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#PrepTalkAwards section, web-style: PrepTalkTV interviews, bios, photos & more

By Keith McShea

Today's 24-page Prep Talk Awards special section has great information and photos on all of Monday night's honorees, and we've got more coverage here. 

* There are PHOTO GALLERIES from:

-- Monday's event featuring winner's photos with Andre Reed (they can be purchased here)

-- as well as photo galleries including feature shots of the Prep Talk Players of the Year

-- and shots of our All-Western New York basketball and football teams.

* Here's our TWEET-by-TWEET post from Monday night, featuring tons of great tweets from those at the event. 

* The BIOs of the Prep Talk Players of the Year in the special section were taken from here on the blog. Our Countdown to #PrepTalkAwards profiled every Prep Talk Player of the Year in a day-by-day feature on the blog that started with Brandon Galanti of Frontier (Prep Talk Soccer Player of the Year) and concluded with McKyla Brooks of Frontier (Prep Talk Girls Three-Sport Player of the Year) -- the post on Brooks includes links to all the previous bios.

* Below are PrepTalkTV VIDEO interviews with nearly all of the Prep Talk Players of the Year (some from the winter), as well as videos featuring the All-Western New York basketball and football teams:

Continue reading "#PrepTalkAwards section, web-style: PrepTalkTV interviews, bios, photos & more" »

The inaugural #PrepTalkAwards, tweet by tweet (plus VIDEO highlights from the night)

By Keith McShea

It was something special to be a part of the inaugural Prep Talk Awards Monday night at the Hyatt in downtown Buffalo. 

Here's a story on the big winners of the evening, which also includes a list of all honorees. 

Here's a photo gallery of all Prep Talk Players of the Year who were present, joined by soon-to-be Hall-of-Famer Andre Reed. 

(There will be a 24-page special section on the Prep Talk Awards published in Wednesday's Buffalo News).

Here's Reed's keynote address, in which he talked about his high school sports days, the glory years with the Bills and the 

And here's how the night was documented on Twitter. We've imbedded some tweets here in the blog -- to see a full review of #PrepTalkAwards tweets during the evening, click on the live blog window at the bottom of the post.

Andre Reed's keynote speech:

High school sports advocate Dick Gallagher is inducted into Prep Talk Hall of Fame:

Prep Talk Girls Three-Sport Player of the Year: McKyla Brooks, Frontier

By Keith McShea

2BrooksOne of the best volleyball players in Western New York, and a multiple champion in track & field -- with some history thrown in. 

That's the resume of McKyla Brooks of Frontier. Her excellence during all three seasons led to her selection as the Prep Talk Girls Three-Sport Player of the Year. 

Brooks was a first-team All-Western New York selection in volleyball as an overwhelmingly dominant force at the net.

In indoor track, she won championships in the long jump and triple jump. In the outdoor season she won championships in the same events, including setting a Section VI record in the triple jump. 

Brooks, a junior, has already verbally committed to Stony Brook, which recruited her to participate in both sports.

She talked about her award, season and future plans in a recent visit to PrepTalkTV

* * *

All Prep Talk Players of the Year will be honored at the inaugural Prep Talk Awards on June 16 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, featuring Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Janet Snyder of Kiss 98.5. The Prep Talk Awards will honor Prep Talk Players of the Year in more than 30 sports, along with the All-Western New York first teams in football and basketball. 

* * * 

Our Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards will feature a different Prep Talk Player of the Year every day -- until the big night.

The list thus far:

Continue reading "Prep Talk Girls Three-Sport Player of the Year: McKyla Brooks, Frontier" »

Prep Talk Boys Three-Sport Player of the Year: Charlie Sobieraski, Lockport

By Keith McShea

2SobieraskiCharlie Sobieraski of Lockport hadn't played football during his high school career until he had one year left. Not surprisingly, he was a major factor for the Lions.

Sobieraski earned All-Western New York team honorable mention in football, adding to another all-Niagara Frontier League honor in basketball (second team) and what is all but certainly an upcoming first-team honor in baseball (the team has not been voted on yet). 

That kind of resume has earned Sobieraski the Prep Talk Boys Three-Sport Player of the Year award. 

The senior is committed to play baseball at the University at Buffalo, and he completed his high school career with a fine all-around season on the diamond. He hit .520 with three home runs and 27 RBIs and was 6-1 with 57 strikeouts on the mound. 

In basketball, he was a key component on a talented, deep Lions team which made the Class AA semifinals, putting a scare into eventual state runner-up Jamestown before falling. In football, he was a major weapon at wide receiver, setting the Lockport single-season record for touchdown catches with 12.  

He talked about her award, season and future plans in a recent visit to PrepTalkTV

* * *

All Prep Talk Players of the Year will be honored at the inaugural Prep Talk Awards on June 16 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, featuring Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Janet Snyder of Kiss 98.5. The Prep Talk Awards will honor Prep Talk Players of the Year in more than 30 sports, along with the All-Western New York first teams in football and basketball. 

