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Live chat (Nov. 30): Courtside from the Pastor-Cooper tipoff

Our weekly chat is back tonight, and we'll be on location at the Pastor-Cooper Memorial Showcase at Daemen College starting around 9 (which means no video).

We'll share what happens tonight and there is plenty to discuss, including the conclusion of the football season (our All-WNY edition is Saturday, as is the Connolly Cup announcement).

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.

* * *

Here are our past chats of the 2011 fall season: Nov. 16Nov. 9, Nov. 2Oct. 26Oct. 19Oct. 12Oct. 5Sept. 28Sept. 21 (our video chat debut), Sept. 14Sept. 7 and our 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 here, 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

Review live blog from Class AA state football final

Review blog from Class C state football final

Prep Talk Live from the state football championships at the Carrier Dome

Welcome to the final day of the 2011 football season -- and if teams are playing today, you know they must be playing for something important.

It's the state championships for Orchard Park (Class AA, 6 p.m.) and Southwestern (C, noon), and you can follow the action, as you have all season, at Prep Talk Live.

Fans have done an outstanding job helping us keep track of all the action across Western New York this year at Prep Talk Live. Fans can still monitor games and comment on the games on the live blog on the Prep Talk Live page or through a smartphone.

We'll keep the Twitter hashtag #preptalkscores open as we have all season -- so if you're tweeting about football, we can get a conversation going (and the tweets will appear in the live chat as well). You can also certainly tweet to @bufnewspreptalk and @KeithMcSheaBN

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

Class AA football final stats & info

Who: Orchard Park Quakers (12-0) vs. IX-Newburgh Free Academy Goldbacks (10-1).

When: Sunday, 6 p.m.

Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse.

Tickets: $10 (includes all of Sunday's finals). Sunday's other finals: Class C, noon -- Southwestern (11-1) vs. I-Dobbs Ferry (10-1); Class B, 3 p.m. -- V-Hornell (12-0) vs. I-Croton-Harmon (11-0). Friday's finals: D, 11 a.m. -- V-Letchworth (10-1) vs. IX-Chester (11-0). A, 2 p.m. -- IV-Maine-Endwell (11-0) vs. II-Burnt Hills/Ballston Lake (11-1). Note: The finals are Friday and Sunday due to Syracuse University's home game Saturday vs. Cincinnati.

TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNet (all games).

NYSPHSAA championship: The only state championship in New York is the one held by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, which consists of nine football-playing sections. Not included are New York City's Public Schools Athletic League or private schools from Western New York, greater New York City and Long Island). In addition, Section VIII (Nassau County) and Section XI (Suffolk) of Long Island do not participate in the NYSPHSAA football playoffs.

State rankings: 1. St. Anthony's (L.I.) (10-0) (last week: 1); 2. Orchard Park (LW: 2); 3. Newburgh (LW: 16).

Orchard Park state playoff history: This is OP's second championship game. It is 1-0 after its 21-17 victory in 2008 over I-Monroe-Woodbury in which MVP Kyle Hoppy ran for two TDs and Jeff Tundo one in a 21-0 second half for OP. OP has 12 Section VI titles, three Far West Regional wins in 10 games; and two state semifinal wins in three appearances (07, 08, 11).

Orchard Park's road to the final: Section VI final … beat Jamestown, 30-10. Far West Regional … beat V-Rush-Henrietta, 42-35. State semifinal … beat IV-Binghamton, 35-6.

Orchard Park coach: Gene Tundo (18th season, 149-36).

Orchard Park key players: sr. QB David Crowley (5-11, 175; 95-145, 1,688 yards, 18 TDs), sr. RB/LB Okoya Anderson (5-10, 225; 193-1,719 yards, 31 TDs rushing; 29 tackles), sr. WR Ben Johnson (6-3, 200; 46-793, 10 TDs receiving; 16 tackles, five interceptions), jr. WR Ben Holmes (6-0, 177; 18-338, three TDs receiving; 21-249, four TDs rushing); jr. WR Austin Goltz (5-10, 165; 15-288, four TDs receiving); LB/QB James Fitzgerald (6-2, 225; 107.5 tackles; 20-157, three TDs rushing); sr. LB Richie Moore (5-11, 212; 55.5 tackles, INT); sr. DL Chase Smith (6-4, 230; 43.5 tackles); sr. DB Luke Hoppy (5-10, 168; 31 tackles, three INTs); sr. SS Kole Robinson (5-11, 175; 29 tackles, two INTs); sr. OL Devon Leach (6-3, 300); sr. Chris Eisenhut (6-4, 290); jr. OL Michael Senn (6-3, 270); sr. P/K Austin Reese (6-1, 205; 58-65 PATs, 4-5 FGs, 34.8 punt avg.).

