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Live chat (Sept. 21): Our video debut, eternal public-private debate, great input from Section V, & swilling Haterade while howling at the moon

We're chatting tonight at 8 p.m. and we'll be joining the growing number of live video chats we've been doing here at buffalonews.com. I'll be joined by fellow News Sports Reporter Lauren Mariacher as we answer your questions on camera, then I'll go back to the traditional chat and get to your questions and comments there.  

Watch the chat below and we apologize for minor technical issues in the beginning (fast forward to 5:20 for the REAL start :-) ). We'll be better next time!

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Or you can download the podcast here.

There is, of course, plenty to talk about. It's almost hard to believe but after this weekend we'll be past the halfway point of the football regular season. There are also the polls, including my take on things in today's column.

As always, anything in the world of high school sports -- or our coverage of it -- is up for discussion. 

I promise I'll get to your question or comment in the chat -- but please be patient. It can get busy fielding all of the questions and I can only answer one at a time. And PLEASE don't enter your question/comment multiple times -- that only makes things more hectic.

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Here are our past chats of the season: last week (Sept. 14)Sept. 7 and preseason chat (Aug. 31), which also includes links to all of of the chats from 2010-11.

As always, if you have a question but you won't be able to make the chat, post one in the comments section, email me, Tweet it or post it on Facebook and I'll do my best to address it.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

How The News voted: Week Three

Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls.

Here's our shot after three weeks of action.

For reference: Week TwoWeek One and the preseason poll.

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Orchard Park (3-0) [last week: 1] -- Rolling right along, playing too strong to have this spot taken away. For now. See you in two weeks for Super Saturday (what's that? keep reading).

2. St. Francis (2-1) [3] -- OK. This was tough. If superback Akeel Lynch (200-plus yards rushing against Aquinas -- in a half?!?!?!!?) is OK, which coach Jerry Smith says he hopes he is, and he's in the lineup, then they deserve this spot. Red Raiders obviously played Aquinas tougher than Joe's did. If there weren't any ifs with Lynch, I'd have them at No. 1. I still might. See you in two weeks for Super Saturday -- which is Oct. 1.

3. St. Joe's (2-1) [2] -- How 'bout this ballot having Joe's ahead of Canisius when we kept hearing moans and groans about it? How 'bout this ballot moving Joe's down after a big win like that? Well, on this ballot they were supposed to beat Canisius, which wouldn't necessarily mean a move up. And St. Francis' with-Lynch performance at Aquinas was too much to ignore. How can Joe's address this? They can do it in two weeks on Super Saturday, when they go to St. Francis in a 7 p.m. kickoff. 

Sidenote: All year I've seen a tight group of a top six. Now I see a top three. 

4. Canisius (2-1) [4] -- We're keeping the Crusaders here. High-level game we saw on Saturday -- these guys cut down on the penalties and woulda-coulda-shoulda plays and they might win a rematch, which there very well could be.

5. Clarence (3-0) [6] -- Routs of Riverside, Frontier and Niagara Falls really don't tell us a whole lot compared to the others. But this might: Friday night they welcome Lancaster under the lights. After that, it's Super Saturday at Orchard Park at noon. BIG day involving four of the five teams I've already written about here.  

6. Sweet Home (3-0) [5] -- Panthers sometimes win ugly, or not-so-prettily, and a tightly played win at Frontier comes in contrast with routs of the Falcons put on by Lancaster and Clarence, thus they drop behind the Red Devils.

7. Williamsville South (3-0) [7] -- Billies just keep doing their thing. Schedule does get tougher, with Iroquois this week, followed by West Seneca East, Will East and a season finale that people are already talking about against ...

8. Amherst (3-0) [8] -- ... these Tigers, which dominated West Seneca East in what many thought would be a competitive game.

9. McKinley (2-1) [9] -- Joined Amherst and West Seneca East in the "we've won at Iroquois" club.

10. Lancaster (3-0) [10] -- Rout of Lockport very impressive, not just for the Redskins but, as is the case seemingly every year, for AA South over AA North. Jamestown might be better, but we don't know that right now. Redskins get the Red Devils on the road in what could be a great one Friday night.

 

 

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Alden (3-0) [1] -- The Bulldogs roll along (against Medina) in what is right now a two-team race for this spot along with ...

2. Depew (3-0) [2] -- ... the Wildcats, who, like Alden, got a nice league win (at Albion) and whose stock was bolstered when a Cheektowaga team it opened the season with leveled Lackawanna.

