Lemonade Stand" effort to fight childhood cancer, and it focused on helping 10-year-old Ellie Delucia battle a brain tumor. The effort raised close to $5,000 for Delucia.
Ellie, along with younger sister Mara, have been adopted by the Hamburg girls lacrosse team as 'their youngest members' and have sang the National Anthem at Hamburg games.
You can read more about the lemonade stand effort -- and contribute to the cause -- at www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/79990. Ellie's story is told at elliedelucia.blogspot.com.
* Every so often, we'll get some complaints in our email box, and every so often, they are totally right.
A Sacred Heart softball fan emailed me with frustration over Tuesday's small school softball poll. The Sharks did not receive a vote in the poll, which is run by a panel of coaches (The News publishes it but does not vote in it). Polls are very tough to vote on and -- especially early in the season -- they can be a little inconsistent.
"Sacred Heart is 4-0 in the league, have beaten Nichols, Mount Mercy and St. Mary's," wrote the fan. "They traveled to Herkimer last weekend and lost two one-run games to state-ranked large schools."
In the poll, Mercy is tied for ninth while Nichols is getting some votes. We'll see how this week goes, but perhaps the Sharks will get their due next week. Of course, as it always goes with polls -- the only one that matters is the one at the end of the season.
* The News' state championship pages for the winter season will continue Monday with bowling, in which the Niagara Falls girls and the Section VI boys teams won state titles.
> Live chat tonight
The live chat returns this week. I'll start taking questions at 9 p.m. tonight at the Prep Talk blog at buffalonews.com. As always, anything in the world of high school sports is up for discussion.