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PrepTalkTV (June 5): Prep Talk Players of the Year, including from OP & the water

By Keith McShea

Tonight's PrepTalkTV episode, our fourth of the spring, again tied in with our Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards (our inaugural event is June 16) as we welcomed in seven different Prep Talk Players of the Year.

Our first segment featured Prep Talk Players of the Year Carlee Conway of Sacred Heart (girls tennis) and Noah Roberson of Williamsville South (boys gymnastics). 

Our middle segment saw three major college-bound athletes who were among the best in (and on) the water: Prep Talk Players of the Year Dina Rommel of Clarence (girls swimming), Joseph Ebner of Canisius (boys rowing) and Ashley Johnson (girls rowing) of Clarence, who rows for West Side Rowing Club. Rommel will swim at Virginia while Ebner is headed to Penn and Johnson will row at Syracuse.  

Our final segment had two Prep Talk Players of the Year from Orchard Park: State rifle champion Rhianna Lichtenthal and Section VI boys golf champion Adam Patronik.

Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys tennis: Tim Kane, Hamburg

By Keith McShea

Tim Kane, Hamburg (Charles Lewis/Buffalo News)Tim Kane may have taken some time off, but this spring he showed he was still tops on the court. 

Kane, a senior at Hamburg, is the Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys tennis after winning this year's Section VI singles championship. 

At the state championships, Kane won two matches as the sixth seed before falling in the quarterfinals to the third seed.

Kane went to the state tournament as a seventh- and eighth-grader, then stopped playing high school tennis to concentrate on USTA events, then stepped away from the game altogether. Last spring he was a key member of the Hamburg lacrosse team. This year he decided to return to the sport for his final high school season. 

Kane will play collegiately at Duquesne next year.

* * *

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:

VIDEO: Williamsville South softball walks off with Section VI Class A title

By Keith McShea

Here's the shot heard 'round Western New York softball Wednesday evening. 

Williamsville South, trailing 4-0 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, came back to beat Starpoint, 6-4, with a rally that was fantastically finished off by senior Brianna Clark's three-run walkoff homer. 

Here it is: 

Behind-the-scenes: After Starpoint got two outs in the bottom of the seventh, I moved from my scorer's table spot, where I was live blogging, to the other side of the backstop so I could get iPhone video of what I thought would be a celebration by the Spartans following the final out. I went on that side so that I'd have a better shot of players streaming out of the dugout. 

Well, that final out never happened. What an amazing finish to a championship game. I love my job. 

#PrepTalkLive from Section VI softball (Clarence, Will South, Eden win) & baseball (Albion, Fredonia win) championships

By Keith McShea

It's a pretty big Wednesday in high school sports. I'll be at the Section VI Class AA softball championships at Niagara-Wheatfield starting at 4 p.m., Mary Jo Monnin will be at the Class A baseball final at Lew-Port and correspondent Nick Veronica will be at the Class B baseball final at Jamestown. St. Joe's and Cardinal O'Hara also are playing for the right to advance to the Monsignor Martin Association's Georgetown Cup baseball championship series, while the Buffalo Public Schools' Cornell Cup holds its title game today.

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 as well in the blog below. 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.

Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls tennis: Carlee Conway, Sacred Heart

By Keith McShea

Photo provided by Conway family.Carlee Conway of Sacred Heart was undefeated ... not just for this year -- for her entire career.

That's all four years. All 56 matches.

That kind of record, and four straight All-Catholic singles titles, were a major part of why Conway has been named the Prep Talk Player of the Year award for girls tennis. 

The Sacred Heart senior won her fourth straight All-Catholic singles championship in straight sets, giving her a combined record of 56-0 -- including singles and doubles matches. Not only that: She never lost a set in singles.

Conway also won last year’s Buffalo MUNY Tennis women’s singles championship.

Conway is headed to the Naval Academy in the fall of 2015. Next year, U.S. Naval Academy Foundation is sponsoring Conway for two semesters at the Marion Military Institute, an Alabama prep school.

* * *

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:

Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys hockey: Connor Fields, Bishop Timon-St. Jude

By Keith McShea

Buffalo News file photoJust to be clear: This is a hockey post. 

Connor Fields of just completed another outstanding lacrosse season for Bishop Timon-St. Jude, but he's mentioned in this space to honor the senior for being the Prep Talk Player of the Year award for boys hockey.

Fields earned first-team Division I all-state honors after helping lead the Tigers to a terrific season. Fields, also a first-team Federation Division I all-star, had 47 goals and 81 points in 25 games.

Feilds was the only player from Western New York to be honored as an all-state first teamer.

