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: Winner of two straight state championships at 126 pounds. This year he was the only state champion from Section VI. In late March, he added a national championship at 126 at the National High School Coaches Association Junior Nationals at Virginia Beach, Va.
Statistics 101: Devlin followed last year's state title with a dominating display this year, routing Jake Kurzhals of Pearl River in a major decision (18-2 with 1:29 left in the third period). Devlin became the first Section VI back-to-back champion since Ben Haas (Salamanca, Division II) and Jim Kloc (Iroquois, Division I) each accomplished it in 2011 and 2012.
Favorite moment in H.S. competition: "Winning my first state title as a sophomore."
Favorite teammate: Cody McGregor.
Toughest opponent: Stevie Michel (2013 Lancaster grad now at Mercyhurst).
Role model: Jordan Burroughs.
Pro/college athlete I look up to: Conor McGregor.
I wouldn't be Prep Talk Player of the Year without ... "my father (Greg Devlin), my brothers (Steve and Brad Devlin) and my coach (Dennis Bauer)."
When I'm not playing or practicing my sport, I'm ... "hanging out with my school friends or binge eating."
What's ahead: Another year to pursue another state championship. After his first title, he told a reporter, "two more times." Last year, he said, "If I take care of myself, then history will follow.”
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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: Carson Gicewicz, Nichols (June 2).
Wrestling: Kellen Devlin, Amherst (June 3).
Boys swimming: Coming later today.