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St. Joe's statement on football coach Dennis Gilbert

By Keith McShea

St. Joe's today issued a statement to The News by president Robert T. Scott concerning varsity football coach Dennis R. Gilbert. 

Gilbert, a Buffalo police officer, is one of the six officers who have been placed on administrative leave as part of the department's internal investigation into an alleged case of police brutality that came to light via a YouTube video.   


LATEST (updated Tuesday evening): Police officials say Gilbert and two other officers walked away before the beating occurred and did not witness it. Those three officers may soon be exonerated.


The full statement from Scott:

"We are aware that Mr. Gilbert has been placed on administrative leave along with five other Buffalo Police officers who were allegedly present at the incident occurring on April 19. It is our understanding that this action is standard practice for an Internal Affairs Division investigation.

"While St. Joe’s does not have any information to conclude that Mr. Gilbert acted inappropriately, we are monitoring this situation and will defer any action until the investigation is complete."

Gilbert, a 1984 graduate of the Kenmore Avenue school, is 29-15 in four seasons at St. Joe's, including a Monsignor Martin Association championship in his first season (2010). St. Joe's also played in the championship game in 2011 (losing to St. Francis) and this past season (losing to Canisius). 

Gilbert was previously a longtime JV coach for St. Joe's (16 titles in 20 years) and he was the head coach at St. Mary's for the 2007 season. 

He was a former football standout for the Marauders as well as a Canisius College graduate who was elected to the St. Joe's Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. 

Gilbert recently appeared in The News as part of Jerry Sullivan's April 16 column on 2012 St. Joe's graduate Chad Kelly.

Your #PrepTalkLive updates on a very busy, very sunny Monday

By Keith McShea

The good news is, it's sunny out in Western New York. 

The bad news is, it might be wet tomorrow. And the next day ... and the rest of this week. 

Weather forecasts are calling for rain for Tuesday through Friday, so high school sports fans need to enjoy today. The good news there is, there's plenty to enjoy. 

A very busy lineup includes the first baseball meeting between St. Joe's and Canisius (4:30 p.m. at St. Joe's) as well as a ton of baseball, softball and lacrosse. 

Our scoreboard page has a schedule of today's games -- that same page will have box scores as games are reported to us throughout the evening.

As always, we're looking forward to your #PrepTalkLive updates on Twitter. 

Ccontribute updates and keep track of others as well in the blog below -- the easiest way to do that is to tweet updates with the #PrepTalkLive hashtag. Those tweets will automatically appear below. 

We will set up blogs like this throughout the spring, especially on busy days -- we'll monitor some games with not only our own tweets, but those of high school sports fans and followers who use the #preptalklive hashtag.

We want tweets from all varsity sports every day of the week. The #preptalklive blog (and hashtag) -- as it was during football season and the winter -- is the place to check out scores from all over Western New York.

Buffalo News/BCANY Awards boys basketball honorees

By Keith McShea

In today's Prep Talk column, I mentioned how pleased our committee was with the third annual Buffalo News/BCANY Awards banquet for boys basketball.

To reiterate, we were able to honor not only the top players and coaches from this season, as well as some contributors to the game, but we also paid tribute to 50th anniversary 1964 All-Western New York first-teamers Tom Balen (Lackawanna), Jack Hassett (Timon) and Greg Hudecki (St. Joe’s) as well as George Mayer of Williamsville, who was a member of the very first All-WNY team in 1959.

Also honored were the fathers of two All-WNY first teamers who were also first-teamers themselves: Rickey Williams (Bishop Timon, 1974), father of Donte; and Brian Brown (Emerson, 1986), father of Bri'an.

Damone Brown, a first-teamer in 1997 for Seneca, was on hand to present the Allen Wilson Player of the Year Award. Brown was one of the players who Wilson, who died of lukemia in 2011, covered during his time on the boys basketball beat at The News.

Here is a complete list of honorees from the banquet, held April 7 at Ilio DiPaolo's in Blasdell and supported by ADPRO Sports and UNYTS:

Continue reading "Buffalo News/BCANY Awards boys basketball honorees" »

O'Hara coach McDermott steps down, hands reins to assistant O'Neil

By Keith McShea

Last night, Cardinal O'Hara girls basketball coach Dan McDermott surprised just about everyone at the team's season-ending banquet when he announced that he was stepping down as head coach. 

