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November 23, 2008

Connolly Cup finalists announced: Who's going to win?

The finalists for the Connolly Cup have been announced.

They are: Canisius sr. QB Sean Brady; Grand Island sr. WR Alex Neutz; Iroquois senior RB Brandon Murie; Lackawanna sr. QB/RB/DB Capone Smith; Maple Grove jr. QB Chris Secky; Orchard Park sr. QB Kyle Hoppy; Orchard Park sr. RB Jeff Tundo; St. Francis sr. WR/DB/P Luke Tasker, Sweet Home sr. QB Casey Kacz; Sweet Home jr. RB/LB Deshanaro Morris.

Here's the place to make your vote heard, and tell us why by clicking "comments" at the bottom of this post. When you vote, you'll see the current results; the poll will close just before the winner is announced on Dec. 6.

Can Tundo win two in a row? Also, what do you think of the list? Who's not on the list that should be? Remember to be RESPECTFUL of ALL of the players because they all had a great seasons.

Off the top of my head, this is the best collection of nominees in my 10 seasons covering high school football. I suppose that's fitting considering the what a history-making year this has been (four teams in the state championships).

I'll be keeping my other thoughts to myself for now since we will be deliberating The News Player of the Year honor through the rest of the football season.   

-- Keith McShea


I am not so sure that OP is the best team.

I would give it to Secky. Best QB and overall player in WNY.

-Its gotta go to the leader of the best team in the state. Hoppy hands down.

-Either Morris or Secky next year when they are seniors. We all know that only juniors never win the connolly up. Except for Hoppy's teammate Tundo last year of course...

Jake Larson's Father Daryl Larson was one of the best Hockey players to come out of Chautauqua County. He played like Reggie Leach of the Phila. Flyers. I wonder what Jake could have done on the ice. I remember Tundo's father being a very good wrestler.

Who can dispute that each of these players are terrific?

Jake Larson - 31 TD
Chris Secky - 1810 Yards
Matt Fox - 130 Tackles

Jake's possibly the most under-rated RB in WNY, and he's getting looks from D-1AA and D-II, as well as a slew of top D-III, including Mount Union.

Thanks, Chaut Co & Media 1 for the nod to MG's Jake Larson.
Hard to believe 31 TD's and 10.5 yd/carry could get lost in the MG air game hype, but it seems to be true.
He also had 14 tackles in the title game at CB.
He will get his deserved recognition as DD Co-Offensive Player of the Year at the banquet....

Not OP's biggest fan but would agree Hoppy is a classy young man. Definately showed sportsmanship at the awards ceremony. Don't try to ruin his name.

Just watched the OP game again, happened to pay special attention to the awards ceremony. After getting up there Hoppy shook EACH players' hand and had a smile and said something to them. Don't know what game raider was watching...

I agree 100% unfortunately for Larson he got lost in the shadow behind Secky, Fox and caporale. If MG was a run orientated team he would have been a finalist if not the front runner for the connolly cup.

jake larson scored 31 tds. this year for the best small school in nys. he deserves recognition in wny.he is not only a great back with fantastic vision,power and balance, he is a really good linebacker. he and secky were co league offensive mvps.

Kyle Hoppy is one of the most humble and respectful athletes around. At the end of every game he is always one of the last in the line to shake opponents' hands because he makes sure to talk with them and congratulate them on their efforts. At the awards ceremony (which was VERY fast and rushed because Rye and Oneida were already getting ready for their game) the MVP award was given out last. Hoppy was given the award, a picture was taken and everyone was rushed off the field. He is never one to boast and would never show disrespect to an opponent, or anyone else for that matter. Raider it really is a shame that you would try and tarnish his name.

I was there when Hoppy got MVP and after getting the award he went to the players from Monroe-Woodbury who also got awards and shook their hands, gave them a nod and im sure he said something respectful. What he did was very respectful and should not be dergraded

I am a Maple Grove Red Dragon fan as some regular,readers know and I am very proud of them for all of their accomplishments this season.. I want to congratulate all 4 section 6 state champions...Fantastic, all four of those wins are for the record books...OP's comeback win was great, and as for Hoppy taking the team under his wing, that was definately high-lite reel material...What shouldn't be judged is whether this young man showed disrespect by not acknowleding his opponents during photo ops...First of all the teams shook hands after the game. I am sure Kyle shook all of the players hands and had nice words to say to them...(The state officials rush the kids out there for the awards and they don't want to waste any time, so everything is rush,rush)...I noticed that other kids didn't shake everybodies hands during the awards,..Oh well...Kyle Hoppy is a heck of an athlete and should not be judged by anyone unless there are hard facts of unsportsmanlike conduct or a show of disrespectfulness...As far as Morris goes, I can't respond to something that I did not witness...Also,I really doubt the Raider was anybody from Maple Grove, because most fans use MG or Dragon in their name and usually have nothing to hide...I hope Chris Secky wins the Connelly Cup, for many reasons...If someone else happens to win, I am sure that that individual will be worthy of the honor...I think what people seem to forget is that these are 16-17 year old kids...If it's kids that are writing in thats one thing, if it's adults that are doing it, then shame on you...As far as Connelly Cup and All Western New York Football team goes, good luck to everybody and hopefully polotics won't play a big role... As far as the Buffalo News Final Polls go, Sweet Home and Orchard Park should tie for first and so should Maple Grove and Southwestern...Polls and rankings are done for entertainment reasons only and they are made by people that don't even play the game...anymore, anyways...

