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Kensington Lions All-Star Football Classic is tonight at 7 at Depew H.S.: Rosters, info & a look back

By Keith McShea

The annual final curtain call for some of Western New York's top high school football players takes place tonight with the 39th Kensington Lions Club All-Star Football Classic. 

The 7 p.m. game at Depew High's Constantino Complex, 5201 Transit Road., includes many standouts of the Class of 2014. The event is supported by ADPRO Sports and has become an outstanding fundraiser for Kids Escaping Drugs; tickets are $7.

#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 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" »

St. Mary's names Matt Ard new football coach

By Keith McShea

Matt ArdSt. Mary's has found its new football coach from within. Matt Ard, the school's Dean of Student Affairs and a former assistant at the school, was named the Lancers' coach today.

Ard is an Amherst grad who was the defensive coordinator at St. Mary's for the 2011 and 2012 seasons following a decade as an assistant at Maryvale.  

Ard replaces Dave Hersey, who was let go by the school after coaching the Lancers for the last four seasons. Hersey was 21-16.

Here is the full press release from St. Mary's:

Continue reading "St. Mary's names Matt Ard new football coach" »

St. Joe's statement on football coach Dennis Gilbert

By Keith McShea

St. Joe's today issued a statement to The News by president Robert T. Scott concerning varsity football coach Dennis R. Gilbert. 

Gilbert, a Buffalo police officer, is one of the six officers who have been placed on administrative leave as part of the department's internal investigation into an alleged case of police brutality that came to light via a YouTube video.   

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LATEST (updated Tuesday evening): Police officials say Gilbert and two other officers walked away before the beating occurred and did not witness it. Those three officers may soon be exonerated.

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The full statement from Scott:

"We are aware that Mr. Gilbert has been placed on administrative leave along with five other Buffalo Police officers who were allegedly present at the incident occurring on April 19. It is our understanding that this action is standard practice for an Internal Affairs Division investigation.

"While St. Joe’s does not have any information to conclude that Mr. Gilbert acted inappropriately, we are monitoring this situation and will defer any action until the investigation is complete."

Gilbert, a 1984 graduate of the Kenmore Avenue school, is 29-15 in four seasons at St. Joe's, including a Monsignor Martin Association championship in his first season (2010). St. Joe's also played in the championship game in 2011 (losing to St. Francis) and this past season (losing to Canisius). 

Gilbert was previously a longtime JV coach for St. Joe's (16 titles in 20 years) and he was the head coach at St. Mary's for the 2007 season. 

He was a former football standout for the Marauders as well as a Canisius College graduate who was elected to the St. Joe's Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. 

Gilbert recently appeared in The News as part of Jerry Sullivan's April 16 column on 2012 St. Joe's graduate Chad Kelly.

National Signing Day: Canisius' Ollison, Touris make it official; Jamestown QB Sisson to Div. II Edinboro

By Keith McShea

As is usualy the case in Western New York, National Signing Day is one of important ceremonies, albeit without a lot of drama, certainly not the type of suspense that will be playing itself out on ESPN throughout the day as top recruits unveil their major college destinations.

The top local recruit, two-time first-team All-Western New York running back Qadree Ollison of Canisius, made is verbal committment to Pittsburgh early during the Crusaders' football season and the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder will make it official with a signing today. 

Western New York's only other Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) signing is Ollison's Canisius teammate Augie Touris, who verbally committed to the University of Texas-El Paso last month. The 6-foot-4, 232-pound lineman will also make it official today during a ceremony at the school. 

St. Joe's senior Tyler Hill has committed to attend Cincinnati and accept a preferred walkon position, but he technically is not signing a letter of intent today. The 6-3, 245-pound Hill was a uber-versatile standout for the Maurauders who earned first-team All-Western New York honors and whose long-snapping abilities made him attractive to colleges.

Also part of Canisius' signing day are a pair of Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) players. Defensive back Ryan Richards, a 6-2, 205-pound second-team All-WNY pick, will commit to Robert Morris; first-team All-WNY selection Mike Sharpe (6-1, 200) announced today he was accepting a preferred walk-on spot with Furman (S.C.).

