This past Saturday, as he has done for 25 years, Dick Gallagher held his Western New York High School Sports football banquet. It was, as always, an outstanding celebration of the past season, with recognition being given to players, coaches and those who make Western New York high school football great.
This season, boys basketball will also have a night of its own.
The Prep Talk/BCANY Awards Banquet will honor the best in the sport April 16, 2012, at Ilio DiPaolo's in Blasdell.
The event is being organized by The Buffalo News and the local chapter of the Basketball Coaches Association of New York, led by Williamsville South coach Al Monaco.
Among those formally honored will be the All-Western New York team, The Buffalo News Player of the Year, the News poll champions and the BCANY's coaches of the year.
Stay tuned, as more details will come in the new year.
As with any inaugural event, we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we think we're off to a great start thanks to people like Monaco and two longtime supporters of high school sports: Gallagher and Dennis DiPaolo.
But we're probably only done with the first quarter. We are counting on the enthusiasm of the Western New York boys hoops community to help make this a special night, not just for the honorees, but for that community -- and not just for this season, but for seasons to come.
Companies and organizations interested in helping sponsor the event may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be ticket discounts for coaches who are BCANY members. BCANY membership is also necessary to have players or coaches considered for the BCANY awards. For information on joining, contact Monaco at email@example.com.
> Gallagher honored
The idea of the Prep Talk/BCANY banquet came from one simple thing: Dick Gallagher has done such an outstanding job throughout the years with the football banquet.
We're just following his lead.
Gallagher was surprised in the middle of this year's affair by an award he didn't have on the list. Emcee John Murphy (who donated his time for the 25th straight year), along with Denny Lynch of the Buffalo Bills and Dennis Sarow of the Connolly Cup, presented Gallagher with a silver football trophy for his 25 years organizing the event.
I have said and written this before, but it bears repeating: Western New York in general, and particularly the local high school sports community, is a much better place because of Dick Gallagher. Next time you see him -- maybe it'll be next year on the football sidelines -- thank him for what he has done for Western New York high school sports.
> PrepTalkTV highlight show
High school football fans are getting some great Christmas gifts from PrepTalkTV.
Reporter/producer Lauren Mariacher has reviewed all of the video coverage that News reporters and photographers captured during the high school football season to come up with a PrepTalkTV series titled "The Four Days of Football Christmas."
Each day brings with it a different highlight video package from this past season. They can be viewed at the Prep Talk blog at buffalonews.com.
The first gift was PrepTalkTV's "Best Hits of 2011" and it is a blast. The second day debuted Tuesday evening. It's called "Touchdown Montage" and it's long enough that you should have some Christmas cookies on hand while you watch.
> Special sale of OP DVD
If you are anything like me, you have plenty of Christmas shopping still to do.
Here's a unique last-minute gift idea for those with a high school football fan on their list (especially if they are from Orchard Park).
PrepTalkTV's first-ever season-in-review DVD, which looks back on OP's state championship season, will be available for sale 4-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday at One News Plaza. The 15-minute DVD costs $19.99. Email me at the address below for more details.
The program looks back on OP's title run, from Scrimmage Saturday in August to the state finals at the Carrier Dome. The DVD includes highlights, interviews, photos and more.
For those of you who aren't in a rush, you can still order through the mail (we sent our first shipment this week). Send a check for $19.99 payable to The Buffalo News to: PrepTalkTV OP DVD, c/o Buffalo News Sports, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240.