4 state champs, 2 large school, 2 small school...No other section won more than 2 championships in one year!...Why would anyone want to tarnish what our boys have accomplished?

i doubt someone with the name raider would be a maple grove fan.

raider it is obvious you have never had the pleasure of meeting kyle hoppy.watch the game again he made a point of shaking everyone's hand.If by chance you saw him miss someone i'm sure it wasn't intentional. I am guessing your a maplegrove fan trying to win votes for secky.Really class less to pick on one of the nices kids youll ever meet

raider your are way off with hoppy I have met the kid before and he is one of the most respectful genuine kids I have ever met, he may have been caught up in the moment because I am sure he wouldnt avoid a handshake on purpose

I think hoppy would be a much better tail back than tundo. hes faster.more elusive and seems to be tougher.he s a great qb but would be a better tb. i would like to see his stats with 25-30 carries a game

I think you are wrong about Hoppy. I remember him leaning over and saying something to the two MW players who were on a knee. I can't say whether he shook their hands or not because of where I was sitting. But it sure didn't look like he avoided anyone.

I watched both teams play multiply times and i think OP and sweet home would both beat MG. I went to a small school so i love to give credit to them. Do i think there are AA and A schools MG could beat yes actually alot. But i watched OP and Sweet home play the last four weeks and they would both beat MG and SW. When Depew beat Lancaster did Lancaster win a state or even a section championship? No. MG is a great team probably one of if not the best small school in the state but no way do they beat Sweet Home or OP. Even Keith McShea during the OP Binghamton Game said that there was no way Waltons better then them.

Secky or Smith for Conolly Cup either one im satisfied.

we all know that OP would beat Maple Grove? I am not so sure of that. I watched that team 3 weeks in a row totally destroyed teams. I know Walton would beat Monro-Woodbury, so I would have to say that Maple grove would beat OP. My cousin is from Forks and he says that Walton would beat Binghamton fairly easily.You can throw that small school/large school thing right out the window. We beat Lancaster 3 out of 5 years. I think Lancaster was #1 AA in state one year we beat them.

wnycoach i know people ranked walton higher then binghamton, obvisously they were either ranking the team according to their class or just a terrible judge of talent. Bc Binghamton gave OP a much better game then walton gave MG and we all know Op would beat MG. I think MG would beat SW but i also feel that SW would have giving MG the best game this season. The problem with C at least in this section is that the traditional powers like Salamanca have been down almost the whole decade. I believe the good team make the other teams step it up. I believe the skill in classes just varies and right now it happens to be with the Ds. But im a strong believer in the coach is a major key to success. In Chaut Co the kids are the same in all the schools when they are 11-12 years old. The kids at MG aren't just born better football players its the coaches that work with them. There are some schools that are better situations to win such as support from the community and school adminstration, tradition, ect..but with the right coaches i think any school has the potential to be great.

I don't agree with Jim that Mg played Modified teams but i do agree that if he wants a solid shot at D1 in either sport he needs to get in the weight room and put on some muscle.

Jim you are a real classy guy. hmmm. I hear he is getting letters from many D1 schools including UB to play football and he is only a junior. You are mad because SH is better than OP.get over it.

I agree with WNYCoach & give the edge to SH. Waaaayyyy too many weapons all over the field on SH. And as good a player as Hoppy is (with the rest of the list being equally as good in my opinion), he'll not with the CC -- it's going to Capone Smith. He deserves it the most, argue all you want. And congrats to all 4 teams!

Orchard Park is the best team in the state. Hoppy is easily the new CC winner.

the qb #2 Secky from maple grove is amazing. so smooth. very technically sound. He doesn't make mistakes. I saw his interview on the other site. Very classy humble kid.I hope he picks football and I hope he goes to UB. If you are out there and if you ever look at this stuff. Come to UB and play football. And bring a few of your friends with you.#17,#52 just to name a couple. You guys were a joy to follow and so much fun to watch.

MW has been to the title game how many years now? I think the awe of being in a state title game effected OP and MW had a big edge over them in that area. I think it showed in the first half. Once OP settled down they showed they were the better team. If they play 10 times OP would win 7 of 10. OP vs Sweet Home would be a a great game. I give the edge to OP as they are a little deeper and have less two way players. If you follow OP closely they wear teams down and in a very close game with Sweet Home I think they would win it in the 4th qtr.

Allen, you are a bit off.Clymer,Dundee,Walton were all great teams. Talk to any state sports writer and they will tell you that D is considered much tougher than C state wide. section 4 had Walton a D school, ranked as high or higher than Binghamton AA, all season long. Last year many writers across nys said Walton would have easily won C and B at the Dome in 2007 and could have held their own with A and AA. Maple Grove made everyone look sick this season. Randolph, Clymer,Walton all could have have won class C this year. Class C was the weakest and class B wasn't much better. to answer the question OP vs.SH I would give the edge to SH, but i thought OP would blow the doors off of Monroe-Woodbury and that was close.I believe North Tonowanda would have beaten MW. If the qb from Moroe-Woodbury could throw at all, they would have beat OP, easily. MG vs.SW would not be very close at all.MG would beat SW, like they beat everybody else this season. They are just way to fast off the ball. All 4 teams from section 6 should be commended for fine state championship seasons.Next year will be Southwestern's year again.Looking at their roster at their roster, most of the key players on that team are juniors. Of all four teams,they will have to be the favorites to return to Syracuse next year, especially if C remains weak, state wide.

congratulations to all 4 section 6 teams . that's the way to represent your school and your section. I like to dream and I am currently dreaming of 2 big games . Orchard Park vs.Sweet Home and Southwestern vs. Maple Grove. I know these games are impossible and everybody should be happy with their state championship but does anybody have any thoughts on how those game would turn out?

maybe its just me... but MG hasnt played anyone this year in the playoffs... Walton was considered #1 in the entire section in a very weak Section 4... Moriah was easily the worst team at the State Championships.

the thing that troubles me is that op was much better than mw.op played horrible in the 1st.half. hoppy should have been in control in the 1st half. his team played very nervous. i think the comeback is overrated cuz hey should not have been in that position to begin with. hoppy is a very good athlete but he is not a polished quarterback.he would be by punter on the buff news all star team.no way is he the best player in sextion 6.


