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Will South's Joe Licata wins 39th Connolly Cup

Hello from Ilio DiPaolo's Restaurant in Blasdell, the location -- as always -- for the Connolly Cup presentation.

The Connolly Cup, awarded by the Riverside Athletic Club, is given annually to the most outstanding football player in Western New York. It is named for William R. (Bill) Connolly, who passed away in 1971 after a lifetime of service to young people.

The 39th winner will be announced shortly. The presentation is scheduled for 2:15 p.m.

The finalists await the presentation of the award. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)The finalists are: Okoya Anderson, Orchard Park junior RB, Travis Eman, Canisius senior QB, Jordan Johnson, Sweet Home junior QB/DB, Chad Kelly, St. Joe's junior QB/DB, Zach Lauricella, Clarence senior QB, Joe Licata, Williamsville South senior QB, Jimmy Rauh, Southwestern senior QB, Tyler Stoldt, Alden senior QB, Shane Smith, Fredonia senior QB/LB, Zach Williams, Silver Creek senior RB/LB.

2:03 p.m. State senator William T. Stachowski addressed the banquet room, lauding the players, their parents and their coaches, as well as the Connolly Cup committee members who spend all season researching players and going to games.

2:06 p.m. Hall of Famer Jim Kelly is on hand in support of his nephew, Chad.

2:11 p.m. Jim Kelly is helping in the introductions of the finalists, handing out plaques to the finalists as they step up on the stage. Not a bad bonus for the top 10 this year.

Williams of Silver Creek is the only finalist not at the presentation due to a lacrosse committment.

2:23 p.m. Joe Licata is the winner of the 39th Connolly Cup.

No surprise here, as we gave him our top honor as well. A very deserved award.

* * *

The All-Western New York team (check the link for a cool video), including Buffalo News Player of the Year Licata, was announced today in the paper and on

---Keith McShea


High school football
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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.

@KeithMcSheaBN |