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Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys bowling: Nate Maloney, Niagara-Wheatfield

The #PrepTalkCountdown continues.

We are unveiling the Prep Talk Players of the Year (a total of 36 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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Nate Maloney

School: Niagara-Wheatfield

Year: Sophomore

Twitter: @notlboy29

#PrepTalkResume: Won this year's Section VI title to earn his third trip to the state championships.

Statistics 101: Maloney bowled a 1,284 over six games at the sectionals to win the title. At the states, his 1,203 was eighth overall and helped the Section VI boys team to second place. He also competed in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships as a seventh-grader (with his sectional championship team) and as an eighth-grader (as an individual).

Favorite moment in H.S. competition: "Going to states my seventh grade year as a team, it was a weekend to remember."

Favorite teammate: Brian Churpita.

Toughest opponent: Niagara Falls.

Role model: Rob Pannell (pro lacrosse player).

Pro/college athlete I look up to: Lyle Thompson (UAlbany lacrosse).

I wouldn't be Prep Talk Player of the Year without ... "my dad, mom and uncle EJ (my dad's friend who was there since I was born) ... all the support from my mom and practices with dad and EJ."

When I'm not playing or practicing my sport, I'm ... "playing lacrosse, with friends or enjoying the free time I have. I hope to make it in lacrosse rather than bowling, but bowling would most likely be the better option."

What's ahead: Maloney has plenty of time to figure that out, as he has two school years left to continue his state championship trips in bowling and help lead Niagara-Wheatfield's perennially powerful boys lacrosse team.

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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 buffalonews.com/preptalkawards.

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 abrooker@buffnews.com.

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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).

Girls swimming: Andrea Ernst, Orchard Park (May 30).

Rifle: Noah Fox, Alden (May 30).

Girls bowling: Haley Carroll, Williamsville South (May 31).

Boys bowling: Nate Maloney, Niagara-Wheatfield (May 31).

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