The #PrepTalkCountdown continues, with less than two weeks to go until the big night.
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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#PrepTalkResume: Named North American Prep Hockey Association first-team goalie and Nichols team co-MVP, helped led Vikings to a fourth straight NAPHA championship -- the four-year starter backstopped all of those titles.
Statistics 101: Welch was 22-2-2 for Nichols this year, with a save percentage of 96.4. In 18 of the Vikings' wins, the team was outshot; in 15 of her games, Nichols was outshot by a 2-to-1 margin. She was named NAPHA first-team goalie over the Canadian national under-18 goalie. For her career, which began in eighth grade, Welch was 109-13-10 with a save percentage of 94.9 and a goals against average of 1.07.
Favorite moment in H.S. competition: "Winning NAPHA four years in a row and winning CISAA three years in a row."
Favorite teammate: Annika Zalewski.
Toughest opponent: Rothesay Netherwood School (NAPHA rival from New Brunswick, Canada).
Role model: "All of my sisters: Abby, Haley, Kelsey."
Pro/college athlete I look up to: Henrik Lundqvist.
I wouldn't be Prep Talk Player of the Year without ... "Thank you to my parents, sisters, friends and coaches. I appreciate all the help along the way."
When I'm not playing or practicing my sport, I'm ... "hanging with my family and friends."
What's ahead: She will play next season for Syracuse.
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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).
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 email@example.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).
Girls cross country: Sophia Tasselmyer, East Aurora (June 1).
Boys cross country: Kenny Vasbinder, East Aurora (June 1).
Girls hockey: Maddi Welch, Nichols (June 2).
Boys hockey: Coming later today.