* * * 

Our Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards will feature a different Prep Talk Player of the Year every day -- until the big night.

The list thus far:

Continue reading "Prep Talk Boys Three-Sport Player of the Year: Charlie Sobieraski, Lockport" »

Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls lacrosse: Allie Stewart, Lancaster

By Keith McShea

2StewartFor Allie Stewart of Lancaster, there is quantity and quality when it comes to lacrosse.

Stewart has been playing varsity lacrosse since seventh grade, and she has played at a high level almost since she stepped on the varsity field.

She is a four-time All-Western New York first teamer and a two-time All-American who has been a pivotal part of Lancaster's championship program every year, which is why she has been named the Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls lacrosse. 

Stewart has helped Lancaster to a third straight Section VI championship this year, while she also was part of a title team in her first two varsity seasons. 

She is headed to reigning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Canisius College, where she verbally committed to as a sophomore. 

She talked about her award, season and future plans in a recent visit to PrepTalkTV

* * *

All Prep Talk Players of the Year will be honored at the inaugural Prep Talk Awards on June 16 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, featuring Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Janet Snyder of Kiss 98.5. The Prep Talk Awards will honor Prep Talk Players of the Year in more than 30 sports, along with the All-Western New York first teams in football and basketball. 

* * * 

Our Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards will feature a different Prep Talk Player of the Year every day -- until the big night.

The list thus far:

Continue reading "Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls lacrosse: Allie Stewart, Lancaster" »

Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys lacrosse: Connor Fields, Bishop Timon-St. Jude

Charles Lewis/Buffalo NewsBy Keith McShea

Connor Fields of Bishop Timon-St. Jude scored 108 goals this year, the most in New York State and in the top three in the country -- one year after scoring 129, believed to be a national record. 

For his astounding offensive numbers, and how it helped push his team to another outstanding season, Fields has been named the Prep Talk Player of the Year in boys lacrosse.

He, along with talented senior teammate Adam Dimillo, has been named an Under Armour All-American and will play in the national showcase game this summer. Dimillo is headed to Maryland while Fields is headed to the University at Albany. 

Timon went 14-5 with its only losses to North American powers Boys Latin of Maryland, Culver Institute of Indiana (twice) and Hill Academy of Ontario (Timon went 1-2). 

Fields was also named the Prep Talk Player of the Year in boys hockey. He was the only Western New York player who earned all-state honors in that sport as he scored 47 goals for the Tigers. 

He talked about his award, season and future plans in a recent visit to PrepTalkTV

* * *

All Prep Talk Players of the Year will be honored at the inaugural Prep Talk Awards on June 16 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, featuring Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Janet Snyder of Kiss 98.5. The Prep Talk Awards will honor Prep Talk Players of the Year in more than 30 sports, along with the All-Western New York first teams in football and basketball. 

* * * 

Our Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards will feature a different Prep Talk Player of the Year every day -- until the big night.

The list thus far:

 

Continue reading "Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys lacrosse: Connor Fields, Bishop Timon-St. Jude" »

PrepTalkTV: Interviews with 11 Prep Talk Players of the Year

PrepTalkTV and News reporter Keith McShea spent time with 11 Prep Talk Players of the Year Thursday as we close in on the completion of our countdown to our Prep Talk Awards Monday night at the Hyatt.

First segment: Softball winner Katrina Buczkowski of Clarence and boys three-sport winner Charlie Sobieraski of Lockport:

Second segment: Frontier's Chad Mee (boys bowling) and McKyla Brooks (girls three-sport) and baseball's Dave "Bubba" Hollins of Orchard Park.

Third segment: Clarence's Teddy Okon, the boys track & field Player of the Year.

Fourth segment: The hockey/lacrosse edition with Julianna Iafallo of Nichols (girls hockey), Connor Fields of Bishop Timon-St. Jude (boys hockey and boys lacrosse) and Allie Stewart of Lancaster (girls lacrosse).

Fifth segment: Girls track & field/cross country edition with Sophia Tasselmyer of East Aurora (girls cross country) and Jess Dhaliwall of Grand Island (girls track and field).

Prep Talk Player of the Year for softball: Katrina Buczkowski, Clarence

By Keith McShea

Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo NewsLast Wednesday, following Clarence's resounding Section VI Class AA championship victory over Williamsville North, senior pitcher Katrina Buczkowski was notified that she had been selected as the Prep Talk Player of the Year for softball.

Two days later, she pitched a perfect game to propel the Red Devils to the final four. 

Thanks for making us look good, Katrina. 

Buczkowski earned the distinction as our winner for an outstanding season -- not only in the circle, but at the plate -- for a Clarence team that was No. 1 in The News large school poll most of the season before rolling to the AA final. 

