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Alden's Corey Barczykowski wins the Connolly Cup

We are reporting live from Ilio DiPaolo's, the annual site of the Connolly Cup banquet.

This year's award is expected to be announced shortly after 2 p.m.

It is the 41st award presented by the Connolly Cup Committe. The award is named for John R. Connolly, an ardent supporter of youth athletics up until his passing in 1971; the Riverside Athletic Club started the award in his name. Check out more history, as well as previous winners and finalists, at connollycup.com

This year's finalists are:

Corey Barczykowski, Alden senior RB/DB
James Chambers, Lockport senior RB/DB
Maurice Howie, South Park junior QB/DB
Austin Mietz, Akron senior QB/DB
Ilo Noble, St. Joe's senior RB/DB
Qadree Ollison, Canisius junior RB/DB
Andy Smigiera, West Seneca East senior QB/DB/K
Mike Torrillo, Sweet Home senior QB
Nick Vallone, St. Mary's junior RB/DB
Mitch Wilson, Orchard Park senior RB

Last year's winner was Chad Kelly of St. Joe's, who was also The Buffalo News Player of the Year.

* * *

2:15 p.m. Jehuu Caulcrick, former star at Clymer, Michigan State and a former National Football League player, is the guest speaker.

He gets a big laugh from telling the story that after winning the award in 2002, he drove around with the trophy seatbelted to the front seat of his car! 

He told the players to thank all the people that helped get them to this point. 

He is telling the story about how, in his youth, he and his mother fled Liberia after his father was assassinated during wartime; then how he lived and growing up in Findley Lake and the Clymer community. Clymer coach Howard McMullin always stressed to him, "get that sheepskin," meaning to get his college degree.

"Don't let anyone tell you that you can do something," Caulcrick told the finalists. "Because you can do whatever you put your mind to.

"Do the best you can with football -- and school. ... Keep a close group of people around you that are there for you. Surround yourself with good people."

2:27 p.m. Connolly Cup chairman Dennis Sarow is at the podium. Thanking many people (including Prep Talk :-) ) and explaining how the committee saw over 70 schools this season.

"It's a tough decision," Sarow said of the award and weekly awards. "Sometimes it gets a little heated."

The final award is done via secret ballot.

2:32 p.m. The introduction of the 10 finalists has begun by WGRZ's Stu Boyar.

2:41 p.m. The winner of this year's Connolly Cup is Alden senior Corey Barczykowski.

3:14 p.m. That's it from here -- heading to One News Plaza to do a story on Barczykowski for Sunday's paper.

* * *

The Connolly Cup selection will be among the many things to discuss during our post-All-Western New York edition of PrepTalkTV Sunday.

The show, which starts tomorrow night at 8:30 here at buffalonews.com, will feature a live chat throughout as Dick Gallagher, Lauren Mariacher and myself field questions about The News' All-Western New York team and our Player of the Year Award. 

---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 | [email protected]

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