After a one-season hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Connolly Cup awards dinner is back and the organizing body has announced its 10 finalists for the Western New York scholastic football player of the year.
The winner will be announced during the Connolly Cup dinner/banquet on Dec. 8 at Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant in Blasdell.
The finalists are Bennett running back/defensive back Dominac Allen, Jamestown running back/safety Jaylen Butera, Canisius quarterback Tyler Baker, Iroquois quarterback Trey Kleitz, Depew RB Carson Alberti, Hamburg RB Devin Collins, Lancaster running back Micah Harry, Randolph running back Xander Hind, St. Mary’s Christian Lewis and Medina quarterback Xander Payne.
Lewis, Allen, Butera and Hind all rank 1-4 in rushing yards in Western New York. Kleitz tied the Western New York record for touchdown passes with 37.
The Connolly Cup has been awarded since 1972.
The Connolly Cup is not the same as the Buffalo News Dick Gallagher Player of the Year honor. The Connolly Cup takes into consideration regular season, Section VI and Monsignor Martin postseason tournaments.
Playoff performances by players during the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and New York State Catholic High School Athletic Association tournaments are part of the Buffalo News’ selection criteria for its All-Western New York teams and Dick Gallagher Player of the Year Award.