3. Cheektowaga (2-1) [NR] -- Here's how strong I think the top two are. The Warriors, who had a big win at Lackawanna (third on this ballot last week), hop in here. Cheektowaga played Depew even in the first half and hung around in second in season-opening loss at Depew. I'll take that and the Lackawanna win. 

4. Southwestern (3-0) [4] -- Just when you think maybe this is the year they stumble, they come up with a very solid win over Olean.

5. Randolph (3-0) [8] -- Very strong win at Silver Creek, certainly worthy of this spot the way the Ds are playing this season. 

6. Lackawanna (2-1) [3] -- Chalk this one up to the depth in the Bs. I think the Steelers could beat the teams below them.

7. Cleveland Hill (3-0) [6] -- Very solid win at home against Akron.

8. Maple Grove (3-0) [9] -- Another big D battle this week as Red Dragons welcome the ...

9. Silver Creek (2-1) [7] -- ... Black Knights, who are still here, and who have bolstered the D portfolio with that season opening win over Dunkirk (which has beaten Eden and East Aurora since). 

10. Pioneer (3-0) [5] -- Why the drop? The close win over Burgard doesn't have the impact it did in Week One since the Bulldogs are 0-3 after losing much bigger to Lackawanna and then to Tonawanda. Beat EA (so have East and Dunkirk) and had a close win over Springville, which did also play Olean tough.

Speaking of the Huskies, they're just on the outside of the huddle along with Fredonia.

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below, let us know via Twitter or facebook (addresses below), or join the live chat Wednesday evening.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

PrepTalkTV's Plays of the Weekend for Week Three: Vote for your favorite

This week we have a special St. Joes's-Canisius edition of PrepTalkTV's Plays of the Weekend for Week Three of high school football.

Watch video highlights from the game (Final: St. Joe's 34, Canisius 20) below and vote in the poll:

1. Davis' Opening Statement: Saturday morning Nigel Davis' mother told him he had to make a big play in the game. The St. Joe's sophomore took what Mama Said and put it to work returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.

2. Timmis full speed ahead: Canisius senior Mercer Timmis kept the Crusaders in the game as he ran 36 times for 267 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. In the first quarter, Timmis found a hole in the line and accelerated, rushing 42 yards to the end zone.

3. Kelly sacked? Just kidding: In the fourth quarter, on a third-and-goal from the 9, St. Joe's senior Chad Kelly escaped what appeared to be a sure sack, running left and then bursting into the end zone for a score.

3. Kellerman snags one with one: Canisius junior Anthony Kellerman pulled this rock down with one hand and between two St. Joe's defenders to bring the Crusaders to St. Joe's 30. A few plays later Timmis would score over the middle to bring the score to 20-14, St. Joe's with 3:28 left in the first half.

More great plays: Here are the Plays of the Weekend for Week One & Week Two.

PrepTalkTV will be on the sidelines again this weekend to catch more exciting plays during Week Four action.

--Lauren Mariacher

PrepTalkTV: Sunday Extra with Ken West, Cleve Hill

There was just too much to jam into one episode of PrepTalkTV this week so we decided to hold a few highlights and interviews Saturday night and instead treat you to them Sunday morning.

In Class AA North Marcus Lobdell of Kenmore West ran for two long touchdowns early in the first quarter and threw four passes for 100 yards against Riverside on Saturday:

Kenmore West 35, Riverside 6

In Class C North Cleveland Hill's North Daryl Spencer ran for four touchdowns and threw for another against Akron to boost the Eagles to a 3-0 start this season.

Cleveland Hill 28, Akron 7

You can watch more videos from Friday night at Prep Talk Live

Additional PrepTalkTV episodes are on our video page -- click "PrepTalkTV" there for the archive.

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

--Lauren Mariacher

PrepTalkTV: Week Three

Here's our PrepTalkTV wrapup of Week Three, including a major recap of St. Joe's victory over Canisus and co-starring News Sports Reporter Lauren Mariacher.

Here's our Week Two and Week One episodes.

You can watch more videos from Friday night at Prep Talk Live

My bad (chest tap): St. Francis plays Friday night in Week Four, not on Saturday.

Additional PrepTalkTV episodes are on our video page -- click "PrepTalkTV" there for the archive.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Review Prep Talk Live's running blog from Week Three Friday

Go to Prep Talk Live for all of Saturday's updates, observations and scores.