Joining Richards in signing with Robert Morris this morning -- according to Depew coach Brian Wilson -- was Wildcats lineman Mike Lamb (6-7, 327), a second-team All-WNY pick.

At Alden, senior and first-team All-WNY selection Phil Zobrest, a 6-5, 227-pound defensive end, will sign today with Holy Cross. 

There was some significant news today out of Jamestown as record-setting senior quarterback Jake Sisson, The Buffalo News Player of the Year and the winner of the Connolly Cup as Western New York's most outstanding football player, will sign with Division II Edinboro (Pa.).

The 6-foot, 180-pound Sisson set Western New York records for passing yards in a game and season; he also set the Section VI championship game passing mark as the Red Raiders won the Class AA title.

Another Division II signing has All-WNY second team lineman Steven Stauss (6-5, 300) of Albion headed to Mercyhurst (Pa.).

First-team All-WNY defensive back/wide receiver Dylan Dussault (6-4, 193) of Alden will sign with Division II Walsh (Ohio).

Below are some other recent or upcoming local college signings from various sports: 

Continue reading "National Signing Day: Canisius' Ollison, Touris make it official; Jamestown QB Sisson to Div. II Edinboro" »

PrepTalkTV: Canisius-Jamestown football & more

By Keith McShea

The week's weather difficulties bumped our original guests from tonight's PrepTalkTV show, but we've got plenty to talk about with yesterday's news that Canisius and Jamestown will play a regular season nonleague football game in Week Four of the 2014 season.

News Sports Clerk and contributor Nick Veronica will join me for the show at 7:30 p.m. as we talk some football, the basketball polls as well as what's coming up this weekend and beyond. 

The Cardinal O'Hara girls basketball team was to be guests on the show, but they had a postponed game from Wednesday moved to today. We hope to have them on in the future.

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 discuss anything about Western New York high school sports, or our coverage of it.

We'll also monitor tonight's action -- including Federation hockey game between Canisius and Bishop Timon-St. Jude -- through the #PrepTalkLive hashtag on Twitter.

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

Jamestown, Canisius will play football in 2014

By Keith McShea

Canisius and Jamestown have set a date for the 2014 football season, The Buffalo News has learned.

This will be a rare nonleague meeting of top-flight large schools from Section VI and the Monsignor Martin Association, and the timing is excellent because of how the two programs finished the 2013 season. 

Jamestown, the champion of Section VI's Class AA, and Canisius, the Monsignor Martin champion, finished tied for the top spot in the final 2013 News large school poll (see the polls & story).

The teams will play at Jamestown's Strider Field in Week Four: Friday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

The schools are expected to officially announce the matchup later today. 

Discussions began in December, including when Canisius coach Rich Robbins and Jamestown coach Tom Langworthy talked about scheduling a 2014 game at Dick Gallagher's Western New York football banquet.

“I'd like to thank Jamestown's Tom Langworthy and Ben Drake, and our coach, Rich Robbins, for their efforts to bring this game together,” Canisius athletic director Jim Mauro said in a prepared statement. “Anytime you are able to get two strong programs competing on a Friday night under the lights is great for Western New York high school football.

Continue reading "Jamestown, Canisius will play football in 2014" »

Live chat (Dec. 12): All-Western New York football review & feedback

By Keith McShea

UPDATE (7:15 p.m.): Due to the traffic nightmare near One News Plaza caused by the snowstorm and a concert whose name rhymes with "Christmas Rash," PrepTalkTV is cancelled tonight.

But the live chat will go on.

* * *

Tonight's episode of PrepTalkTV welcomes in one season while closing the book on another. 

We will welcome Canisius basketball coach Kyle Husband along with sophomore Howard Washington and lone returning starter Ryan Richards for our 7:30 p.m. episode. 

We'll talk a little football with Richards in the latter half of the program, as we transition into our yearly live chat (around 8:15) to discuss feedback of the All-Western New York football team. We'll be taking your questions in the chat, while I'll pipe in various tweets that have been directed my way (or discuss the All-WNY team in general).

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

VIDEO: Williamsville North's magical postseason run concludes with loss in Class A state final

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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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