He announced that he would still be involved with the team in a coaching capacity, but that assistant Nick O'Neil would take over as head coach. McDermott has lauded O'Neil in recent years as the Hawks won three straight Catholic state championships, the first two in Class B and the latest in Class A this season, which the team followed up with a rare state Federation championship. 

The Federation title was just the sixth for a girls basketball team from Western New York, just the second in a large school division and the first since 1997.

Here's how I tweeted the news.

Continue reading "O'Hara coach McDermott steps down, hands reins to assistant O'Neil" »

Middle Early College's Keir Anderson to Pensacola State JC

Keir Anderson (photo provided by Middle Early College coach Randy Rich)By Keith McShea

Keir Anderson, a second-team All-Western New York selection in 2013 for Middle Early College, has signed a letter of intent with Pensacola (Fla.) State. 

Pensacola State competes at the Division I level of the National Junior College Athletic Association

Anderson spent this past season at Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C.

Depew softball's Wildcat Tournament moved to Sunday

By Keith McShea

UPDATE: The tournament was called off on Saturday afternoon. It will not be rescheduled.

* * *

Depew softball's 17th annual Wildcat Tournament has been moved from Saturday to Sunday. Coach Dan Seelig announced the change today after consulting the weather forecast. 

The one-day event, which features two separate brackets of eight teams each at Walden Pond Park, is now scheduled to begin with games at 10:30 a.m.

Games are also scheduled for 12:15, 2 (loser's bracket games) and 3:45 p.m., with the championship games set for 5:30.

Last year's champions were Clarence and Hamburg (both of which went on to win sectional championships with Hamburg winning the Class A state title).

The complete schedule:

Continue reading "Depew softball's Wildcat Tournament moved to Sunday" »

St. Bonaventure the 11th school to offer scholarship to Canisius H.S. sophomore Howard Washington

By Keith McShea

Howard Washington, the standout sophomore guard for Canisius High, has continued to attract Division I scholarship offers, with the latest coming from down the road in Olean.

St. Bonaventure became the 11th school to offer the 6-2 sophomore guard, Washington confirmed to me via Twitter direct message this afternoon. 

Washington confirmed a Twitter report by @GiveNGobball that he recently received an offer from St. Bonaventure.

Washington told me that St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt offered a scholarship after watching a workout Wednesday. The workout was also attended by the University at Buffalo and Canisius, who have already offered scholarships to Washington. 

Schmidt's son, Olean senior Nick, just completed a standout career with the Huskies with a third-team All-Western New York selection. News small school champion Olean lost, 67-49, at Canisius in December. 

The complete list of schools to offer Washington, in chronological order:

Continue reading "St. Bonaventure the 11th school to offer scholarship to Canisius H.S. sophomore Howard Washington" »

News Player of the Year Sterling Taplin will attend prep school

By Keith McShea

Sterling Taplin, this year's Allen Wilson Award winner as The Buffalo News Player of the Year for boys basketball, will attend prep school next season. 

Taplin, who graduates from Williamsville North this spring, confirmed to me via Twitter direct message that he will be going the prep school route. He has been listed as a member of the Class of 2015 on the roster of the Albany City Rocks team competing this spring in Nike Elite Youth Basketball. 

Taplin has had Division I interest throughout his accomplished career, which included being a three-time first-team All-Western New York selection. In an interview for this year's All-Western New York issue, he said he had an offer from Siena but that he was giving more consideration to prep school.

Continue reading "News Player of the Year Sterling Taplin will attend prep school" »

Watch PrepTalkTV on All-WNY basketball; plus live chat & your #preptalklive updates

By Keith McShea

Tonight's PrepTalkTV episode, featuring News pollster Chad "Centercourt" Andrews, will dissect the All-Western New York boys basketball team.

In tonight's 7:30 p.m. chat, we'll take any and all questions on the boys and girls teams while we monitor the #PrepTalkLive updates. I'll also post some All-WNY related tweets that have went out over the last few days.

You can watch the show live here or at the video home page. Here it is, segment by segment:

Continue reading "Watch PrepTalkTV on All-WNY basketball; plus live chat & your #preptalklive updates" »

Niagara PAL/ACE All-Star Showcase rosters set for Thursday's games

By Keith McShea

The Niagara PAL/ACE All-Star Showcase will be held Thursday at Niagara Falls High School.

The first game, which includes freshman and sophomores, will start at 6 p.m. The junior-senior game will follow. 

Admission is $5 with proceeds going to the Niagara PAL. 

The rosters:

Continue reading "Niagara PAL/ACE All-Star Showcase rosters set for Thursday's games" »

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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 |