Below is a review of Friday night's running blog.

Vote for winners, then let us know who wins at Prep Talk Live

Who's going to win? Take your picks below.

When the teams hit the field, be sure to keep track of the action -- you can even help play a part in the updates -- at Prep Talk Live.

We're again looking for Western New York high school football fans to help us keep track of the action even as we're doing the same. 

Our Prep Talk Live page includes a live chat, video, photos and scoreboards that will be updated throughout tonight and Saturday afternoon. Several staff members, including myself, will be out and about checking out the action. But we can't be everywhere. That's where you come in. 

Provide updates from the game you're at via several ways:

* Join the live chat on the Prep Talk Live page.

* Tweet us at the Twitter via @bufnewspreptalk and @KeithMcSheaBN

* Comment on our Facebook page, The Buffalo News' Prep Talk blog.

* Email us at the shiny new address of preptalk@buffnews.com.

Note: Typing in buffalonews.com/ptlive will also get you to Prep Talk Live.

We'll be starting our Friday night at Amherst's 6 p.m. kickoff against West Seneca East. I'll be off to a showdown of two of the state's best Class D teams as 2009 state champion Randolph visits 2010 sectional champion Silver Creek, and we'll have photographers and videographers at several spots. 

On Saturday, PrepTalkTV's Lauren Mariacher and I will be at Canisius' Stransky Complex in West Seneca for all the pageantry of St. Joe's-Canisius. We'll also have team members at other games as well.

See you at Prep Talk Live.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Live chat (Sept. 17): St. Joe's-Canisius, where to go Friday?, the eternal nonleague football game debate & some inane debating

We're chatting tonight at 8:30 (SORRY, had to delay again due to work obligations) about Week Two behind us, Week Three in front of us (including a certain game Saturday between two rivals) and today's column. We also want to know how you feel about video chats, because one is coming next week.

As always, anything in the world of high school sports -- or our coverage of it -- is up for discussion. 

I promise I'll get to your question or comment in the chat -- but please be patient. It can get busy fielding all of the questions and I can only answer one at a time. And PLEASE don't enter your question/comment multiple times -- that only makes things more hectic.

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Here's a link to last week's chat as well as our preseason chat from Aug. 31 (which also includes links to all of of the chats from 2010-11).

As always, if you have a question but you won't be able to make the chat, post one in the comments section, email me, Tweet it or post it on Facebook and I'll do my best to address it.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Strong WNY presence in first state football polls

The first New York State Sportswriters Association polls of the season are out.

Here are how Western New York stacks up. Check out the complete polls -- and all the helmets -- for large schools (AA, A) and small schools (B, C, D).

Class AA (25 teams): 1. V-Rush-Henrietta. 7. Orchard Park; 8. St. Francis; 16. St. Joe's; 18. Clarence; 22. Canisius.

Class A (20 teams): 1. V-Aquinas. 4. Sweet Home; 12. Williamsville South; 15. Amherst.

Class B (20 teams): 1. V-Hornell; 3. Alden; 4. Lackawanna; 10. Depew; 20. Pioneer.

Class C (20 teams): 1. I-Bronxville. 3. Cleveland Hill; 4. Southwestern; 7. Fredonia; 18. Akron

Class D (20 teams): 1. IV-Walton; 2. Randolph; 3. SIlver Creek; 6. Maple Grove; 13. Chautauqua Lake

A fairly strong representation for WNY teams, and not too many surprises. I think the WNY teams are pretty much where they should be state-wide.

Good to see three Monsignor Martin teams deservedly in the AA top 25; they should be since they are all top 10-ers in our large school poll. 

I can hear some rumblings from Depew that they should be higher; I could see some wondering about Akron's resume (wins over Lafayette and a six-pointer over Medina). Hard to quibble too much with the order of teams -- I certainly have disagreements but it's not like any of the state positions are baseless, just a difference of opinion.

Section VI is strongest in Class D, no surprise there. Nice to see Chautauqua Lake get a nod despite not being eligible for the state playoffs since it plays in the DD league, but not sure it deserves it, and may have trouble holding it down, since its competition is separate from the D powers. I could see Frewsburg having a claim on fourth-best-D-team-in-WNY status.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

How The News voted: Week Two

Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls.

Here's our shot after one week of action.

For reference: Week One; the preseason poll.

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Orchard Park (2-0) [last week: 1] -- Another very solid win, something we saw a lot of this week. I continue to believe there are six contenders for this spot.

