The #PrepTalkCountdown continues.
We are unveiling the Prep Talk Players of the Year (more than 35 total honorees) as we count down to the Prep Talk Awards on June 14 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.
#PrepTalkResume: Won her sixth straight state title as the Raiders once again won their class. Sam was an Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American in 2016. She was an all-WNY pick for the third time in 2016 and this is her second straight Prep Talk Player of the Year honor. Sam is considered one of the best defensive players in the country.
Statistics 101: Sam finished with 472 digs to lead the Raiders in that category. She also had a .418 hitting percentage.
Favorite moment in high school competition: Winning my sixth state title was very monumental, because it was record-breaking and I won it with Molly Breier by my side.
Favorite high school teammate: Molly Breier
Toughest high school opponent (team): Clarence
Toughest high school opponent (individual): Meghan Neelon
Role model: Sue Burgio (mother)
Pro/college athlete I look up to: Kristin Carpenter
I wouldn't be here without: Stephen Pierce, Mom and Dad, Jacob Burgio, Carolyn Bell, Kim and Eric Werner, Kendall Pierce, and Heather Feldman
When I'm not playing or practicing my sport, I'm ...: Sleeping, eating or working out
Favorite academic subject: Math
Planned college major: Undecided
Future plans: Attending the University of Maryland.
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What: The fourth annual Prep Talk Awards – our version of Oscar Night for WNY high school sports.
When: Wednesday, June 14, 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 former Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson will be the guest speaker. News Deputy Sports Editor Keith McShea is your host.
Reservations and tickets: Contact Megan Termini at 716-849-5551 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. There will also be 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 video wrapuup of the 2016 awards. Check out a photo gallery of the 2016 Prep Talk Awards winners as well as a Smiles photo gallery from last year's event. Here's a look back the 2016 Prep Talk Players of the Year, finalists for other Prep Talk Awards and the night's big winners.
Special Prep Talk Awards section in The Buffalo News: Published Saturday, June 17.
Who will be the Prep Talk Team of the Year? Miguel Rodriguez's final Power 10 of the fall determined our choices of the top teams from the first season of the school year. Rodriguez's final Power 10 of the winter listed our choices from 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: Marissa Birzon, Williamsville East (announced May 30)
Boys soccer: Pa Lu, I-Prep (May 30)
Girls cross country: Danielle Orie, Nardin (May 31)
Boys cross country: Christopher Nowak, Sweet Home (May 31)
Girls volleyball: Samantha Burgio, Eden (June 1)
Boys volleyball: Coming later today
Field hockey: Coming soon
Girls gymnastics: Coming soon
Girls swimming: Coming soon
Boys swimming: Coming soon
Program of the Year finalists: Coming soon
Coach of the Year finalists: Coming soon
Girls indoor track: Coming soon
Boys indoor track: Coming soon
Wrestling: Coming soon
Girls hockey: Coming soon
Boys hockey: Coming soon
Rifle: Coming soon
Girls bowling: Coming soon
Boys bowling: Coming soon
Girls squash: Coming soon
Boys squash: Coming soon
Girls tennis: Coming soon
Boys tennis: Coming soon
Girls rowing: Coming soon
Boys rowing: Coming soon
Softball: Coming soon
Baseball: Coming soon
Girls rugby: Coming soon
Boys rugby: Coming soon
Girls lacrosse: Coming soon
Boys lacrosse: Coming soon
Girls golf: Coming soon
Boys golf: Coming soon
Girls track and field: Coming soon
Boys track and field: Coming soon
Girls three-sport athlete: Coming soon
Boys three-sport athlete: Coming soon
Fourth annual #PrepTalkAwards: Wednesday, June 14 – 5:30 p.m. at Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel and Conference Center.