Newburgh state playoff history: First state championship appearance after winning sixth title in Section IX (Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster Counties). First state playoff appearance since 2003 (quarterfinal loss).

Previous state playoffs: 2002 (semifinal loss), 2001 (quarterfinal loss), 1999 (semifinal loss), 1997 (quarterfinal loss).

Newburgh's road to the final: Section IX final … beat Warwick, 55-0. State semifinal … beat II-Shenendehowa, 19-6. Only loss was to Kingston, 3-0, in regular season finale. Its regular season win over state power Monroe-Woodbury ended M-W's 63-game win streak against local competition.

Newburgh coach: Bill Bianco (third season, 21-8). Newburgh key players: sr. QB Mark Risio (5-8, 170); fr. RB Anthony Dubose (6-0, 175); sr. OL/DL Mikal Myers (6-0, 305; 85 tackles, 11 sacks); sr. DL/TE Mike Esposito (11 sacks); sr. K Jeremy Stinson (35 touchbacks, 40-yard FG to earn MVP honors of state semi).

In Saturday's paper: A preview look at Southwestern and the Class C final.

On the web: Prep Talk Live will have photos, video and a live blog with play-by-play for Sunday's games.

---Keith McShea

Class C football final stats & info

Who: Southwestern Trojans (11-1) vs. I-Dobbs Ferry Eagles (10-1).

When: Sunday, noon. Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse. Tickets: $10 (includes all of Sunday's finals).

Sunday's other finals: Class B, 3 p.m. -- V-Hornell (12-0) vs. I-Croton-Harmon (11-0); AA, 6 p.m. -- Orchard Park (12-0) vs. IX-Newburgh (10-1). Friday's finals: D: V-Letchworth 27, IX-Chester 0. A: IV-Maine-Endwell 27, II-Burnt Hills/Ballston Lake 20. Note: This year's finals were scheduled for Friday and Sunday due to Syracuse University's home game today versus Cincinnati.

TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNet (all games).

NYSPHSAA championship: The only state championship in New York is the one held by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, which consists of nine football-playing sections. Not included are New York City's Public Schools Athletic League or private schools from Western New York, greater New York City and Long Island. In addition, Section VIII (Nassau County) and Section XI (Suffolk) of Long Island do not participate in the NYSPHSAA football playoffs.

State rankings: 1. Dobbs Ferry (last week: 2); 2. Southwestern (LW: 4).

Southwestern state playoff history: This is Southwestern's third championship game. It is 2-0 after wins in 2008 and 2009, both against schools from Section I (Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties). The Trojans beat Croton-Harmon, 35-7, in 2008 and beat Bronxville, 40-14, the next year. Southwestern has four Section VI championships, three Far West Regional wins in four games and is 3-0 in state semifinals.

Southwestern's road to the final: Section VI final … beat Cleveland Hill, 10-0. Far West Regional … beat V-Wellsville, 23-6. State semifinal … beat IV-Waverly, 19-13. The Trojans' only loss was in Week Four to Salamanca, which won Class C South but lost to Akron in the sectional quarterfinals.

Southwestern coach: Jay Sirianni (ninth season, 87-12).

Southwestern key players: Sr. WR/DB/P/KR Jake Swan (5-11, 160; 50 receptions, 719 yards, nine TDs; 103 rushes, 543 yards, six TDs; 34.9 yards/punt; 47 tackles; 10 INTs; two INT returns for TDs); jr. QB Jake Pilling (5-10, 200; 70-136, 969 yards, 11 TDs, five INTs); jr. LB/OL Peter Trathen (6-2, 210; 104 tackles, four sacks); sr. LB/RB Tyler Uber (6-0, 215; 100 tackles); sr. OL/DL Dan Austin (5-9, 205); sr. LB/RB Dan Petruccello (5-11, 190); so. RB/WR/DB Kevin Bellardo (5-10, 165); jr. WR/DB Ryan Schutte (5-7, 155); sr. WR/DL Jake Snow (6-0, 210); so. K Tanner Hoose (5-11, 165; WNY single-season record-tying nine FGs, 23-27 PATs).

