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Borrelli Awards banquet to honor best in WNY lacrosse June 25

This year marks the 10th edition of the Borrelli Award, an honor that goes to the top senior boys and girls lacrosse players in Western New York.

It marks the fifth year that a banquet will be held to honor all of the best in Western New York lacrosse: The Borrelli Awards presented by the Buffalo Bandits.

The event will be held Monday, June 25 at Ilio DiPaolo's in Blasdell.

The Tom Borrelli Memorial Award and Scholarship Fund was started by a group of Borrelli's colleagues at The News following his 2008 death. Borrelli was a Hall of Fame lacrosse writer who loved the sport at all levels.

Through the years, the breadth of the award has been expanded by its committee.

"We have had one goal in mind," Borrelli Award co-chairman Keith McShea said. "To associate the name of Tom Borrelli with the best in Western New York high school lacrosse."

The June 25 banquet will showcase the Borrelli winners, the winners of the "Ox" Awards and the All-Western New York boys and girls lacrosse teams.

This year will mark the fourth Ed Van Tine Memorial Award, presented by the Borrelli Memorial committee to individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to local lacrosse.

The banquet starts at 6 p.m., and it will be supported not only by the Bandits but by Jaros & Jaros, ADPRO Sports and The Buffalo News. Tickets are $25. Reservations need to be made by Thursday, June 21 by emailing kmcshea@buffnews.com.

Players named to the All-Western New York teams who have earned invitations to the banquet will be notified as soon as possible.

Borrelli, a St. Joe’s and Buffalo State graduate who covered the Buffalo Bandits since the team’s inception and was the first media member inducted into the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame, died in November 2008 following a tragic fall while covering a high school football game at All High Stadium.

For the first five years of the award, players were honored at the conclusion of a golf tournament hosted by Holland Hills and organized by Borrelli Award committee co-chairman and former News Deputy Sports Editor Bob DiCesare. The golf tournament was a major fundraiser for the Borrelli Scholarship Fund as it began with a boys award for the first two years before the girls honor was added in 2011.

In 2012, the “Ox” Awards were added, given to one senior boy and girl "who possess the kind of talent, versatility, hard work, dedication and toughness displayed by Borrelli – whose nickname was 'Ox' – in his 19-year career as a reporter and editor at The News."

To become a supporting sponsor of the Borrelli Awards banquet, or to contribute to the Borrelli Scholarship Fund, contact Bob DiCesare at bdicesare19@yahoo.com.

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Previous winners

Borrelli Award – boys: Jeff Tundo, Orchard Park (2009); Chris Kane, Bishop Timon-St. Jude (2010); Brian Sullivan, Bishop Timon-St. Jude (2011); Josh Babcock, Hamburg (2012); Zed Williams, Silver Creek (2013); Adam DiMillo, Bishop Timon-St. Jude (2014); Larson Sundown, Akron (2015); Evan Hollfelder, Hamburg (2016); Jack Lalley, St. Joe's (2017).

Borrelli Award – girls: Julia Suriani, West Seneca East (2011); Spring Sanders, Nichols (2012); Megan Mikolajek, Hamburg (2013); Allie Stewart, Lancaster (2014); Grace Gabriel, Lancaster (2015); McKenna Rushford, Amherst (2016); Shayla Scanlan, Lake Shore (2017).

"Ox" Award – boys: Nathan Gowen, Amherst (2012), Max Maxwell, Hamburg (2013), Brandon Donohue, Bishop Timon-St. Jude (2014), Dom Perna, St. Joe's (2015); Carter Stefaniak, St. Joe's (2016); Matthew Jeffries, Williamsville North (2017).

"Ox" Award – girls: Amanda Obenshain, Hamburg (2012); twins Grace and Hannah Christiansen, Frontier (2013); Rachel Heidenreich, Lancaster (2014); Kayden Maclay, Williamsville East (2015); Riley Luccarelli, Lancaster (2016); Savannah Gonsiorek, Frontier (2017).

Van Tine Award: Longtime Canisius College men's lacrosse coach Randy Mearns (2015); longtime Nichols School coach and women's game contributor Beth Stone (2016); longtime Sweet Home coach and Section VI boys lacrosse chairman John Faller (2017).

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