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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 Girls Three-Sport Player of the Year: McKyla Brooks, Frontier

By Keith McShea

2BrooksOne of the best volleyball players in Western New York, and a multiple champion in track & field -- with some history thrown in. 

That's the resume of McKyla Brooks of Frontier. Her excellence during all three seasons led to her selection as the Prep Talk Girls Three-Sport Player of the Year. 

Brooks was a first-team All-Western New York selection in volleyball as an overwhelmingly dominant force at the net.

In indoor track, she won championships in the long jump and triple jump. In the outdoor season she won championships in the same events, including setting a Section VI record in the triple jump. 

Brooks, a junior, has already verbally committed to Stony Brook, which recruited her to participate in both sports.

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 Girls Three-Sport Player of the Year: McKyla Brooks, Frontier" »

Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls volleyball: Lainy Pierce, Eden

By Keith McShea

Lainy Pierce, Eden (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)Many of this year's Prep Talk Players of the Year are going on to major Division I athletic programs. 

That is true of the girls volleyball winner, Lainy Pierce of Eden.

Actually, she's already there.

Pierce, a five-time state champion, this past year's Class C state finals MVP, and a two-time All-Western New York first-teamer, graduated from Eden early and has been attending classes at Penn State since January.

She joined older sister Kendall, who was part of the Nittany Lions' national championship this past season, at State College, Pa., where both of her parents attended and played volleyball. The Pierce legacy has been strengthened in State College by Lainy's arrival while it has also left a lasting impact here in Western New York. Father Robert is also the Eden boys coach and directs the Eden volleyball club while Kendall and Lainy both played for their uncle, Stephen, at Eden.  

Pierce plans to return to Western New York for the June 16 Prep Talk Awards, but she has not been back often since January.

I conducted an email interview with her following her being notified that she was as Prep Talk Player of the Year (she wrote she was "very honored" to be selected).

Here are some excerpts: 

How at-home you feel at Penn State … especially with your sister there?

I grew up familiar with the school, I had been around the campus for volleyball tournaments when I was very young and a several volleyball matches, so I felt relatively comfortable adjusting from high school to college so fast. My coaching staff and teammates at Penn State have been awesome making extra efforts to help ensure a smooth transition.

 

Continue reading "Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls volleyball: Lainy Pierce, Eden" »

Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys volleyball: Brian Costello, Canisius

By Keith McShea

Brian Costello, Canisius (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

Brian Costello graduated from Canisius on Wednesday after an accomplished volleyball career that included two All-Western New York first-team selections along with Monsignor Martin Player of the Year honors his senior season. 

Next month he'll add another honor to the list. 

Costello, who helped lead the Crusaders to another stellar season, is the Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys volleyball.

Costello, the setter for a Canisius team which won the Monsignor Martin Association regular season and playoff championships for the 14th straight year, was named to the all-tournament teams at the high-level Clarence, Penfield and Hamburg tournaments. He played in 105 sets for the season and had 1,081 assists (10.3 per set), 37 aces and 82 blocks. 

Costello will attend the University at Buffalo, where he'll play for UB's club program. 

* * * 

Costello will appear on this evening's episode of PrepTalkTV, which will be posted around 7 p.m. We'll also announce the girls volleyball Prep Talk Player of the Year on the show.

* * *

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 day.

The list thus far:

Continue reading "Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys volleyball: Brian Costello, Canisius" »

Conversation with City Honors girls volleyball captains on return of coach Matos

By Keith McShea

I spoke with City Honors girls volleyball senior captains Sade Hellams, Tyler Carpenter and Ashley O'Hanrahan following the Centaurs' three-game sweep of East Wednesday evening.

It was the first league match that Honors 18-year coach Deborah Matos coached since being reinstated after being placed on administrative leave.

What are your thoughts on having coach Matos back?  

Sade: "We’re just happy that she’s back. We’re like a family, and it’s almost like our family is back together, just the way it’s supposed to be. We’re all united again."

Tyler: "Without her, it was kind of hard, but we knew that we had to push thorugh it, and as captains we had to step up. Having her back is really a great thing."

Ashley: "It’s a lot smoother. I had to help our JV coach coach the team because she didn’t know rotations and stuff like that. With her back, it just run a lot smoother and easier. We all feel more comfortable as a whole."

What was it like during her absence?