All respect to Hoppy's great performance, Secky's 3 TD passes and 2 rushing TD's don't make the cut?

After the way Hoppy played at the Dome today, it would be a shock for him not to win the CC. His 2 TDs brought his team back to become the State Champs!

I was very impressed with Morris from SH he plays very well on both sides of the ball. Maybe the best two way player on the list.

If you get a chance, Go watch Secky play Baskets in the next 2 years.....The Guy plays like Pete Marovich.

716, obviously you only watch Lackawanna play -- with all due respect to Capone, who is awesome no doubt about it -- he's not the only elite do-it-all-player; many others on the CC list are as well, including Secky who has set a WNY record in point after kicks and after his performance yesterday at the Dome, is in the top 3 ever in NY State. And we're not even mentioning his TDs, tackles and special teams work. Looking forward to seeing who wins the CC -- based on the season Section 6 has had, you could make a case that this is the best group of 10 candidates ever -- congratulations to all of them on their selection

yea anytime
and no doubt the rest of these kids deserved it. there isent a doubt in my mind that they dident.but at the end you just have to put the facts together


Well well, well, glad you are the supreme power.

Capone Smith has had an awesome season, and the rest of the company surrounding him for the CC is just as deserving!

if capone doesnt win it theres something wrong in the state of new york. now one on the ballet can play EVERY postion capone can.. no one is as good as him end of story. there should be no contest. come on whos the best player on there. tundo is a good player but what is he known for?running the ball, secky throwing the ball.. but what else? you dont here them excelling in anything else like capone can. come on capone can throw a 50 yard bomb on the run he can run you over and make you miss thats both what tundo and secky and hoppy can do. then theres defense where capone has over 100 takles many ints punt returns kick returns.. what esle do u need to prove. get seious people

I am looking forward to watching Fox kick some behind in Syracuse. The lineman from MG that has stood out the most from what I have seen and heard is Corey Jens. That is until recently. Fox lit up Walton and everyone is taking notice. I will watch him a little closer this weekend and will let you know what I saw.I expect he will be very impressive while winning a State championship. By the way is fox a Junior ?????

MG??? Fox can play at any level He will be a D-1 college linebacker.


the host of inside high school sports is a burgard graduate. gee, i wonder who this burgardbulldogs fellow is? way to pump up your own show tony!

Wow, who else out there has noticed Matt Fox from MG?
He is a true force on MG's defense, as well as on their O-line.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing him to OP's or SH's LB's.
I'm just saying that, at his level, which is "way, way below the big schools," he is a real standout.

Trench Trophy was voted on last week. They will be releasing the 12 finalists very soon..i will guess Sunday. Just a guess

Matt Fox is better than both of them. He's the best in WNY .he's only a junior like Morris.

so does anyone know when the trench trophy finalists come out or no??

Not to rain on your parade shpanthers but brendan nuessle is a better linebacker than day-day.

Y'all see why I love the SH kids so much. What a great analysis by SHPANTHERS . I dont know who you are, but that was a very classy analysis. There is nothing better than a kid that props up his opponents and sends love to his teammates. I trust what he says more than anyone else. Great job Panther and see you in Syracuse Friday. GOOOOOOOOO SH

I will admit up front that my view may be slightly biased because I play for Sweet Home, but I will attempt to keep this as unbiased as possible.
Sean Brady - I regret that I do not know much about Brady, but he did lead Canisius to a great season (despite their tough loss at the Ralph)
Alex Neutz - He is incredible. He has an amazing combination of size, speed, awareness, and a ridiculous ability to catch. I know that when we played GI he made some amazing catches. Not to mention he ended up, I think, the 5th most receiving yards in NY state history (though I'm not completely sure about that). He can be a great D1 player, in my mind.
Brandon Murie - Extremely fast and agile. He's the reason that Iroqouis made it all the way to the Ralph. Our run defense has been a strong point all year and he was able to break some good runs on us. Also, he was a very good kick returner.
Capone Smith - Insane talent. To be able to play QB, RB, and WR (not to mention playing defense as well) as good as he does, you know he is something special. I definitely don't think there is anyone in WNY who could play that well in all of those poistions except for Capone. He was the heart and soul of Lackawanna this season.
Chris Secky - A terrific quarterback and athlete. He was the driving force for Maple Grove in this dream season of theirs. Every game he tears the opponent's secondary apart, including Walton's. On top of his incredible arm, he can make plays with his feet as well. I have complete confidence in MG this week, and a large portion of that is due to Secky.
Kyle Hoppy - Like Secky, has a terrific arm and great running ability. He has been a great leader for OP. Even if his stats haven't been amazing this year, there is much more to this athlete than numbers. He does a great job making something good happen when plays and/or protection breaks down. Also, I feel that a large reason he may not have the numbers that Secky does could be OP's great running back, which leads me to...
Jeff Tundo - He is a huge, powerful back who also has very good speed. He is extremely difficult to bring down and fights with everything he has for every possible yard. That kind of determination and will is something that not a lot of guys have, and it will do Jeff well for a long time.
Luke Tasker - A very good and dependable receiver who is also a great kid. He was a constant for St. Francis this year and was a great help to Fabor.
Casey Kacz - Great player. He is a smart kid and is practically unflappable. He has shown a great scrambling ability. He is very accurate and makes great decisions with the football, not to mention that he is an amazing leader for his team.
Deshanaro Morris - This kid is incredible. He is a star on both sides of the ball and is a huge force whenever he is out there. He may not have had the most rushing yards this season, but he didn't get as many carries as some backs and he plays in a spread offense (which isn't exactly the most run-friendly offense). I honestly think he could be one of the top linebackers in all of NY and next year, he could be at that level for running back too. He never gets brought down by the first man and, much like Tundo, gives everything he has on every carry to pick up any yards he can.