The Tigers took first place in the competitive Division I of the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation in the regular season; the Tigers were seeded first for the Monsignor Martin Association's Niagara Cup playoffs before losing to St. Joe's in the title game. 

Fields scored 129 goals last lacrosse season (believed to be a national record) and had 108 this year as Timon was ranked the top team in lacrosse for the entire season.  

The Prep Talk Players of the Year for lacrosse (and other spring sports) will be announced next week. 

* * *

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:

Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls hockey: Julianna Iafallo, Nichols

By Keith McShea

Buffalo News file photoWith all the success attained by the Nichols girls hockey program this year, including the No. 1 spot in our final winter Power 10 ranking, it should not be a surprise that the Prep Talk Player of the Year is a Viking.

On a team considered one of the nation's best programs, there were several candidates for the award, and the recipient of the Prep Talk Player of the Year award for girls hockey is Julianna Iafallo.

The Vikings went 31-4-3 and won their last 17 games to earn championships in the North American Prep Hockey Association as well as the Ontario-based Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association.

Iafallo, an Eden resident, is headed to Ohio State. A three-year varsity player, she had 30 goals and 21 assists this year to give her career totals of 70 goals and 56 assists. She has been selected to attend USA Hockey National Camps.

She is not the only Nichols player who will go on to high-level collegiate hockey, as evidenced by Madison Sansone (Providence), Brandy Streeter (Union), Annika Zalewski (Colgate), Elizabeth Viola (Division III national champion Plattsburgh State) and Allison Gasuik (Ohio State).

* * *

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. 

* * * 

Iafallo was part of Nichols hockey's visit to PrepTalkTV in March

Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys golf: Adam Patronik, Orchard Park

By Keith McShea

(James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)To earn the title of the best high school golfer in Western New York, winning the Section VI title is a pretty good start.

Do it with an eye-popping performance in which you separate yourself from a very competitive field, and that will elevate you to another level.

Adam Patronik of Orchard Park the Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys golf.

Patronik capped the local portion of a standout senior year by shooting an even-par 108 over 36 holes in the Section VI championships at River Oaks. During the fall season, he led OP to an 11-0 record, which included the ECIC Large School South Division title, and he was the medalist (even-par 36) in helping the Quakers capture the overall ECIC team championship at Diamond Hawk. 

In previous seasons, Patronik just missed out on competing at sectionals -- missing in 2010 by 1 stroke, in 2011 by 4 and 2012 by 1. In 2013 he finished fourth at the ECIC Championships. 

OP coach Nate Leary credits Patronik for improving his approach to shot-making, which, combined with his immense talent, helped lead to several breakthroughs in the latter part of his high school career.

And that career's not over -- today Patronik and the rest of the Section VI qualifiers will compete in the first day of the New York State Public High School Athletic Associaiton championships at Cornell University's Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.

* * *

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:

Lake Shore's TJ Hornberger breaks 27-year-old Section VI record in 1,600

By Mary Jo Monnin

OLEAN - TJ Hornberger no longer has to remind himself what the Section VI record is in the 1,600 meters.

The mark now belongs to him.

For the past year, the Lake Shore senior has been writing the record time of 4:13.07 down on small pieces of paper and leaving them in places he would frequent during the course of his day, a notebook, his locker, rooms in his home … “I wrote it down like everywhere. I just wanted it so bad,” he said.

The motivation worked. On Saturday he put the race of his life together running a 4:12.77 to break the long-sought-after 27-year record set by Charlie Kern of Sweet Home in 1987.

“This was the best I felt all year because I was injured, so I’m so excited I could run this fast,” said Hornberger, who won by a gaudy 16 seconds. “I was going for 4:13 or faster. I saw my time (after the third lap) and I knew I could get there, so I just picked it up and went as fast as I could go.”

Fans sitting in the bleachers at Olean sensed they were witnessing history. They stood and cheered during Hornberger’s final 100 meters, an all-out sprint to the finish.

The two-day Section VI Track and Field Championships at Olean High School attracted athletes from 85 schools. 

More on the meet in Sunday's News.

#PrepTalkLive from a BIG day of high school championships: baseball (Lancaster beats OP for AA title), track & lacrosse

By Keith McShea

It's a BIG Saturday in high school sports. I'll be at the Section VI Class AA baseball championship at Niagara Falls at 1, Mary Jo Monnin and correspondent Sean McGrath will be at the Section VI track & field championships at Olean, while correspondents Ryan Nagelhout (boys at All High Stadium) and Aaron Mansfield (girls at Honeoye Falls-Lima) will be covering Far West Regional lacrosse tripleheaders. 

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 as well in the blog below. 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.

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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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