The #PrepTalkCountdown continues, with just over a week 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: A runaway choice for Section VI indoor track MVP for a season that included three sectional titles and the state championship in the long jump..
Statistics 101: Brooks earned a New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship in the long jump of 19 feet, 1/2 inch at the state meet at Cornell University; she was just a 1/2-inch behind overall Federation champion Ebweabi Marie-Jose of Benjamin Cardozo (New York City's Public Schools Athletic League) at 19-1. In the triple jump, Brooks finished seventh overall, sixth among public-school athletes, with a leap of 37-8½. At the Section VI meet, she won the 55 meters and the long jump and finished second in the triple jump, an event in which she owns the Section VI record (set last season).
Favorite moment in H.S. competition: "Breaking the section record in the triple jump and becoming a sectional champ."
Favorite teammate: Taylor Kaznowski.
Toughest opponent (team): Lancaster.
Toughest opponent (individual): Ashley Grazen (Lancaster).
Role model: Edwin Streety.
Pro/college athlete I look up to: Lolo Jones.
I wouldn't be Prep Talk Player of the Year without ... "my mom and Edwin Streety."
When I'm not playing or practicing my sport, I'm ... "being an awesome kid and getting that homework done."
What's ahead: Brooks is headed to Stony Brook on scholarship, where she will play both volleyball (two-time first-team All-Western New York selection) and compete on the track. More immediately, she has the Section VI meet this weekend and state championships next weekend in outdoor track, where she has the fastest 100 meters in Western New York, along with the best long jump and triple jump; she leaped 39-8 to break the 14-year-old record of Clarence's Kate Kohout (39-2, 2001).
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What: The second annual Prep Talk Awards, presented by UBMD Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and sponsored by Valu Home Centers -- our version of Oscar Night for WNY high school sports.
When: Monday, June 15, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel and Conference Center.
Headliners (other than the athletes): 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.
PrepTalkTV interview with Steve Tasker: Watch the interview with Tasker here 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.
Reservations and tickets: buffalonews.com/preptalkawards.
Who's invited: 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).
What's the night like? Here's a look back at last year's awards via Twitter.
Special Prep Talk Awards section: Published Wednesday, June 17. Here's an online look back at last year's special section.
Who will be the 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.
Sponsorship opportunities: Contact your Buffalo News sales representative or Ann Brooker at 849-4413 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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: Matt Marsh, Jamestown (June 3).
Field hockey: McKenna Rushford, Amherst (June 4).
Girls indoor track: McKyla Brooks, Frontier (June 5).
Boys indoor track: Coming later today.