Prep Talk Nation, here is our summer project.
This past weekend not only marked the end of a headline-filled high school school season, but it marked the end of quite a decade for Western New York high school sports.
What were the best programs, teams and athletes of the last decade? What were the best games and performances? What about great overall school years for particular schools (like OP's in 2008-09)?
We've got our own ideas, and you'll read about those later this summer. We certainly want your feedback right here.
Below is a year-by-year list of highlights of the decade.
It is NOT complete -- I started off the top of my head and followed up by going-a-googling. There is a lot of state championship information thanks to the New York State Sportswriters Association's reference section -- particularly its year-by-year champion list.
I apologize in advance for any team, school or individual I missed or overlooked -- but that's why this post is here. Go to the comments section below and let us know your thoughts on the best in Western New York high school sports over the last 10 years.
2000-01: Niagara Falls combined "super school" debuts and its boys hoops team makes it to Glens Falls, along a Traditional team which won its third straight title as well as Williamsville East and Bishop Timon-St. Jude teams which lost classics to Amityville. ... Jamestown football wins third state championship. ... OP boys lacrosse advances to second straight state final. ... Kyle Cerminara of Lew-Port wins second straight Section VI wrestling title.
2001-02: Kenmore West wins state softball championship. ... Amherst becomes first Class B boys lacrosse team to win a Far West Regional game.
2002-03: Jehuu Caulcrick of Clymer completes career as WNY's top rusher. ... Niagara Falls basketball loses to McQuaid before about 10,000 at Rochester's Blue Cross Arena. ... Ryan Needle of Newfane wins fourth straight Section VI wrestling title. ... City Honors boys basketball wins state title.
2003-04: Williamsville North and Williamsville East sweep hockey state titles -- for North it is part of a run of three titles in five seasons. ... Jim Negrych of St. Francis baseball is named to second straight All-WNY first team.
2004-05: Niagara Falls boys basketball wins Federation title and No. 1 spot in some national polls. ... St. Francis football wins at St. Ignatius (Ohio) to vault into USA Today Top 25 and goes on to win Monsignor Martin title. ... Lancaster's Mary Saxer sets national high school record in indoor pole vault. ... Iroquois' Tiffany Maskulinski sets national high school record in outdoor pole vault. ... Pine Valley girls basketball wins third straight Class D state title.
2005-06: Naaman Roosevelt sets WNY record by passing for 35 touchdowns for Monsignor Martin champion St. Joe's -- he also is part of St. Joe's Manhattan Cup and state Catholic championship team (it is the third of four Manhattan Cups won by St. Joe's under coach Mark Simon: 02, 04, 06, 08). ... Williamsville South softball and pitcher Chelsea Plimpton win school's third state title of decade. ... Lackawanna boys hoops wins state title. ... Lockport girls bowling wins third state title of decade.
2006-07: Niagara Falls' Jonathan Flynn wins Mr. Basketball and Sweet Home stuns Falls in Section VI final. ... Freshmen Will Regan and Ron Canestro help Nichols win Manhattan Cup. ... East Aurora girls basketball wins state title. ... Pine Valley baseball wins state title.
2007-08: Chantae Miller leads Williamsville North field hockey to state title. ... Olean, Maple Grove win state boys hoops titles. ... Lancaster girls lacrosse becomes first Section VI team to win Far West Regional. ... Pioneer's Joelle Connelly becomes WNY's all-time leading scorer in girls basketball.
2008-09: Section VI wins unprecedented four football titles (OP, Sweet Home, Southwestern, Maple Grove). ... OP season includes state football title, state boys volleyball title in undefeated season, boys lacrosse state runner-up, Kyle Hoppy drafted by Orioles. ... Clarence boys soccer is state runner-up after losing, 2-1, to national No. 1 Brentwood. ... Fredonia's Carly Sluberski becomes first female to place at state wrestling championship (second). ... Franklinville's Samantha Kopp passes Connelly to become WNY's all-time leading scorer in girls basketball.
2009-10: Section VI wins four more football titles (North Tonawanda, Sweet Home, Southwestern, Randolph). ... Nichols boys basketball wins Federation Class A title. ... OTC Middle College wins state title in third season. ... Eden girls volleyball wins record seventh state title (fifth of the decade). ... East Aurora girls cross country wins fifth straight state title. ... Maple Grove's Chris Secky (state title in hoops) and Lancaster's Melissa Kurzdorfer conclude record-setting careers.
I repeat, this is NOT complete. This is just an initial run, so make your comments below. We have all summer to get it right :-)