By Keith McShea
Our two Prep Talk Players of the Year for rowing might have a problem attending the Prep Talk Awards on June 16, but they have a good excuse -- they're headed to USRowing's Youth Nationals in Sacramento, Calif.
Our boys winner is Joseph Ebner of Canisius. He is part of the Crusaders' varsity eight, which qualified for nationals with a second-place finish at the New York State championships. Ebner is one of several rowers who are pushing the varsity eight to success despite technically being lightweight rowers.
That was just the latest accomplishment for Ebner, who was lauded by his coaches for his outstanding work ethic and leadership, and whose rowing resume is filled with highlights:
* He was part of a freshmen eight which was second at the U.S. Scholastic Nationals and was undefeated in all other local and regional competition.
* As a junior he was part of a lightweight eight which won a state title, was second at the Canadian Nationals and was first in the B final at the U.S. Youth Nationals.
* As a senior he was part of a top 15 finish out of 84 at the Head of the Charles, in addition to qualifying for nationals.
Ebner will row for the University of Pennsylvania's excellent program next year, in their lightweight boat.
We'll spotlight the girls rowing Prep Talk Player of the Year on Sunday.
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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.
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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:
Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards / Prep Talk Players of the Year
May 15 -- Boys soccer: Brandon Galanti, Frontier
May 16 -- Girls soccer: Carissima Cutrona, Williamsville South
May 17 -- Girls swimming: Dina Rommel, Clarence
May 18 -- Boys swimming: Jack Boyd, Canisius
May 19 -- Wrestling: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, Cheektowaga
May 20 -- Boys bowling: Chad Mee, Frontier
May 21 -- Girls bowling: Haley Carroll, Williamsville South
May 22 -- Boys volleyball: Brian Costello, Canisius
May 23 -- Girls volleyball: Lainy Pierce, Eden
May 24 -- Boys gymnastics: Noah Roberson, Williamsville South
May 25 -- Girls gymnastics: Courtney Bondanza, Lancaster
May 26 -- Field hockey: Giovanna Fasanello, Clarence
May 27 -- Boys cross country: T.J. Hornberger, Lake Shore
May 28 -- Girls cross country: Sophia Tasselmyer, Starpoint/East Aurora
May 29 -- Boys indoor track: Devon Patterson, Williamsville South
May 30 -- Girls indoor track: McKenzie Keuhlewind, Lancaster
May 31 -- Girls golf: Chelsea Dantonio, Lancaster
June 1 -- Boys golf: Adam Patronik, Orchard Park
June 2 -- Girls hockey: Julianna Iafallo, Nichols
June 3 -- Boys hockey: Connor Fields, Bishop Timon-St. Jude
June 4 -- Girls tennis: Carlee Conway, Sacred Heart
June 5 -- Boys tennis: Tim Kane, Hamburg
June 6 -- Rifle: Rhianna Lichtenthal, Orchard Park
Today -- Boys rowing: Joseph Ebner, Canisius
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All Prep Talk Players of the Year were selected by The Buffalo News in consultation with area coaches and scouts.