All of these athletes are terrific football players and are deserving of being on this list. I want to congratulate each one on a wonderful season. That being said, I believe the top 3 choices for the Connolly Cup (in no specific order) are:
Capone Smith - the best all-around offensive player in WNY.
Chris Secky - posted incredible stats while leading his team to an amazing and successful season
Deshanaro Morris - possible the top overall player (offense and defense) in WNY
(Honorable Mention: Alex Neutz)

Even though this is extremely close, I believe Day-Day gets the nod here. I choose him to win it because I do believe that He is the best defensive player(definitely best LB) and is also the best overall RB in WNY, making him the top player in section 6.

who is this dick Gallager guy? Why do people listen to him hes never even played football before.

OP: You & Quaker can have your leftovers dinner together & eat your words for dessert!!!! lololol

plus mike hates the small schools from jamestown area. mike loves op though, don'tcha mike. mike for president in 2012
there will be one state champ from section 6 and that will be the Quakers of Orchard Park !

I think mike ferrentiono does a great job on inside high school sports.it great to hear people so enthusiastic about high school sports.keep up the great work guys

Jimmy may have had one too many eggnogs in your opinion, but he is not that far off. I have seen all these kids play and in the day of the modern offenses, Hoppy is one of the most dangerous threats in WNY. This kid is probably a legite 4.6 40 with a great arm. When coaches start game planning for OP, he is where they start. I know many posters are big on stats, but many times they do not tell the whole story. There is something said for the competition one plays against. When a very talented kid is fortunate enough to play on strong team, many times the numbers will come. This is probably one of the reasons his team is so good. Many times a kid with great numbers does not get the recognition because his team is not that good or the competition is not up to par with some of the others. Excellent players will often be overlooked when it comes to all star teams. Obviously based on some posts, certain kids were slighted from this list. It should not take away from the seasons they had this year. This happens on all levels. During my years of recruiting kids for college, one of the criteria I started with was the level of competition athletes played against. That is not to say I did not find some talents at smaller schools. Many of these kids that have been mentioned in these posts are excellent high school players who could have success playing in college. The majority of them are D3, maybe D2 type players. There are some D1 or D1 AA type kids. If I were voting for the CC, with no allegiance to any team or kid, I still think Morris from SH has been the best all around player this year.

Quaker: Your first statement can never be proven so I could say something stupid like SH would beat OP 56-0; doesn't mean anything. Your second statement will be proven wrong Sat. & you'll be eating those words with Thanksgiving leftovers!! lololol

The best player isn't even a finalist!!!! WNY record holder, Brooks you got screwed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the 2best players in wny r hoppy and tundo OP would cream Sh.30-6 my prediction.
i bet OPis the only state champ this year. other teams not really good enough to be state champs

jimmy stay out of the thanksgiving eve sauce; you had one too many...you're just not making any sense but ur pretty funny though

jimmy you make no sense. when you hype a guy because he played against better competition you are also saying that Hoppys supporting cast is better than the other candidates so his numbers should be better.talent is talent. doesn't matter what size school they come from Jimmy the kid from maple grove is much better than hoppy,much better.I have to go with murie for connolly cup though.

there is only one player deserving of the connolly cup...........KYLE HOPPY. Enough talk about any other players. Hoppy has faced the tougher competition than all these other candidates teams and has so far led his team to a 12-0 record with a state final appearance. Numbers wise with the oppourtunities hoppy has received he has delivered. If he had the chance to throw as much as someone like brady this wouldnt even be a debate. Go Hoppy Go OP

when does the trench trophy finalists come out??

One Correction is that the Harvard Cup game will be on 1440 am not 1400 am as listed in the paper. The 1045 show time is accurate however.

ok boys...i've given this some more thought and i've actually changed my mind; although I am a BIG SECKY FAN(can't blame me, look at my screen name) I think Capone Smith should win the CC: if all goes according to plan this Saturday, Hoppy, Tundo, Secky, Kacz,and Morris will win a State Championship which I'm sure they want more than the CC -- after the season that Capone Smith and Lackawanna had, it's a real shame that they aren't part of the club representing Section 6 at the Dome and Capone deserves the CC for his excellence on the field -- GOOD LUCK CAPONE SMITH -- this MG Fan is rooting for you

Sorry bob, been a bit busy with the family.

I'll put the offensive line up sometime later today (11-26).

Sports Fan
You are a huge idiot. Why go outside the subject to drag other teams and single out a player for your own pleasure. You obviously know nothing about FOOTBALL anyway. This weekend is about 4 teams from section 6 and 2 from Chautauqua County going after state titles. IF Secky doesn't win the Connolly Cup so be it. I am sure he wants a state title more than an individual award. People, don't fall prey to all the false posts from trouble makers. Good luck to all the teams especially SW and MG.