Buczkowski is 20-1 this season including an 11-1 mark in ECIC I. She is 38-4 for her career. Entering the final, she had averaged 10 strikeouts per game (176 total) and just one walk per game while she had an ERA of 1.64. 

At the plate, she had a .424 average heading into the AA final. She was second on the team with 28 hits; she was also second in RBIs and extra-base hits and first in doubles. Her hitting from the clean-up spot has been very clutch since many teams have walked Canisius College-bound Moriah Harris, who bats third. Harris has been walked more than 20 times this year, with more than 75 percent of them coming intentionally. 

Katrina -- who will attend Division I Ramapo College in N.J. -- and Clarence aren't done yet. The Red Devils participate in the state final four on Saturday at South Glens Falls.

She talked about her award, season and future plans in a recent visit to PrepTalkTV.  

* * *

All Prep Talk Players of the Year will be honored at the inaugural Prep Talk Awards on June 16 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, featuring Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Janet Snyder of Kiss 98.5. The Prep Talk Awards will honor Prep Talk Players of the Year in more than 30 sports, along with the All-Western New York first teams in football and basketball. 

* * * 

Our Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards will feature a different Prep Talk Player of the Year every day -- until the big night.

The list thus far:

 

Continue reading "Prep Talk Player of the Year for softball: Katrina Buczkowski, Clarence" »

Prep Talk Player of the Year for baseball: Dave 'Bubba' Hollins, Orchard Park

By Keith McShea

Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo NewsOne high school baseball player from Western New York was selected in the Major League Baseball draft last week.

It was Dave "Bubba" Hollins of Orchard Park, who is our Prep Talk Player of the Year for baseball.

Hollins prevailed in what was a very close race from among a deep pool of talent as he was selected just ahead of Charlie Sobieraski of Lockport and Ryan Stekl of Lancaster

Hollins was the best player on what was the best team for the majority of the Western New York baseball season. The slugging shortstop helped lead OP to an 18-3 record, the ECIC I title and a trip to the Class AA championship game. 

He hit .508 (31 for 61) with four home runs, 31 RBIs, three triples, nine doubles, 30 runs, 16 walks, six stolen bases, a slugging percentage of .951 and an on-base percentage of .598. He played what coach Jim Gibson termed "outstanding" defense at shortstop as he was involved in 15 double plays. 

He is presently deciding to attend St. Petersburg Junior College or to join the Detroit Tigers organization after the Tigers drafted Hollins in the 35th round of last week's draft. During OP's season, Gibson said scouts from the Giants, Braves, Orioles, Phillies and Twins watched Hollins play. 

Read Bucky Gleason's column on Hollins, his nickname and his future ... and his prom night.

He talked about his award, season and future plans in a recent visit to PrepTalkTV

* * *

All Prep Talk Players of the Year will be honored at the inaugural Prep Talk Awards on June 16 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, featuring Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Janet Snyder of Kiss 98.5. The Prep Talk Awards will honor Prep Talk Players of the Year in more than 30 sports, along with the All-Western New York first teams in football and basketball. 

* * * 

Our Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards will feature a different Prep Talk Player of the Year every day -- until the big night.

The list thus far:

 

Continue reading "Prep Talk Player of the Year for baseball: Dave 'Bubba' Hollins, Orchard Park" »

Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls track & field: Jess Dhaliwall, Grand Island

(Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

By Keith McShea

This has been called the "Year of the Throwers" in Western New York track and field.

And Jess Dhaliwall of Grand Island is a major reason why.

Dhaliwall won the state championship in the discus last weekend, capping off an outstanding senior season and career that also includes her being named the Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls track and field.

At the Section VI championships, Dhaliwall won the discus as well as the shot put, continuing a top-of-the-state rivalry with Lancaster's McKenzie Kuehlewind, the Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls indoor track. 

Keuhlewind finished first in the shot put at the state outdoor meet, with Dhaliwall second. Dhaliwall won the Section VI indoor title in the shot put before also finishing second to Kuehlewind at the state indoor meet. 

As juniors, Dhaliwall won the Section VI outdoor title in the discus over Kuehlewind; Kuehlewind won the shot put over Dhaliwall.

Dhaliwall is one of several local throwers (along with Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys indoor track, Devon Patterson of Williamsville South) headed to the University at Buffalo next year.

Her planned roomate at UB? Kuehlewind. 

She talked about her award, season and future plans in a recent visit to PrepTalkTV

* * *

All Prep Talk Players of the Year will be honored at the inaugural Prep Talk Awards on June 16 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, featuring Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Janet Snyder of Kiss 98.5. The Prep Talk Awards will honor Prep Talk Players of the Year in more than 30 sports, along with the All-Western New York first teams in football and basketball. 

* * * 

Our Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards will feature a different Prep Talk Player of the Year every day -- until the big night.

The list thus far:

 

Continue reading "Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls track & field: Jess Dhaliwall, Grand Island" »

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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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