For the past few years, the ADPRO Sports Monsignor Martin-ECIC Challenge has been a staple of the December boys basketball season.
This year the name has changed, the event has changed, and the site has changed, and all the changes are good ones.
Welcome to the ADPRO Sports Public/Private Challenge, which will be hosted at Canisius High.
St. Mary's in Lancaster was a tremendous host since the event's inception several years ago and they were a big part of it coming together. The only thing that could be improved upon how St. Mary's hosted the event is if St. Mary's were located in downtown Buffalo so that potentially even more fans could attend the games in a more centralized location.
There are still plenty of MMA-ECIC matchups, but the name change frees up the event to include other leagues -- namely the Buffalo Public Schools -- along with Olean (an independent this year) without the showcase becoming a misnomer. That's what has happened in past years -- two two best matchups in the event's history varied from the name when the Nichols team that would go on to win the state Federation title played Niagara Falls, and last year when defending No. 1 poll schools Canisius and Olean met (Olean held on to win after getting out to a huge first half lead).
Coach Rich Robbins and senior Qadree Ollison discuss how Canisius closed out a 5-0 Monsignor Martin Association regular season with a dominant defensive performance and a 21-0 shutout of rival St. Joe's.
Canisius senior Jack Boyd, who has won two state championships each of the last two years and is one of the top-ranked swimmers in the country, has committed to swim at Harvard University, according to SwimmingWorldMagazine.com.
Boyd won the 500- and 200-yard freestyle events at last year's state meet in All-America times. He also swam on the Crusaders’ 400 freestyle relay, which finished second to overall champion Fordham Prep. Canisius was third at the meet.
As a sophomore, he also won state titles in those same events.
Week Two has me headed to Rochester for the second straight Friday night as Canisius, considered the No. 1 team in New York State, plays at Aquinas (7:30, #CANvAQ), a program which has held that spot often in recent years. I'll have play-by-play from the game along with scoring and end-of-quarter updates via Twitter.
We'll also have News reporters and photojournalists out at Lockport at Orchard Park (#LOCKvOP), Lackawanna at Tonawanda (#LACKvTON), Grand Island at North Tonawanda (#GIvNT) -- all 7 p.m. starts -- and West Seneca West at Lancaster (#WSWvLANC) at 7:30.
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). You can also tweet updates at @bufnewspreptalk and @KeithMcSheaBN.
Canisius senior standout running back Qadree Ollison will announce his college decision today in a ceremony at the Delaware Ave. school.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Ollison will announce where he is verbally committing from among his five finalists -- Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and Wisconsin -- at 3:15 p.m. in Canisius' auditorium. Ollison was offered scholarships by 15 Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision) programs.
The announcement comes one day after the Niagara Falls' native's 17th birthday.
Conjecture by many, including myself, has Pitt and Penn State as his finalists. Ollison said during the summer that he would make official visits to both schools.
Who’s who: The six-team league includes the Bishop Timon-St. Jude Tigers, Canisius Crusaders, Cardinal O'Hara Hawks, St. Francis Red Raiders, St. Joe's Marauders and St. Mary's Lancers. The Nichols Vikings, who compete in the Monsignor Martin Association in most other sports, are an independent in football.
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.