Coach K,

Where are those offensive & defensive All-WNY write ups?

i have an idea GIVE IT A REST LOL

OP: You have no class & hopefully don't represent all of OP, but you obviously feel the need to knock down other players to build yours up. I won't knock Hoppy & stoop to your level - he's a great player, but Kacz must be the biggest threat to Hoppy or you wouldn't feel the need to talk smack against him - have some respect (which you apparently aren't capable of.) Someone already made the point that 90% of the people left on this blog are OP or MG fans, so I don't expect to see much love for SH. (I, probably along with others, personally don't care about your opinion, just don't like to see great athletes knocked down).There might only be a couple of us fans left. In my opinion, Capone Smith will probably win the CC.

More like incredibly excited for our kids and the things they have accomplished and the opportunities they now have.
We, haven't been here before in our kids' careers.
Give us a break.....
P.S. Some punctuation would make your posts more readable.
P.P.S. Gator is not "my boy," but I like his spirit.
P.P.P.S. I am NOT your son.
How about a little respect, daddyO?

LOL am laughing at you but for a diffrent reason son I actually sided with your boy with his discussion with ferentino and then you come on and agree with mike and tell your own boy to give it a rest you guys are so entertaining

lol about what?
I'm not saying our kids, or our team, is better than yours. Our team is not
We are small, you are not.
You have great athletes, D-I and D-II prospects, and so do we.
Why do you have a problem with that?

daddyO- ferrentino is some guy who runs a lacrosse store and the store sponsors the radio show on saturday mornings. thats why they let him on the show.

And Mike,
We (MG) are ALL rooting for Southwestern, and most of us will stay in the Dome Saturday to prove it.
SW and MG are,
geographically, about five miles apart, separated by Chautauqua Lake.

SW's coach was an assistant to Coach Fischer when MG won states in 1998, and our loyalty runs deep.

Could we beat them? Or could they beat us?
We will never know.

What we do know is that our schools combine to form a high school hockey program that is very successful, and won a state championship in, I believe, 2003, and lost in the state finals in 2004.

My nephew played on that team, and I intend to wear a SW/MG hockey sweater at the Dome Saturday.

I hope anyone else who can, will.


I agree with Mike. Give it a rest. No matter what you say at this point will be spun negatively by other posters.

It is impossible to compare small schools and their athletes with large schools and theirs, on these forums, due to scheduling.

In the past, MG has played C schools, and they put a serious beatdown on a good Falconer team that went deep into the playoffs last year. I don't believe MG has played any "B" schools recently.

What I do know, is that numbers don't lie, and some of these MG kids, in addition to getting the ride of their lives, are getting serious looks from teams at the next level, including D-I & D-II.

I'm not trying to come off as defensive, I'm only trying to make the point that these kids are serious athletes, whatever the level.

They have been to combines and camps, and have attracted a lot of attention.

Winning the Connelly Cup is a great honor, but Chris, for all his marvelous skills, and his great leadership, may not even be the best football player on MG's unbelievable team. (He certainly is the best basketball player on the team.) Luck of the draw, bad publicity, lack of chances, whatever.

The point is, someone always gets left off or overlooked.

Great players abound in Section VI this year, and, come Saturday and Sunday, the Section has the chance to make a real statement.
Good luck to OP, Sweet Home, Southwestern, and MG.
Thanks for your support and good wishes.
Let's bring them all home!!

can someone please tell me who mike ferrentino is and what makes him an expert on everything?
what does he do? Is he a sports writer or something? i am not joking i would really like to know Capone smith is the best player and should win cc

bull your the funny one mike f is the smack nazi LOL no way he just hates small schools. hes a big school guy LOL

Day-Day for connelly cup

Ferrentino Your funny. Kids ant smack on here now? If they do they have to anser to you wow thats not america why dont you get on the punks fron OP thats all they do i dont think many people listen to yor opinion Ferrentino You are really starting to bore me now

Why do some people want start trouble with two friendly, neighboring schools?. The players,coaches and fans from both teams have very much respect for one another. If your intention is to try to make the two teams feud for some unknown reason, it won't work.If kids or adults want to go on site like this and claim their team is better than others, let them. For you to accuse Maple Grove fans of wanting to see Southwestern lose is preposterous. I looked back and haven't found one instance when that occurred. Stop the nonsense and support high school football.

TV for the weekend:
From What I understand Time Warner Syracuse is covering the games live and they will be simulcasted on 13 when they air. I cant confirm this 100 percent just yet but as of yesterday thats looking like what will happen. This will spare cuzola becasue now I wont be doing any games to bore anyone :). GO section 6!

Oh thats cute Sweet Home, your jealous how precious

i think capone smith should win the connolly cup!!!!!!!!!......other then all the other nominies capone is a better all around player everyone else plays just one position.he is all over the field.......he's the best player in my book...........

Fran: I agree. roadtrip for sure. I will be at the 3 Sturday games, but I have conflicts for Sunday currently (suckkss for meee).. I will need to see all 4 games somehow..I hope everyone here makes the trip..

Gator: stop this non sense. You are boring evryone.That is 1/4 of one post. Its not even the whole post. I have posted many other posts. Again, as I said before you choose bits and pieces of posts and ignore the other parts and other posts.

Forget the TV, it's time for a ROADTRIP!!!!!

Here's your Post......

god bless MG fans. They think everyone is against them. Uggggggg. Your inferiority complex is unbelievable. There are a few things you must start believing. We all want MG to win a State title (sometimes its hard because you guys root against other sec. 6 teams..IE: SW).

