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#PrepTalkAwards special section in Saturday's Buffalo News

Western New York’s finest high school athletes all took a long, deserved bow for their performances at the third annual Prep Talk Awards banquet Wednesday night.

Close to 400 people came to the Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel and Conference Center for the event. The list of honored guests included Prep Talk Players of the Year in 40 categories, as well as the All-Western New York first teams in football and basketball.

The keynote speaker was Steve Mesler, an Olympic gold medalist in the bobsled who grew up in Buffalo. Mesler told the athletes that seeing a huge turnout for a Bills’ rally after a Super Bowl loss taught him an important lesson.

The cover of our special section in the June 18 edition of The Buffalo News.

The cover of our special section in the June 18 edition of The Buffalo News.

“It was a really powerful thing at 12 years old,” he said. “You can fail, and people around you will still love you. Boy, did that come in handy my entire life. And it will come in handy for your entire life, because you are going to fail. These things are going to happen. I think about those lessons, and it makes me realize that you people are so well-equipped to do big things. You’ve already succeeded here, and you’ve been recognized for your accomplishments.”


Intro/highlight welcome video shown at the Prep Talk Awards

An overview of the #PrepTalkAwards

Highlights of Steve Mesler's speech

#PrepTalkAwards on Snapchat: See who won the best dressed athlete vote


Prep Talk Awards winners: Players of the Year & more

Prep Talk Awards highlights -- including Players of the Year posing with Steve Mesler

Smiles at the Prep Talk Awards


Special awards announced at Wednesday's ceremony

Male Athlete of the Year: Kellen Devlin, Amherst

Female Athlete of the Year: McKenna Rushford, Amherst 

Coach of the Year: Tim Delaney, South Park Football | Coach of the Year finalists

Prep Talk Team of the Year: Canisius Volleyball

Prep Talk Program of the Year: East Aurora | Program of the Year finalists

Prep Talk Hall of Fame inductee: Dennis DiPaolo

[BN]spired Award: Simon Krywcun, Maryvale baseball (read Bucky Gleason's column)


Review our #PrepTalkLive at the #PrepTalkAwards post

* * *


All-Western New York issue featuring Stafford Trueheart of Canisius (boys player of the year) and Erica Martinsen of Williamsville East (girls player of the year).


All-Western New York issue featuring Tyree Brown of South Park (player of the year).

* * *


Girls soccer: Marissa Birzon, Williamsville East (announced May 31)

Boys soccer: Troy Brady, Grand Island (May 31)

Girls volleyball: Samantha Burgio, Eden (June 1)

Boys volleyball: Griffin Schmit, Canisius (June 1)

Girls cross country: Sophia Tasselmyer, East Aurora (June 2)

Boys cross country: Kenny Vasbinder, East Aurora (June 2).

Field hockey: McKenna Rushford, Amherst (June 3)

Girls gymnastics: Zoe Kyriakopoulos, Williamsville North (June 7).

Girls swimming: Andrea Ernst, Orchard Park (June 9)

Boys swimming: Matthew Marsh, Jamestown (June 9)

Girls indoor track: Tiana Luton, Sweet Home (June 9)

Boys indoor track: Steven Neumaier, Lancaster (June 9)

Wrestling: Kellen Devlin, Amherst (June 10)

Girls hockey: Abigail Welch, Nichols (June 10)

Boys hockey: Trevor Pray, Kenmore East (June 10)

Rifle: Noah Fox, Alden (June 10)

Girls bowling: Angela Gabriele, Niagara Falls (June 11)

Boys bowling: Nate Maloney, Niagara-Wheatfield (June 11)

Girls squash: Isobel Brinkworth, Nichols (June 11)

Boys squash: Leyton Johnston, Nichols (June 11)

Girls tennis: Jesse Hollins, Orchard Park (June 12)

Boys tennis: Jack McClaren, East Aurora (June 12)

Girls rowing: Tara Finlayson, Nardin (June 12)

Boys rowing: Daniel Wrafter, Canisius (June 12)

Girls rowing: Tara Finlayson, Nardin (June 12)

Boys rowing: Daniel Wrafter, Canisius (June 12)

Softball: Kara Paradowski, Lancaster (June 13)

Baseball: Dan Dallas, Canisius (June 13)

Girls rugby: Emily Henrich, Orchard Park (June 13)

Boys rugby: Cory Ratka, Kenmore (June 13)

Girls golf: Maren Cipolla, Nichols (June 14)

Boys golf: Ben Reichert, Williamsville North (June 14)

Boys lacrosse: Evan Hollfelder, Hamburg (June 14)

Girls lacrosse: McKenna Rushford, Amherst (June 14)

Girls track and field: Tiana Luton, Sweet Home (June 15)

Boys track and field: Darren Thompson, St. Joe's and Colin Blair, Lancaster (June 15)

Boys three-sport athlete: Noah Thompson, East Aurora (June 15)

Girls three-sport athlete: McKenna Rushford, Amherst (June 15)


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