2. St. Joe's (1-1) [2] -- Impressive win out of town, Part I. Yes, I'm keeping them here. I know St. Francis and perhaps Canisius had just as big a wins against probably better opponents, but when you get to see things on the field, like this Saturday, I'll wait until after then.

The writing is on the wall: Canisius and St. Francis may be bigger, may be able to run on St. Joe's with their standout backs. I hear that. Will that overcome St. Joe's quarterback play? Like I said, we'll see on Saturday. Definitely a Bart Scott, "CAN'T WAIT!" game. 

3. St. Francis (2-0) [3] -- Impressive win out of town, Part II. Maybe the most impressive. Lynch again puts on a show (and does it in front of an impressed Mike Quick of MSG, who tweeted, "Can see why St. Francis of Buf RB Akell Lynch is #1 in NYS. The BC recruit scores 52 yard TD on 2nd carry of game.").

4. Canisius (2-0) [6] -- Impressive win out of town, Part III. Ran away from the new combined Elmira Class AA team that had started its season with a 70-20 win over Horseheads (but that shouldn't mean much because Horseheads won one game the last two seasons).

5. Sweet Home (2-0) [5] -- We win 42 straight against WNY and we're fifth?!?!?!!??!

6. Clarence (2-0) [4] -- Rout of Riverside doesn't look as good after Lockport throttled the Frontiers, and rout at Frontier doesn't show us a whole lot since Lancaster won big over the Falcons as well. I just liked what I saw from Sweet Home, I liked the value of the wins by the MMA teams. This top six situation is definitely in flux. 

7. Williamsville South (2-0) [7] -- They keep going like they're going, and this will be a top seven.

8. Amherst (2-0) [8] -- Fine display against Lake Shore, although West Seneca East's win at Iroquois really has us looking forward to Friday's 6 p.m. kickoff.

9. McKinley (1-1) [9] -- I suggest taking in the (Reyzon) Jordan & (Stephon) Johnson show for the Macks. Two juniors who could be among the top all-around playmakers in Western New York. Exciting when they've got the ball, and they have the ball a lot.

10. Lancaster (2-0) [10] -- Not the most impressive win over West Seneca West (23-9), but being in 2-0 in AA South is good enough for me right now. A team like Jamestown might be better. We'll see. Bishop Timon-St. Jude might be the mythical 11th after two huge wins. Kenmore West seemed to have an Orchard Park hangover until the third quarter against a team you would think it would have had routed before a 20-point fourth quarter (41-6 final at home over Hutch-Tech). NT has a close loss to McKinley and a monster win over Will North.

 

 

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Alden (2-0) [1] -- Man that was a rout they put on St. Mary's.

2. Depew (2-0) [2] -- Not the biggest win over Newfane, but I suppose we like their well-rounded-ness just a tad more than ...

3. Lackawanna (2-0) [3] -- ... the Steelers, who just rolled out a freshman QB and in his first game he sets a record for TDs in a game (four). Shaquille Brooks is a serious playmaker at receiver, good punter as well. Fun to watch, and speaking of fun to watch, they host Cheektowaga Friday night. Very top-heavy with these B's.

4. Southwestern (2-0) [4] -- Maybe not the "same 'ol Southwestern," which I wrote last week, after a 21-14 win over Westfield. Might have caused a slide, but after two weeks I can't really see a reason to move anyone past them.

5. Pioneer (2-0) [5] -- Thorough win over East Aurora after beating Burgard. Very tough to gauge the poll after the top three.

6. Cleveland Hill (2-0) [6] -- Does Cleveland Hill score a gazillion points early every season (96 so far) or is it just me?

7. Silver Creek (2-0) [7] -- Two big wins, opener over Dunkirk looks even better after Marauders beat Eden.

8. Randolph (2-0) [10] -- We'll bop the Cardinals up after a strong win, and also to make room for ... 

9. Maple Grove (2-0) [NR] -- ... their good buddies, who continue to have one of Western New York's best team websites. Three D teams in the top 10! The D folks in the chat room must be getting to this pollster. :-)

10. Olean (2-0) [8] -- Didn't expect 12-6 win over Springville, but maybe that's just a sign of progress by the Griffins. Fredonia gets bumped -- at this point, Maple Grove impressed while the Hillbillies were robbed of a game by Lafayette's forfeit.

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below, let us know via Twitter or facebook (addresses below), or join the live chat Wednesday evening.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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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 | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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