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The 2016 Pre-season All-WNY football teams: OP lands six picks, Canisius and St. Francis four each

With the Kensington Lions Club All-Star Game finally bidding farewell to the 2015 football season, it’s time to shift focus to the coming one.

Remember, practice opens for all teams in the state in just 17 days (Monday, Aug. 15). We’re also a mere 35 days away from opening weekend with all but one team (Chautauqua Lake) on the Week One schedule. (Due to the lateness of the scheduling process and an odd number of programs in the area, Chautauqua Lake opens its season Tuesday, Sept. 6 at home against Eden/North Collins that would have already played its opener four days earlier, then plays its Week Two game four days later.)

With that in mind, here are the 2016 Pre-season All-Western New York Football Large and Small School teams as selected by Prep Talk Awards Hall of Fame member Dick Gallagher.

Pre-Season All-WNY Large School

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Jerry Hickson (St. Francis), Dillon Janca (Orchard Park), Matt Myers (Timon-St. Jude)

Running back: Cole Burniston (Canisius), Zach Samborski (Lancaster), Brandon Yax (Iroquois), Josh Dahl (Orchard Park)

Wide receiver: Leugim Castillo (Lancaster), Jamir Lynch (Kenmore West)

Offensive line: Dan Kubik (Orchard Park), Jeremiah Sanders (South Park), Tyler Grisolla (St. Francis), Bret Morseon (Orchard Park), Joe Ramunno (West Seneca East), Tyler White (Kenmore West)

Kicker: Blake Haubeil (Canisius), Brian Strybel (Orchard Park)

Return specialist: Terry Rutland (Starpoint), Jason Jaskalka (Hamburg)

Utility: Anthony Robinson (Starpoint), Antwanne Jones (Williamsville South)

DEFENSE

Defensive line: Nate Emer (Iroquois), Jordan Arruda (St. Francis), Jeremy Bush (Jamestown), Zach Prince (Orchard Park), Mason Hoose (Canisius)

Linebacker: Connor Kelly (Willi

Eric Bartnik played a key role in Cheektowaga reaching the state semifinals last season. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)

Eric Bartnik played a key role in Cheektowaga reaching the state semifinals last season. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)

amsville North), Nick Schaefer (South Park), Jake Lutz (Canisius), Isaiah McDuffie (Bennett), Devin Delmont (St. Francis), Jamel Lofton (Bennett)

Defensive back: Chris Nelson (Williamsville South), Lawrence Jenkins (Lake Shore), Devan Jackson (Jamestown), Zach Woodard (North Tonawanda), Josh Foster (Williamsville South)

Punter: David Blackwell (Frontier)

Utility: Elijah Winston (South Park)

Return specialist: Tajay Ahmed (Starpoint), Kor’Daryll Welch (Niagara Wheatfield)

Pre-season All-WNY Small Schools

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Eric Bartnik (Cheektowaga), Noah Raddack (Silver Creek)

Running back: Ian Baker (Springville), Brad Benson (Maple Grove), Jake Cotter (Medina), Kameron Alexander (Gowanda)

Wide receiver: Stephan Parker (Cheektowaga), Dawson Bailey (Lewiston-Porter)

Offensive line: Austin Ladd (Akron), Jon Ling (Randolph), Connor Hill (Newfane), Nate Pawlowski (Cleveland Hill), Tyler Smith (Pioneer)

Kicker: Riley Pastuszynski (Alden)

Return specialist: Austin Reamsnyder (Maryvale), Christian Snell (Alden)

DEFENSE

Defensive line: Cliff Zeigler (Cardinal O’Hara), Matt Eldridge (Cleveland Hill), David Gregory (Frewsburg)

Linebacker: Gilberto Ortiz (Gowanda), Trevor Micek (Maple Grove), Dominic Prince (Burgard), Jason Gauthier (Pioneer), Trevor Darlak (Cheektowaga)

Defensive back: Dajean McCullough (Burgard), Owen Crouse (Eden/NC), Ethan Shattuck (Tonawanda), Caleb Riordan (Pioneer), Jalin Cooper (Medina)

Utility: Will Willis (Cardinal O’Hara)

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