BY Mike Ferrentino

Show me one instance of maple grove fans wanting sW or any other team to lose...

I saw on Time warners website that they are covering all 4 games live. Three Sat. and OP on Sunday. That is great news for anyone that cant make the trip to Syracuse.

Has anyone heard what the TV plans are for the weekends games?

Gator: You only read posts that speak of MG. I respond to all schools who get negative with opponents. Go back and read other posts, if its that important to you. By the way, I have supported MG at every turn. I love the kids and think they are a special bunch. Please read the entire posts, and not just the little parts that you decide to pick on. I only care about the kids. All the kids. Not just one teams. My posts definately speak to that. I am honest however and will say whats on my mind. Sometimes thats not wise. I never said I was smart or wise..LOL..Lets just hope that we have to keep covering Football for 4 more weeks. We will have every State Champ in studio at WGR550, even if we have to go extra weeks on Football. No one on this blog is going to mind 4 more weeks of Football coverage are they?? also we have pushed for LARGE SCHOOL All WNY, SMALL SCHOOL AND A COMBO/SUPER TEAM.. I think we will do it on the air that way..GO SECTION 6

ooooooooooooh rankings

OP is now ranked 6th in the east coast folks

At the high school level, a great player can really dominate a game and will lift his whole team. A good example of that would be Capone Smith at Lackawanna.
If Tasker was as good as you claim, he certainly didn't show it this year. And he didn't lift the play of his teammates It is just wrong to say it was the fault of his supporting cast.
He is a good athlete and a very versatile football player. But I don't think he is among the top ten players in WNY. In my opinion he isn't even the best player on his team.

when is the trench trophy finalists announced

Wade your probably right, unfortunately the talent for those 3 years was incredible. I'm sure you were in the top 2 or 3 each year. It's amazing to be in the Top 10 three years straight. Looking at the CC website, I don't believe it has ever been accomplished in the 36 year history. My hats off to you.

With the year St. Francis had, I can see the opinion of those who say Tasker should not be a finalist; however, this kid has the football smarts of a 20 year veteran. He can do it all and is a natural born leader. He sees the field like no high school player I have ever seen. Throw him in at any position on the field and he will shine. Although his supporting cast did not bolster his stats or give him much media spotlight, Tasker is a specimen who, with the team some of the other finalists had, would be standing out at the top of this list. Stats and record aside, he is the best natural football player in WNY.


MGfootball fan:if you go on MGs website it gives you a link to vote for Secky in this poll,no wonder why hes leading in votes,this poll means nothing.To WADE TURNER(IF ITS REALLY YOU)you did get screwed back in the day,class B STATE PLAYER OF YEAR as a JR.and SR.but you didnt win the CC

Chris Secky you 'da man -- I, and MANY others, as witnessed by this poll hope you win the Connolly Cup -- good luck Chris -- you've got many fans in the southern tier; small school football rules here -- GOOD LUCK DRAGONS AND TROJANS AT THE DOME -- BRING HOME CHAMPIONSHIPS -- we love you both


Mike,I have read how SH would destroy OP....How OP would destroy SH...How Fredonia would dominate Lackawanna...How this team would dominate that team...how this kid should win the CC...how the other kid doesn't deserve the CC...Why don't we blame all of those posts on Maple grove fans?...I am sure MG fans are responsible!!1Give me a break!!!

Look back and you'll see the banter comes from everywhere...For you to isolate MG as you did was uncalled for...Mike do you realize that many of the posts are coming from kids from other schools?...Kids whose teams have lost to MG? especially Randolph... even some kids from other sections... and more...Also,Anybody can type any ones name or school in the name slot, just to make that school look bad...you don't think that happens?...Do you realize that none of the posts are coming from MG players, don't you?...MG players would not make those posts...Their coaching staff would not tolerate such a thing...They are a bunch of classy boys that have earned the respect of their opponents and piers for sportsmanship...Watch their interviews on the other high school sports site and see what these kids are all about...Go to MGFOOTBALL.COM and see how the MG fans and the MG opponents treat each other...
I guess it's ok for other schools fans to come on say bad things about Secky and MG, but MG's fans aren't allowed to respond?... It's ok for SH and OP fans to bad mouth each other?...For Lackawanna,Jamestown,Fredonia,Southwestern,Alden,Depew to do the same?...
I don't get why there is DOUBLE STANDARD??...Are you not part of the WNY sports media?...Are you not supposed to treat all teams the same?..bottom line is MG might have a few over-zealous fans, but they are not alone...

Hopefully,This is my last post on the matter...

Gator: I certainly believe the majority of MG fans would love to see 4-0 section 6. But you do have to admit its a little ridiculous that all you read on these message boards is how much better MG is than SW. Who really cares, and how will anyone ever know? I dont mean to sound like all MG fans are this way, but the ones that are exposing themselves to the rest of WNY through print sound that way. Gator just because you havent seen other teams cheer on the other section teams (except of course MG last year), doesnt mean it doesnt happen. All of these teams have cheered on each other. Everyone has seen that. You need to go to the SW blog and read and let me know what you read.

Stats are stats but Murie could of had 2000+ yards if Coach Payne would have kept him in when they were up 30 points. I have seen him play and he is the best RB in WNY.

DREAMGAME...If it only could be:


CC CUP...Morris will win. Tundo won last year. Secky will win next year.

