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Video: EA and Holland team up as combined football program

Mary Jo Monnin and John Hickey were at East Aurora for the kickoff of the #preptalkpreseason. EA has welcomed players from Holland this year, part of a trend of programs combining throughout Western New York and throughout the state. Holland has not had a football program.  

Mary Jo will have more in a story for Tuesday's News.

Video: Tonawanda 47, Holland 39 (girls basketball)

PrepTalkTV (Jan. 20): 500th win for Pine Valley's Nobles; wins by Cheektowaga, Ken West and Tonawanda among our six stops

It was a busy night in the gyms and a busy night for PrepTalkTV: Highlights and interviews from six games, discussion of even more and a look ahead to next week:

Check out our 2012 basketball debut -- a big win for Williamsville East (Jan. 17).

Our weekly football episodes from the fall are available here, while you can watch additional videos at Prep Talk Live

More sports and seasons are documented in PrepTalkTV episodes are on our video page -- click "PrepTalkTV" there for the archive.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Holland wrestling coach confident in helping her (yes, her) team succeed

Susan Grieser is in her second season taking over the struggling program at Holland. She is the first female head wrestling coach in Section VI history.

She has two male volunteer assistants, which she said make her job a lot easier.

"The other coaches have treated me as if I belonged, many have seen me in youth wrestling, or following my son over the years," she said.

"Holland is a small school so the boys already know me, and know of my passion for wrestling. Holland wrestled against Springville for the years my son was there so they saw me at those matches. The boys understand I will do everything I can to see them succeed on the mat, as well as succeed in school."

Last year's team won two dual meets, all but one wrestler won a match and two wrestlers qualified for sectionals. Those two wrestlers return as seniors, Axl Jakubowski at 152 and Richie Evans at 160, who have both moved up this year. The team's dual meet win over East Aurora was the program's first over EA in 18 years.

---Mary Jo Monnin

Holland's Kapuscinski an ultimate vote-getter

Holland's Candis Kapuscinski has collected plenty of honors during her high school career.

And it appears she has quite a fan club, too.

The basketball guard, who will be a senior this fall, was named's Ultimate Athlete. The site featured several players' highlight videos, and Kapuscinski topped the election with 795,333 votes (!).

Kapuscinski (21.9 points per game) became the Dutchwomen's all-time leading scorer and surpassed the 1,000-point mark during her junior season to earn a spot on the All-Western New York fourth team. She was not only the team MVP in hoops but also earned the same award in soccer and softball as she earned Holland Female Athlete of the Year honors. She is also ranked fourth in her class.

You can check out her winning video (old school Heart fans will appreciate the soundtrack) as well as a USA Today story announcing the honor. 

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Playing catch (up) with some summer hoops

I had a summer break that started as soon as the 2010-11 season concluded, and now I'm back -- and here to throw some notes out regarding some summer news and notes ... 

* Late in the spring season we told you about the BCANY Hoops Festival set for Johnson City from Aug. 5-7. The event seems like a great one, and it's one that came about due to the unfortunate absence of the Empire State Games this summer. 

The roster has been selected by the coaching staff of head coach Larry Jones (Depew) and assistants Mike Haskell (retired Pioneer) and Mike Berkun (Medaille):

Reggie Agbeko (St. Joe's), Stan Wier (who has transferred back home to East Aurora), Sterling Taplin (Williamsville North), Ryan Whelpley (Walsh), Matt Hart (Canisius), Aaron Frasier (Seneca), Aaron White (Canisius), Jamaal Carter (City Honors), Adam Weir (Canisius), Jordan Williams (Bishop Timon-St. Jude).

Alternates are: Matt McDonald (Canisius), Demone Harris (Timon), Kyle Kobis (Timon), Derrick Sekuterski (Depew).

The team will play Long Island on Friday, Aug 5 at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 6, the Buffalo team plays New York City at 9 a.m. and Hudson Valley at noon. Saturday's evening session includes a dunk contest and three-point contest at 4:30 p.m.; a parent clinic on recruiting at 5:30 and a player clinic with college coaches at 6:30.

The event concludes on Sunday, Aug. 7 with the seventh-place game (9 a.m.), fifth-place game (10:30 a.m.), consolation (noon) and championship (1:30 p.m.).

