Frontier’s Brian Norsen admitted he’s shocked to have been the one selected as the first recipient of the Colpoys-Barrows Cup as Western New York’s Scholastic Baseball Player of the Year.
It’s not because he doubted his ability. In his view, any of the 16 finalists for the award could have been the one standing on stage with the giant trophy, posing for photos on Wednesday night at Ilio DiPaolo’s.
There’s a good reason Norsen was selected by a committee chaired by local baseball enthusiast and travel-league coach and guru Tom Prince instead of one of the other 15 finalists.
“Look at all the school records that he broke," said Prince, who covers baseball for WNY Athletics and also runs the Southtowns Travel League. "But then when you went into the sectional championships and you were down against Jamestown and losing and you hit two home runs to advance your team and then you go up against [what] is probably considered one of the best teams in the state in Clarence and take them down because of what you do offensively, I’m sorry, that’s the kid who took that one extra step I thought than everyone else did.”
Norsen, the tall, power-hitting first baseman who plans to attend St. John Fisher College, played a key role in helping Frontier win the Section VI Class AA championship, the program’s first sectional title since 1993. He finished with a .432 batting average. He set the school single-season record for home runs with six. He led the Falcons in nine out of 10 offensive categories.
For his career, Norsen set school records for hits (85) and doubles (29).
“It’s definitely awesome to be the first winner,” Norsen said. “It’s a great honor to be up here with all these guys. To be the one selected, words can’t explain it.”
Norsen sizzled during the postseason, going 7 for 13 with three homers and a double.
“The sectional title obviously was the best part of my season,” Norsen said. “This (honor) just caps it off.”
The Colpoys-Barrows Cup was the brainchild of Prince, who for years has wanted to do a banquet for baseball that’s similar to the one Dick Gallagher annually organizes for high school football.
The top prize is named after two Western New York baseball legends in ex-Canisius College pilot and Buffalo Bisons general manager Don Colpoys and late Orchard Park High skipper Bob Barrows, who won more than 630 games.
Other finalists for the award were Jack Migliore (Hamburg), Sean Hayes (Bishop Timon-St. Jude), Jack Putney (Clarence), Joe Pagano (Depew), Nick Partsch (Iroquois), Bryce Jackson (Jamestown), Dom Schmidt (Ken West), Nate Lockwood (Lake Shore), Trevor Luthart (Medina), Charlie Bruning (Roy-Hart), Sam Murphy (St. Joe’s), Will Carlone (St. Joe’s), Chris Neino (St. Mary’s), Chase Chowdowski (West Seneca West) and Andrew Fairbrother (Williamsville North).