What game was Murie outstanding on defense,His defensive stats reads 10 games 5 total tackles 1 int. He did excel in the return game, but to say he was outstanding on both sides of the ball is a stretch. Morris or Smith with Neutz right there for the CC

Mike Ferrentino,
You couldn't be further from the truth!...Maple Grove fans don't want to see the other section 6 teams lose...As another blogger from Sweet Home stated, Maple Grove fans stayed and cheered and chanted Sweet Home on, as they made their way to the field for pre-game warmups in Rochester last weekend...I know first hand because I was there cheering...I haven't seen any other school do that since Olean and Maple Grove did, at Glens Falls during the NYS basketball championships last year...Many stayed and watched the game too...I stayed for the Sweet Home and Aquinas game and cheered S.H. on...Many stayed at the "Ralph" and watched OP/NT play...Just because a few young fans come on here and talk smack, like many others do from other schools including OP,SH,Lack,Fredonia etc, doesn't give you the right to say the things you did...Maple Grove fans do care about all section 6 teams and wish them well...Most MG fans will be staying to cheer on cross-town friend Southwestern Saturday afternoon at he "Dome"...Just think if every MG fan reacted when idiotic claims are posted on here, that say MG couldn't beat OPs or SHs JVs...Like I have stated before, I am an MG fan,first and foremost,southern tier fan secondly and a huge section 6 and WNY fan of high school athletics. Mike,you are totally wrong about Maple Grove fans.

good luck to all section 6 football teams at the "Dome"

Drockk55 hit it on the nose as to what the winner does on both sides of the ball. I have seen Morris, Smith, & Murie and they were all outstanding playing both sides of the ball. I think the advantage is to Murie & Smith because they also excelled on punt and kick-off returns. Capone Smith also played QB & kicked. I think he even brought the water out during time outs. I believe that one of these three are most deserving of the CC. If someone else wins I congradulate that player also. Go Section VI.

I have no affiliation with any high school. It's just a general observation. Boy will people be shocked when the winner is annouced. I can't wait for the blogs then. Go BAMA!!!!!!!!!!


I like to give credit where credit is due. I also call it like I see it. Morris is a phenomenal football player. He is a great combination of size, speed, athletic ability. He has a great nose for the football. He plays the game with a swagger and from what I have seen he DOES play the game the right way. So if you want to take shots at me for calling it like I see it, that is fine. I think the kid is a great football player. There are a bunch of great players in Buffalo. I like Hoppy, Tundo, and I also think that Brady is good also. However if you ask me Morris is the best because of what he does on both sides of the ball. Take it for what it is worth. And take all the shots you would like.

sadfan: grow up your jealous that where ever you from a player on your team is not winning this vote...what school are you from or are you to embarassed to say?

The question is Who will win the CC Cup? According to the votes above, it shows Tundo, Hoppy & Secky as having the most. It's no wonder because 90% of the bloggers are either OP or MG fans. I know the streets are safe in these towns because everyone is sitting in front of their computers. Get a life.

I believe the winner is voted on by absentee ballots. Not by one indivdual from the CC. It will be very interesting as to which player steals votes from other players. This year has been one if not the most competitive year for Section VI. The talent was outstanding. Unfortunately there is only a Top 10. Years past you could probably picked the winner once the Top 10 were named. This year is anybodys guess. Congradulations to all the players that made Section VI a force too be reckoned with this year. IV for IV. You gotten love America.

It's a toss up between Capone Smith and Brandon Murie. They meant more to their teams than the others. Without them lackawanna & Iroquois would not have gone far into the season. Unfortunately Tundo & Hoppy will take votes from each other, the same as Kacz & Morris. It's great to see all the dicussion on who will win. There will be much anticipation come Dec 6th. I can't wait for the Blogs when the winner is chosen.

For those of you that think Maple Grove is the best team playing right now you are not very football knowledgable. Hoppy would be twice as good as Secky in Class D. Hoppy is clearly the best athlete in Section VI and I would not even put Secky in the top 5 playing right now. For those of you that think that Maple Grove would beat AA schools like Jamestown you are ignorrant. Jamestown is a much better team than people know. Class AA is very competitive and Jamestown held their own this year. If Jamestown and MG were to play it would not be good at all for MG. Face it, Maple Grove plays in a poor division. I give credit to Curt Fisher because he puts together good teams every year and I give credit to Secky and the MG team but they are a good class D team and that is it.

Hey Drock,

Is DeShanaro Morris the best player you have seen never to have thrown a cut block? I know you watch alot of video.....

god bless MG fans. They think everyone is against them. Uggggggg. Your inferiority complex is unbelievable. There are a few things you must start believing. We all want MG to win a State title (sometimes its hard because you guys root against other sec. 6 teams..IE: SW). Chris Secky is a JUNIOR..He is unreal, incredible, magnificant, tremendous, but will not win the CC. In another year , absolutely. If MG was the only team in Syr. this weekend maybe. Not in 08. There are many other fab. Seniors on the list. I realize you tend to only watch MG, thats ok. One of the seniors will win. Every year is different. 08 is the greatest year ever for WNY Sec. 6 football. Unfortunately for a D class stud, that is a bad thing for the CC. Dont hate, dont be sad, 09 will get him his cup. 08 will get him a state Chanpionship. Its all good. Dont hate the messanger, but these are the facts. The CC will probably go to Capone, but Hoppy, Tundo , Kacz and a late charging Morris will have something to say about that.

1 class AA title is more impressive than acouple class D titles

i'm entitled to my opinions just like ya'll are entitled to yours and i see secky is leading the cc poll -- on Saturday, Secky may have a second state champ title in two different sports within one year -- and there's no doubt he was key to both -- i am curious because i don't know the answer to this -- how many athletes in wny have won state titles in 2 sports? keith, do you know?