Continue reading "Conversation with City Honors girls volleyball captains on return of coach Matos" »

Live from the Class C girls volleyball state championship: Eden sweeps to third straight title (with video)

Eden won its ninth state title, the most in state history. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

Greetings from the Glens Falls Civic Center for the state volleyball championships as Eden goes for its third straight state title. It won the last two years in Class B.

Randolph fell in the Class D final this morning.

Here's video of the opening ceremonies:

After today's volleyball action, the fall season is down to two football teams with Orchard Park (Class AA) and Southwestern (C) playing in next Sunday's state championships at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. 

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

'Man Up' car show Saturday honors Redenbach

A "Man Up" Car Show will be held Saturday in memory of Meghan Redenbach.

Redenbach was a standout Roy-Hart volleyball player who inspired so many before passing away due to cancer last Christmas Eve. Here is the web version of the story I wrote about Meghan for the Christmas Eve day paper.

The car show will be held at the East Amherst Fire Company, 9100 Transit Road, East Amherst, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with all proceeds going to the "Man Up" Memorial Award, Carly's Club and Make-A-Wish of Western New York.

There will be basket raffles, Chinese auction, 50/50 drawings, food and music.

Check this link for more information about registering for the car show.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Eden's volleyball captain pays tribute to her coach

Here is the complete letter sent by Eden senior girls volleyball player and captain Heather Feldman to PrepVolleyball.com in support of her coach, Stephen Pierce.

Pierce was named the website's co-National Coach of the Year, which I wrote about in the Prep Talk column in Tuesday's Scholastic Spotlight.

Here's an A-plus of a letter of support:

"Mr. Pierce has been coaching at Eden for a very long time. In that span, he has made Eden the premier girls’ volleyball program in the state. His teams have been ranked first in the state for countless years, and he has won seven state titles as a head coach, the most of any coach in New York State girls’ volleyball history. With his seventh title as a head coach this past season, he passed the legendary coach Sally Kus of Sweet Home as the winningest head coach in the state.

“This past August, when looking towards the fall season, I was worried. As a program, we lost the best senior class in Eden's history, with four fantastic players graduating: Hannah Herc (Kent State), Hailee Herc (Stony Brook), Stacey Smith (Georgia), and Katie Eschner (Roberts Wesleyan). These All-Western New York players were the cream of the crop. They not only brought high-level play to the team, they brought leadership and big game experience that was hard to match. All four had played in extremely high-pressure situations, from a Game 5 in the state finals to a match with an Open bid on the line. You can't teach that; it comes with playing a long time. And in a school like Eden, which graduates approximately 140 students per grade level, we don't have the biggest talent pool to pull from.

Continue reading "Eden's volleyball captain pays tribute to her coach" »

Live from the Class C & D girls volleyball state championships: Falconer, Randolph take titles home to Southern Tier (with video)

Class C state champs on the left, Class D state champs on the right. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

Hello from the Glens Falls Civic Center and the Class C and D finals, both of which were scheduled to start at 2 p.m. but will get under way much later as the schedule has been pushed back a bit. Falconer is in the Class C match, Randolph in Class D.

We'll see if they can repeat Eden's feat of winning a state title in Class B.

It should be interesting to update two matches at once, but we're going to try.

* * *

* * *

State championship banner is now on order. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

* * *

Following the match, provide your input in the comments section.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Live from the Class B girls volleyball state championship: Eden sweeps I-Hendrick Hudson for eighth title (with video)

A familiar pose for Eden girls volleyball. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)



Hello from the Glens Falls Civic Center, where I'm making my second annual appearance on Championship Sunday as three teams have made state championship matches for the second straight year.

First up is the marquee matchup of defending state champion Eden, winners of a record seven titles, taking on Hendrick Hudson of Section I (Westchester County). These programs have met in the last three title matches. They split their two games during Saturday's pool play, so it should be quite a match.

Follow along live in the window below.

* * *

Here are the winning points for Eden:

* * *

Here's a taste of the environment here as the teams walked in for the opening ceremonies of the second session. The match was scheduled for noon but a lengthy Class AA final (won by Baldwinsville of Section III over Section V's Webster Schroeder) pushed it back to about 12:45 p.m.

Following the match, provide your input in the comments section.

I'll be adding a separate post for the Class C and D finals, both of which start at 2 p.m. Falconer is in the Class C match, Randolph in Class D.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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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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