While the event is being run by BCANY, there are some expenses that will need to be covered for teams and players (food, lodging, transportation -- costs mostly taken care of by the ESG during the Games). The squad is seeking sponsorships -- if you are interested in helping the team defray some costs, call Jones at (585) 746-8327.

This team deserves some serious commenting -- that squad is a really good one, a much better collection than I expected for what is a startup event this year. Great talent, great depth, great mixture of schools. Excellent job by the basketball community in getting the word out and credit the coaching staff for what must have been some difficult choices after the tryouts. 

* Speaking of some good hoops competition, this weekend might be the Taste of Buffalo but fans can get a taste of hoops up in Niagara Falls. Some top programs are in action at the Niagara PAL Team Camp at Niagara Falls. Here's the lineup: 

Friday: 5 p.m. -- Main gym, Niagara Falls vs. Canisius; Aux. gym, St. Joe's vs. Niagara-Wheatfield; 6 p.m. -- Batavia vs. Grand Island; Aux. gym, Wilson vs. Holland; 7 p.m. -- Main gym, Jamestown vs. Sweet Home.

Saturday: 9 a.m. -- Main gym, St. Joe's vs. Niagara Falls; Aux. gym, Canisius vs. Jamestown; 10 a.m. -- Main gym, Sweet Home vs. Wilson; Aux. gym, Batavia vs. Niagara-Wheatfield; 11 a.m., Main gym, Grand Island vs. Holland.

Single elimination tournament begins at noon, with championship at 5 p.m.

There is a $2 admission for fans 13 and older.

* I will hopefully hit some summer events of all sorts -- I'll be soon selling raffle tickets to benefit the Tom Borrelli Award and Scholarship Fund. We have some great prizes and it's a great cause as we continue to honor our fallen coworker. 

The third Borrelli Award for boys and the inaugural Borrelli Award for girls will be announced later this month and the winners will receive their trophies at the July 27 Tom Borrelli Golf Tournament at Holland Hills. For those interested in golfing ($100 per person) or donating, please email me at 

* By the way, the spring All-WNY teams and all-league teams (for baseball, softball and boys and girls lacrosse), which have been published over the last month, have all been collected at the high school home page.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Clarence, Grover, Holland fall in state boys soccer semis

Clarence, Grover Cleveland and Holland had their boys soccer seasons end at the state semifinals in Oneonta.

That comes from a report from correspondent P.J. Harmer from the National Soccer Hall of Fame Complex.

All fell to Long Island teams. In a rematch of last year's Class AA state championship game in which national power Brentwood beat Clarence, 2-1, Brentwood scored two second-half goals to beat Clarence, 2-0, Saturday afternoon.

Grover's outstanding postseason run ended with a 2-0 loss to Center Moriches in Class B. Holland lost, 2-0, to private school Friends Academy in Class C.

That brings an end to the Western New York soccer season.

---Keith McShea

Fall sports head to state final fours

If you haven't seen them already, check out Pete Simon's front-page story on Grover Cleveland boys soccer and Mary Jo Monnin's wrapup of all of the non-football teams searching for state titles this weekend.

So who comes home with a plaque?

As always, let us know how and why you voted in the comments section below.

---Keith McShea

Soccer talk, from Oneonta to Strong Island to pay Web sites to private schools and back again

Give me some time to get a schedule straight and do some research -- and no live blogging to do -- and this is what happens:

* * *

All three Section VI boys soccer teams which have advanced to the state final four are meeting teams from Long Island.

Clarence is taking on Brentwood of Long Island in a rematch of last year's memorable Class AA state championship game, won by Brentwood, 2-1.

(Here's last year's live blog and an exhaustive account from the Clarence and EA games on what was one of the coldest days I've ever spent covering high school sports. Also, check the comments after the "More from ..." post -- pretty entertaining stuff from one of our nominations for Crazy High School Sports Parent of 2008.).

Brentwood ended last year, and began this season, as the top-ranked team in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll (check out their poll page, which will be updated Tuesday).

Here's a Newsday blog entry about how Strong Island ... I mean Long Island ... soccer people were wondering "What's going on with Brentwood?" this season. 

Continue reading "Soccer talk, from Oneonta to Strong Island to pay Web sites to private schools and back again" ยป


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 |