Dobbs Ferry state playoff history: State-high seven finals appearances with three championships (2002, 2004, 2006). It lost finals in 2001, 2005 and 2007 and also made the semifinals in 2003 as part of a seven-year run as Section I Class C champions. The 2004 title came after a 24-0 victory over Falconer. This is the Eagles' first trip since 2007. Bronxville won the state title last year.

Dobbs Ferry's road to the final: Section I final … beat Bronxville, 38-14 (avenging its only loss of the season, a 15-14 home loss in its season opener). State quarterfinal … beat IX-James O'Neill, 47-13. State semifinal … beat No.‚1-ranked Hoosick Falls, 13-12. Dobbs Ferry coach: Jim Moran, first season (10-1).

Dobbs Ferry key players: Sr. QB/DB Spencer Avalos (5-9, 175; 550 rush yards, 450 pass yards, 14 TDs, 60 tackles); so. FB/DL Tim Soave (6-0, 225; 1,067 yards rushing, 16 TDs, 63 tackles); Eddie Ritch (5-10, 165; 870 rushing, 16 TDs, 44 tackles in nine games); sr. HB/DE John Yozzo-Scaperrotta (6-2, 200; 620 rushing, eight TDs, 40 tackles); sr. G/MLB Darien Bica (5-11, 180; 70 tackles); sr. TE/DB Thomas Fleming (6-4, 190; seven receptions, 155 yards, two TDs, 21 tackles).

On the Web: Read the Class AA preview and information, published in Friday's News, about Orchard Park's matchup with Newburgh.

Prep Talk Live: Check out photos, video and a live blog with play-by-play for Sunday's games.

---Keith McShea

PrepTalkTV: St. Joe's Coach Dennis Gilbert's Pregame Speech Before MMA Final

Before the Monsignor Martin Association championship game between St. Joe's and St. Francis Thursday, St. Joe's Coach Dennis Gilbert addressed his team in a locker room inside the tunnel at Ralph C. Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park. 

Gilbert, who had coached the Marauders to a 27-20 victory over St. Francis in Week Five, stood on top of a chair and read a note from Sean Ryan, a St. Joe's graduate from the Class of '99. Ryan played football at St. Joe's before playing at Boston College and then taking his career to the NFL for six years. He was inducted into the SJCI Hall of Fame Friday night. Gilbert had asked him to be the team's honorary captain for the championship game, but due to business obligations, Ryan was unable to make it to town in time. He asked that Gilbert read the note to his team before they took the field. 

St. Joe's fell to St. Francis that night, 37-16, but to me, the speech represented much more than just a game. The words of Ryan, who has experienced football success at the highest level, represented all that is pure about high school sports. At a time when corruption and wrong seem to pop up more and more often in sports, this speech represents what is right.

Check it out:

--Lauren Mariacher

Live from the Class C girls volleyball state championship: Eden sweeps to third straight title (with video)

Eden won its ninth state title, the most in state history. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

Greetings from the Glens Falls Civic Center for the state volleyball championships as Eden goes for its third straight state title. It won the last two years in Class B.

Randolph fell in the Class D final this morning.

Here's video of the opening ceremonies:

After today's volleyball action, the fall season is down to two football teams with Orchard Park (Class AA) and Southwestern (C) playing in next Sunday's state championships at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. 

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

Live from the Class D girls volleyball state championship: Randolph dethroned

About 12 hours after leaving the football state semifinals in Syracuse, greetings from the Glens Falls Civic Center for the state volleyball championships.

We'll be back later with a post on Eden's Class B final. 

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

State swim day 2

  Section VI won two state titles.

 Dina Rommel of Clarnece in the 50 free and Clarence's 4x200 relay team.

Rommel broke the Section VI record in the 50 free.

---Mary Jo Monnin

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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 | [email protected]

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