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 Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.
School: St. Joe's
#PrepTalkResume: Finished third at the New York State championships in the Varsity 8
Statistics 101: Two NYS championship wins (Junior 4+, 2015, Senior 4+, 2016); two SRAA finishes (2015 and 2016), second place three straight times at Canadian Schoolboys in the lightweight 4+; second place at the Canadian Henley Regatta.
Favorite moment in high school competition: Finishing second at SRAA (U.S. Scholastic Nationals) behind a Canadian boat, making St. Joe's the fastest U.S. finisher in the field for the Junior 4+ my sophomore year.
Favorite high school teammate: Jackson Liszewski
Toughest high school opponent (team): UCC (Upper Canada College)
Toughest high school opponent (individual):
Role model: Warren Buffett
Pro/college athlete I look up to: Mahe Drysdale
I wouldn't be here without: My parents, my nana, and my team members and coaches who have supported me throughout the years.
When I'm not playing or practicing my sport, I'm ...: Working with either my father or mother, hanging out with friends, or attending car shows
Favorite academic subject: English
Planned college major: Mechanical engineering
Future plans: Row for Division I Drexel University
* * *
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.
* * *
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: Henry Payne, Clarence (June 1)
Field hockey: Abby Ferenczy, Williamsville South (June 2)
Girls gymnastics: Zoe Kyriakopoulos, Williamsville North (June 2)
Wrestling: Laith Alsous, Lew-Port (June 3)
Rifle: Kiersten Mucha, Lancaster (June 3)
Girls swimming: Olivia Sapio, Orchard Park (June 4)
Boys swimming: Seth Farrand, Olean (June 4)
Girls hockey: Katy Knoll, Nichols (June 5)
Boys hockey: Cole Donhauser, Nichols (June 5)
Girls indoor track: Jenna Crean, Orchard Park (June 6)
Boys indoor track: Treston White, Lockport (June 6)
Girls bowling: Britney Grey, Cattaraugus/Little Valley (June 7)
Boys bowling: Nate Maloney, Niagara Wheatfield (June 7)
Program of the Year finalists: Announced June 8
Coach of the Year finalists: Announced June 8
Girls lacrosse: Shayla Scanlan, Lake Shore (June 8)
Boys lacrosse: Owen Hill, Akron (June 9)
Girls rugby: Emily Henrich, Orchard Park (June 9)
Boys rugby: Jack Wiles, Canisius (June 9)
Girls golf: Melanie Green, Medina (June 10)
Boys golf: Mitchell Smith, Orchard Park (June 10)
Girls track and field: Nia Stevens, Tapestry (June 10)
Boys track and field: Nathaniel Davis, Sweet Home (June 11)
Softball: Karsen Cotton, Depew (June 11)
Baseball: Leugim Castillo, Lancaster (June 11)
Girls rowing: Kiera Bohen, Nardin (June 12)
Boys rowing: Charlie Pratt, St. Joe's (June 12)
Boys tennis: Coming soon
Girls tennis: Coming soon
Girls squash: Coming soon
Boys squash: 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.