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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 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 boys track & field: Teddy Okon, Clarence

By Keith McShea

Photo from Twitter.His Twitter handle is @Ted_jumps. And he sure does. 

Teddy Okon of Clarence is the Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys track and field for being at the top of his game throughout his career. 

Okon won the Section VI high jump and finished fifth at the state meet after having the best mark in the state for much of the season. He also won the Division I triple jump.

In indoor track, he won the last two Section VI high jump championships. He was also a second-team All-ECIC selection in volleyball.

He owns the Clarence records in the high jump and triple jump and is headed to Binghamton on a scholarship.

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 track & field: Teddy Okon, Clarence" »

Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls rowing: Ashley Johnson, Clarence/West Side

By Keith McShea

Robert Kirkham (Buffalo News)As was the case with the Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys rowing, the honoree for girls rowing has a scheduling conflict with the Prep Talk Awards on June 16.

That scheduling conflict -- a date at USRowing's Youth Nationals in Sacramento, Calif. -- is part of the reason they are receiving the honor.

Our girls winner is Ashley Johnson, a Clarence student who competes in high school "club" competition out of West Side Rowing Club. Johnson is a member of West Side's varsity four, which won the state championship to earn a trip to nationals (boys winner Joseph Ebner of Canisius will also be at nationals with the Canisius varsity eight). 

Johnson has been in the important stroke seat of the four for much of the season. She owns the fastest erg (rowing machine) score in the boat despite competing with three herniated discs. She has been part of state championship boats not only this year but last year.

She will row for nationally-ranked Syracuse in the fall.

* * *

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 rowing: Ashley Johnson, Clarence/West Side" »

Katrina Buczkowski's PERFECT GAME (with VIDEO of final out) pushes Clarence to softball final four with Will South, Eden

By Keith McShea

SANBORN -- It was the perfect way to finish off a perfect day for Section VI softball at Niagara-Wheatfield. 

Section VI went 3-0 against its counterparts from Section V (Rochester area) on Friday, with the most impressive performance coming in the finale of the Far West Regional tripleheader. 

Clarence senior Katrina Buczkowski threw her first career no-hitter to lead the Red Devils to a 5-0 victory over Brockport in the Class AA game. 

Buczkowski struck out 13 and did not allow a ball to leave the infield. She also added a key RBI single during the Red Devils' five-run fifth against Brockport senior Julia DiMartino, who this week was named the Gatorade New York State Player of the Year for softball and who beat Clarence in last year's regional. 

Clarence will be joined by Williamsville South and Eden at next Saturday's New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships at Moreau Recreational Park in South Glens Falls. 

Continue reading "Katrina Buczkowski's PERFECT GAME (with VIDEO of final out) pushes Clarence to softball final four with Will South, Eden" »

#PrepTalkLive from state track meet & Far West Regional softball (Clarence, Will South, Eden win)

By Keith McShea

It's another big day in high school sports. I'll be back at Niagara-Wheatfield for the Far West Regionals in softball starting at 4 p.m., Mary Jo Monnin and Taylor Nigrelli are at the state championships in track at Cicero-North Syracuse in the first of two days of action.

We'll have our own #PrepTalkLive updates in the blog below, but we, as always, are looking forward to yours. 

Contribute updates and keep track of others in the blog. The easiest way to do provide updates is to tweet scores and big plays with the #PrepTalkLive hashtag. Those tweets will automatically appear below. 

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.

PrepTalkTV (May 29): Prep Talk Awards honorees from Lancaster, Will South, Clarence

By Keith McShea

Tonight's PrepTalkTV episode, our third of the spring, again tied in with today's edition of the Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards as we welcomed in today's spotlight Prep Talk Player of the Year -- and quite a few more honorees.

Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys indoor track and field, Devon Patterson of Williamsville Southwho was featured on the blog today, appeared on the show with fellow Billie Haley Carroll, the Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls bowling.

We also welcomed in field hockey Prep Talk Player of the Year Giovanna Fasanello of Clarence

Lancaster will have several honorees at the inaugural Prep Talk Awards on June 16, and four of them visited with us this week. 

Sarah Saba earned her ticket to the banquet at the downtown Hyatt as a member of this year's All-Western New York first team for girls basketball. 

There are currently three Prep Talk Players of the Year from Lancaster, all from the girls side, and they joined us for an interview together: Chelsea Dantonio (girls golf), Courtney Bondanza (girls gymnastics) and McKenzie Keuhlewind (girls indoor track and field).

#PrepTalkLive from the Section VI boys lacrosse championships (OP, Hamburg, Akron win), plus your baseball & softball playoff updates

By Keith McShea

Hello from one of my favorite days on the high school sports calendar, the Section VI championship tripleheader at All High Stadium.

I'll have updates throughout the day in the live blog below, while I'll also have end-of-quarter #PrepTalkLive updates on Twitter. We start with the Class A showdown of Orchard Park and Clarence at 3:30, followed by the Class B final between Hamburg and Niagara-Wheatfield at 5 and the Class C final wrapping things up with Salamanca and Akron playing at 8. 

As always, we're looking forward to your #PrepTalkLive updates on what is a very busy, very important day in Western New York high school sports. The Section VI quarterfinals in both baseball and softball are today, as are the Monsignor Martin Association semifinals in boys lacrosse. 

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

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.

Prep Talk Player of the Year for field hockey: Giovanna Fasanello, Clarence

By Keith McShea

Giovanna Fasenello (Central Michigan photo)Two-time All-Western New Yorker. Team MVP for the Class A champion. Scholarship to Central Michigan.

And another reason that Clarence senior Giovanna Fasanello will be headed to high school sports' big night in June is because she's headed to a major field hockey event in June. 

Fasanello is the Prep Talk Player of the Year for field hockey, earning her an invitation to the Prep Talk Awards on June 16. She will also -- for the third straight year -- be part of USA Field Hockey's National Futures Championship, which includes the top 300 under-19 players in the national Futures program and will be held June 27-July 2 in Lancaster, Pa.

Fasanello, a midfielder who goes by "Gigi," had 17 goals and nine assists as the Red Devils went 14-4-1 and won the program's first sectional title since 1985. She finished her career with 47 goals and 33 assists and has been her team's MVP for the last two seasons. 

* * *

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 big night.

The list thus far:

Continue reading "Prep Talk Player of the Year for field hockey: Giovanna Fasanello, Clarence" »

Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls swimming: Dina Rommel, Clarence

By Keith McShea

Dina Rommel, Clarence (Harry Scull/Buffalo News)The Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls swimming was not just dominant at Western New York meets, she was dominant at the state championship meet -- for the second straight year. 

Dina Rommel of Clarence, who will swim at the University of Virginia next year, was the Most Outstanding Swimmer of the state championships. She won two individual events -- the 50-yard freestyle (Section VI record and All-American time of 23.13) and the 100 butterfly (55.77) -- while she also helped the 400 free relay (with fellow seniors Rebecca Anthone, Victoria Butler and Sydney Modeas) break Clarence’s own state record it set last year (3:28.72) with an All-American time of 3:26.98.

Her performance was a major reason that the Red Devils finished with a meet-best team total of 241 points (despite a disqualification in the 200 medley relay) and why Clarence girls swimming earned the top spot in our fall Power 10.

 

Last year Rommel also starred at the state meet, helping Clarence to the top of not only the fall 2012 final Power 10 but also the No. 1 Power 10 spot for the entire 2012-13 school year. She and the Clarence team appeared on PrepTalkTV last season.

* * *

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 girls swimming: Dina Rommel, Clarence" »

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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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