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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School: East Aurora
#PrepTalkResume: The Section VI champion did not drop a set all season on his way to his first sectional title.
Statistics 101: McClaren won the Section VI title with a 7-6 (6), 6-2 triumph over Mike Kessler of Williamsville North in which McClaren fought off two set points. It was McClaren's second trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.
Favorite moment in H.S. competition: "Winning the 2015 sectional title."
Favorite teammate: Brady Tehan and Sean O'Leary.
Toughest opponent (team): Amherst.
Toughest opponent (individual): Mike Kessler (Williamsville North).
Role model: "My dad."
Pro/college athlete I look up to: Roger Federer
I wouldn't be Prep Talk Player of the Year without ... "my parents for supporting me and taking me all over the state for tournaments, my coaches at Miller Tennis Center, and Mr. Hycher and all of my teachers at East Aurora High School."
When I'm not playing or practicing my sport, I'm ... "hanging out with friends."
What's ahead: McClaren will pursue another title next year as a senior.
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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 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: Matt Marsh, Jamestown (June 3).
Field hockey: McKenna Rushford, Amherst (June 4).
Girls indoor track: McKyla Brooks, Frontier (June 5).
Boys indoor track: Mitch Daddario, Sweet Home (June 5).
Girls tennis: Haley Hollins, Orchard Park (June 6).
Boys tennis: Jack McClaren, East Aurora (June 6).
More winners coming every day.