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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" »

Prep Talk Player of the Year for wrestling: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, Cheektowaga

By Keith McShea

Renaldo

Injuries may have shortened his senior season, but the legacy of Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer as one of Western New York's greatest high school wrestlers of all-time is more than intact.

Rodriguez-Spencer, a senior at Cheektowaga who will wrestle at national power Iowa State next year, is the Prep Talk Player of the Year for wrestling. 

The 2012 state champion went 38-0 with 27 pins before a knee injury ended his senior year just prior to the postseason. He was the champion at tournaments at Spencerport, Palmyra, Cheektowaga as well as the Niagara Frontier Wrestling Officials Association tournament and the ECIC Championships (where he hurt his knee). 

His career record was 188-13 with 97 pins, graduating with school records for most wins, most wins in a season (we went 47-0 last year) and was second in career pins (84 to 2009 grad Jared Messina's 104).

After the season, Rodriguez-Spencer was able to compete -- to say the least -- at the National High School Coaches Association tournament in Virginia Beach, Va., where he won a second straight national title and became the first wrestler in the history of the tournament to earn multiple Most Outstanding Wrestler honors.

He defeated Niko Villareal of Gilroy High in California in overtime, 8-6, in the 145-pound final this year. Last year he earned national attention by winning the junior tournament in the final seconds with a "flying squirrel" move.

Last year I did a story -- which is accompanied by a great graphic designed by Andrea Zagata -- on Rodriguez-Spencer's "flying squirrel" move and his career to that point.

He appeared on PrepTalkTV this year to discuss his career and his future at Iowa State (videos embedded below).

* * *

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 each day until the June 16 event.

The list:

Continue reading "Prep Talk Player of the Year for wrestling: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, Cheektowaga" »

VIDEO: Cheektowaga wins A-2 title on 'THUD'-three

By Keith McShea

Here are some video views of the end of Cheektowaga's 69-68 victory over Amherst in the Section VI Class A-2 championship game.  It was the program's first sectional title.

VIDEO: Section VI boys hoops winners from Amherst, Cheektowaga & Cleveland Hill

PrepTalkTV: Cheektowaga wrestling standout Rodriguez-Spencer & an old friend co-hosts

By Keith McShea

Cheektowaga senior wrestler Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, an All-American and state champion who is headed to Iowa State, will join us on PrepTalkTV tonight along with his coach Matt Haberl, and a special guest co-host appearance by former News reporter Lauren Burroughs (you'll remember her last name as Mariacher in her PrepTalkTV days). We'll get started at 7:30.

You can watch the show live here or at the BuffaloNews.com home page. After the show the complete broadcast segments will be posted here.

The live show will be again be followed shortly thereafter by a live chat in which we'll monitor tonight's action -- including the 9 p.m. Federation hockey game between Williamsville North and St. Joe's -- through the #PrepTalkLive hashtag on Twitter. As always, we'll discuss anything in the world of high school sports -- or our coverage of it.

Please be patient in the chat. I promise I'll get to all questions. 

Week Six Saturday with #PrepTalkLive: Cheektowaga beats Burgard in thriller to clinch B North title (with VIDEO)

By Keith McShea

Week Six Saturday is a fairly limited lineup, but there are some nice matchups, headlined by a top five small schools matchup that will determine the Class B North title as No. 3 Burgard is at No. 5 Cheektowaga at 2 p.m. I'll have play-by-play along with scoring and end-of-quarter updates via Twitter (with the hashtag #BURGvCHK).

Other 2 p.m. games we'll definitely be keeping an eye on: Sweet Home at Kenmore East at Sparky Adams Field in Class A North, Medina at Bennett at All High Stadium in B North, and Bishop Timon-St. Jude at Canisius in the Monsignor Martin Association. The weekend's last game at 7:30 p.m. has Alden at Olean in a game with the host Huskies needing an upset win to help their playoff hopes in Class B South.

Check out my blog on the playoff picture for more on what today's Section VI games mean. Friday night did clear up some situations.

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). 

Our high school scoreboard page will have the final scores and details as soon as they are reported to us.

* * *

My iPhone video of the game-winning punt return:

* * *

Photojournalist John Hickey's video report, with interviews:

* * *

We'll be back next week with more #PrepTalkLive coverage. 

Countdown to Friday Night Lights: B North

By Keith McShea

Who’s who: The nine-team division consists of the Albion Purple Eagles, Amherst Tigers, Barker/Roy-Hart Raiders, Bennett Tigers, Burgard Bulldogs, Cheektowaga Warrriors, Lew-Port Lancers, Maryvale Flyers and Medina/Lyndonville Mustangs.

Continue reading "Countdown to Friday Night Lights: B North" »

Cheektowaga's Rodriguez-Spencer & the 'Flying Squirrel'

By Keith McShea and Lauren Mariacher

Today's Prep Talk feature story takes a look at outstanding Cheektowaga wrestler Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer and the move known as the "Flying Squirrel" that he pulled off to win a National High School Coaches Association wrestling championship last month at Virginia Beach.

* * *

Below, watch Rodriguez-Spencer's match-winning move against Alfred Bannister of Maryland, who entered the match the country's fifth-ranked junior at 138 pounds. Rodriguez-Spencer, who moved up from his state championship weight of 132, was trailing before the forward-flip move with 10 seconds left helped him to a 4-3 victory.

The move earned him a national Junior Class (11th graders) title as well as the Most Outstanding Wrestler award for the juniors' meet. 

Check it out here in video uploaded by allsportswny:

Continue reading "Cheektowaga's Rodriguez-Spencer & the 'Flying Squirrel'" »

Watch Rodriguez-Spencer go 'Flying Squirrel' to national title

By Keith McShea

I ran out of room way too quickly in Wednesday's PrepTalk -- I was only able to mention what happened: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer of Cheektowaga won a national title at the National High School Coaches Association wrestling championships at Virginia Beach. That is major enough, but it was how he did it. 

Watch Rodriguez-Spencer's "flying squirrel" move to beat Alfred Bannister of Maryland, the country's fifth-ranked junior at 138 pounds, by a 4-3 score. Rodriguez-Spencer, who moved up from his state championship weight of 132, was trailing before the forward-flip move with 10 seconds left.  

The move earned him a national Junior Class (11th graders) title as well as the Most Outstanding Wrestler award for the juniors' meet. 

Check it out here in video uploaded by allsportswny:

Continue reading "Watch Rodriguez-Spencer go 'Flying Squirrel' to national title" »

Live from the Section VI Wrestling Championships & PrepTalkTV video

By Keith McShea

Hello from the University at Buffalo and the Section VI Wrestling Championships -- great to have both Division I and II in one spot so we can bring you all of the action. Our head might be spinning a little, but we'll do our best with the live blog. 

I'll have match-by-match updates in the live blog below and I'll also be providing #preptalkscores updates on Twitter (those will also appear in the blog). 

Your tweets with the hashtag #preptalkscores are welcome -- they will appear in the live blog as well. Every night, scoring update tweets (in any sport) are welcome to those on Twitter -- just use the #preptalkscores hashtag.  

Check our scoreboard page for a complete schedule of tonight's action; the scoreboard will be updated as we receive game reports throughout the evening.

Here are the championship bouts:

Continue reading "Live from the Section VI Wrestling Championships & PrepTalkTV video" »

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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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