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Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys volleyball: Zach Yerington, Hamburg

The #PrepTalkCountdown continues.

We are unveiling the Prep Talk Players of the Year (more than 30 total honorees) as we count down to the Prep Talk Awards, presented by UBMD Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, on June 15 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. See the complete countdown list at the bottom of this post.

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Zach Yerington

School: Hamburg

Year: Senior

Position: 6-foot-5 outside hitter.

#PrepTalkResume: Two-time all-state selection (selected by a state panel), two-time All-Western New York first teamer (selected by area coaches), helped lead Bulldogs to two straight Section VI Division II titles.

Statistics 101: Had 26 kills in three games in a 24-26, 31-33, 20-25 Far West Regional loss to Section V (Rochester area) champion Victor, which went on to win the Division II state championship. All-tournament team selection at Orchard Park, Sweet Home and Hamburg tournaments.

Favorite moment in H.S. competition: "When we beat Eden in the sectional finals this year."

Favorite teammate: Doug Horbachewski.

Toughest opponent: Orchard Park.

Role model: Ryan Johnsen (Hamburg and Nazareth graduate, current club coach).

Pro/college athletes he looks up to: Matt Anderson.

I wouldn't be Prep Talk Player of the Year without ... "my parents, Ryan Johnsen (club coach), Brian Carroll (high school coach)."

When I'm not playing or practicing my sport, I'm ... "studying, hanging out with friends and working out."

What's ahead: He'll play at Ohio State, which finished this past season ranked 10th in the country.

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The second annual Prep Talk Awards, presented by UBMD Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and sponsored by Valu Home Centers, is our version of Oscar Night for WNY high school sports.

The night features radio personalities Janet Snyder and Nicholas Picholas while Buffalo Bills all-time great and CBS sportscaster Steve Tasker will be the guest speaker. Watch our PrepTalkTV interview with Tasker as discusses the awards, along with his own experience as a high school athlete and a high school parent in Western New York, among other topics.

For information on making reservations and ordering tickets, visit

We will honor the Prep Talk Players of the Year in every sport that we cover -- along with the All-Western New York football first team and the first-team members of the All-Western New York boys and girls basketball teams -- as well as some very special Prep Talk Awards: Male and Female Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year, Team of the Year and Program of the Year (and some surprises).

Here's a look back at last year's awards via Twitter.

Here's an online look back at last year's special section.

Who will be this year's Prep Talk Team of the Year? Miguel Rodriguez's final Power 10 of the fall determined our choices as the top teams from the first season of the school year. Rodriguez's final Power 10 of the winter determined the top teams of the second season of 2014-15. The No. 1 in each season's Power 10 becomes a finalist for Prep Talk Team of the Year.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact your Buffalo News sales representative or Ann Brooker at 849-4413 or

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Prep Talk Players of the Year

Girls soccer: Sydney Cerza, Clarence (announced May 28)

Boys soccer: Shane Greene, Hamburg (May 28)

Girls volleyball: Leah Meyer, St. Mary's (May 29)

Boys volleyball: Zach Yerington, Hamburg (May 29).

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