Mike Waterman made big plays on both sides of the ball Friday night to lead West Seneca East over Williamsville South, 35-14, in a Section VI Class A quarterfinal at District Field in Williamsville.
Waterman, a senior running back and linebacker, rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns, gained another 98 yards on three receptions, and intercepted two passes in the fourth quarter, including one that he returned for a touchdown.
Sam Castranova threw a touchdown pass to Kevin Mason and ran for another one for the Billies (4-4), who lost to their former A South division rivals for the third time in two years.
West Seneca East (7-1), the News' No. 7 Large School, will meet the winner of today’s quarterfinal between top-seeded Sweet Home and No. 8 seed Kenmore East next Saturday in the Class A semifinals. Sweet Home defeated West Seneca East in last year’s Class A final.
Springville football coach John Sopko has been placed on administrative leave, Springville School Superintendent Dr. Paul Connelly confirmed on Friday night. The Griffins coach, who was in his fifth season, was not on the sidelines for Friday night’s Springville at Gowanda matchup game. He was replaced by Rob Valenti, Springville’s assistant coach and line coach.
"Here’s the deal. There’s no firing," said Connelly. "At this point in time all it is it is a letter that I gave him that puts him on an administrative leave from his position as head coach as we continue to investigate some allege incidents throughout the season."
Connelly said Sopko has only been relieved of his coaching duties and not from his position as a social studies teacher at the high school.
Fourteen Section VI games kick off the playoffs, with all but one of those being quarterfinals, and foremost among them is the top 10 large school matchup of No. 10 Grand Island against co-No. 8 McKinley at Riverside at 7:30 p.m. I'll have play-by-play from the game (#GIvMCK) along with scoring and end-of-quarter updates via Twitter.
We'll also have News correspondents and photojournalists at other top quarterfinals like Clarence at Orchard Park in Class AA (#CLARvOP at 6:30), West Seneca East at Williamsville South in Class A (#WSEvWSO at 7) and Bennett at Depew (#BENvDEP at 7:30) in Class B.
We encourage you to tweet updates with the hashtag #preptalklive attached -- that's the quickest way for us to share the information through the live chat (tweets with that hashtag will automatically show up -- our old friend #preptalkscores will work as well). Live chat comments are certainly welcome too.
We're going into a different formation for our seventh episode of PrepTalkTV tonight at 7:30 (you'll be able to watch it here and the home page of BuffaloNews.com).
I'll be joined by News pollsters Dick Gallagher (longtime Western New York High School Sports publisher and banquet organizer) and with now-frequent PrepTalkTV guest co-host and Buffalo State freshman Dave DeLuca (Springville Journal) as we break down the Section VI playoffs, class by class (which I did in this week's Prep Talk column).
We'll sneak in a little poll talk as we go from the smallest classes to the largest.
After the show, we'll conduct a live chat here on the blog. As always, anything in the world of high school sports, or our coverage of it, is up for discussion.
As always, I will try to get to every question in the live chat. Please be patient.
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.