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Tasker to speak at Prep Talk award ceremony

The biggest night in Western New York high school sports will have another all-time Buffalo Bills great as one of the stars of the show.

Steve Tasker, a member of the Bills’ Wall of Fame and part of the team’s four Super Bowl teams, will be the guest speaker for the second annual Prep Talk Awards.

The Prep Talk Awards, which honor the best in Western New York high school sports, will be held on June 15 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.

Prep Talk Players of the Year will be honored in all sports and special honors will be presented, including our coveted Team of the Year, the Male and Female Athletes of the Year and the Coach of the Year awards. The All-Western New York first teams in football and boys and girls basketball will also be a part of the evening.

Last year’s inaugural event’s guest speaker was Andre Reed.

Tasker, considered one of the best special teams players to play in the National Football League and currently a game analyst for CBS, will deliver a speech to the audience of about 400 and will also meet with award winners.

Radio personalities Janet Snyder and Nicholas Picholas will again help host the event as well.

The News will be announcing the fall season’s winners soon, while the All-Western New York teams in basketball will be announced in April, followed by more winter awards.

Last year’s major award winners were Clarence girls swimming (Prep Talk Team of the Year), Connor Fields of Bishop Timon-St. Jude lacrosse and hockey (Prep Talk Male Athlete of the Year), Dina Rommel of Clarence girls swimming (Prep Talk Female Athlete of the Year), Dan McDermott of Cardinal O’Hara girls basketball (Prep Talk Coach of the Year) and Western New York high school sports advocate Dick Gallagher (inaugural inductee to Prep Talk Hall of Fame).

Classic opening

It’s never too early to think about football season, and defending state Catholic champion and News No. 1 large school Canisius has a high-profile opening Friday, Sept. 4 at the Carrier Classic at Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome. The Crusaders open the season against perennial state public schools Class AA title contender Monroe-Woodbury of Section IX at 5 p.m.

Canisius is one of 20 teams taking part in the three-day football event at the Dome that begins Sept. 3.

The Crusaders, the three-time defending Monsignor Martin Athletic Association champion, are the only Western New York team to be participating in the event.

Canisius’ game is the third in a quadruple-header Sept. 4. The long day of football closes with Syracuse Christian Brothers Academy facing Rochester Aquinas at 8 p.m. in a clash between Section III and Section V title contenders.