Thankyou "fan" you see what i see. People need to get real and stop ripping on ppl and stop boasting around about how all 6'3 165 lbs of chris secky is the best thing since sliced bread. Great kid and player but not the best athlete that ridiculous. Capone Smith, Murie, Neutz, Hoppy, Tundo, Morris. Its getting annoying there are better players than secky and better teams than Mg but congrats on the great year get a title

Cuzola-Couldn't have said it better myself about OP.

You have a great team. Probably the only team that could beat you is the '85 Bears.

p.s. Chillis is definitely an overlooked factor in this equation. Kevin, good luck at the next level, we'll be watching you.....

All respect to Chris Secky.
He is a great leader, and player, especially for a junior.
MG has a reputation as a "passing team."
71 receptions,111 attempts, 1575 yds, 20 TD's, 1 int are impressive #'s.
However, their running game has put them where they are.
Consider: 356 rushes, 2888 yds, 53 TD's, 8.1 yds/carry. Led by Jake Larson with a 10.6 yds/carry average and 29 TD's, and Adam Hover with an 8.6 yds/carry avg and 10 TD's.
The MG line is awesome, as made apparent by the dismantling of Dundee and "#1" Walton.
MG's stellar defense has been another huge factor in the offensive #'s, as their efforts have stifled opponents to the point that MG's offensive starters have only played @ 2.5 quarters/game.
Let's not leave out the coaching, which has put them in position to make the great plays.
There is plenty of glory to spread around for this Maple Grove team.
This is an amazing group of athletes.
It would be interesting to see what they could do against Class C, or even B.

my pick would have to be Alex Nuetz. He was unbelievable posting the 5th best season in new york state history for a wide receiver. yea all of the mentioned players had great seasons and are among the elite WNY has to offer, but this kid put the team on his back. Capone Smith was also phenomenal. He is probably the most versatile player in WNY

I find it hard to believe there are too many players better all around than DeShanaro Morris. He is the best player I have seen in a long time

the only reason the bulldogs are hateing on kevin chillis, and saying he shoulding be on the cc finals list is because he tourched them for all those yards, and took them down into history with them, i wouldn't vote either for someone who's play will always be remembered with the bulldog chasing the mackdog go macks....

Mike, you bring up a good point about the OP players.

There isnt a player on that team that wouldn't trade any accolades (post season or otherwise) for the State Title. Last weekend there were players almost apologetic to one another for receiving recognition. They know that there is nothing without one another and they really are a complete team on and off the field.

They have never been one to dismiss an opponent or even underestimate them.

When you look an intangibles, their chemistry and their focus on the common goal are their biggest assets.

yea i def think capone smith can start on many aa schools. he would def play receiver and DB if he went to op. Hes a great player and a good kid.The only thing is ppl dont realize the differences in the classes. Iroqois lost to clarence by a lot and op won by 48 against clarence.i mean its kind of like a d2 team playing a d1 a team. 10 out 10 times the d1 team will win.Anyway there is no need to bash anyone else i mean our section is the strongest and you all should be rooting for those who are playing for a championship b/c that just brings the grade of football up around here to another level.

you biased MG fans crack me up. to think secky is player of year is one thing, but to think he is the greatest athlete to come out of wny in past 20 years you are just crazy.


Are you kidding me ?

Capone Smith wouldn't be a top player at a AA school, Not only would he be a top
player but a Star player.

Smith would be a top player at OP behind Hoppy. I personally think Capone is a better player than tundo, Considering Smith ran behind A much smaller and less dominant line than OP has.

And Stats wise:

-over 2000 yrds rushing, 26 Td's
-Played QB/RB/WR/PR/KR/S

- over 100 tackles, 6 Int, 3 Int return touchdowns, 4 FF.

In my opinion Capone should Recieve the connolly cup because there is not a player in WNY who has his stats and meant more to his team !!

OP: please stop embarrassing the great kids on your team. I will guarantee that you are not speaking for them. Its better to be classy, than to crush other players from other schools. I know OP Players would not stoop to that level. Also if you are going to put down another kid, dont be ridiculous and pick on Capone Smith. He is one of the all time greats. The year he had in 08 is one for the ages. Every player in WNY can learn from Young Smith how to be a leader. All you had to do was watch his actions when the play was over, and you would see what leadership looks like. He would start and star for every team from AA to D.

this is kevin chillis himself i cant beleive i didnt make the finalist 4 the connoly cup with the great season i had but its ok thats how they always do the inner city kids even tho we work hard & play hard but that motivates me 2 play better c u at the next level #9

smith couldnt start on op or any AA school as far as that goes

Capone is the only player to rush for 2000 YARDS and have over 100 tackles...the kid plays QB RB WR FS SS K KR P PR...COME ON DONT MAKE IT SO HARD LOOK AT THE NUMBERS....

maple grove would make jamestown look silly

small schools can beat large schools. we beat lancaster 3 out of 5 years. maple grove would jamestown make silly secky or murie for conelly cup

Secky is not the greatest athlete to come out of section 6 in the last 20 years. He is very good at two sports and my choice for the Connolly Cup, but that is a far stretch. Johny Flynn, Paul Harris, Mike Williams, Lazar Haywood, and Calcrick and thats going back 6 or 7 years. He may have best trophy case by the time he's done but remember it's not tennis, track, or Golf it's football and basketball which are team sports.

op is # 1. Tundo should win cc. But prab wont b/c they wont pick him twice in a row.Tundo and Hoppy are the best tandum in the states history. Tundo has 32td's on the year and hoppy has somehere near 22 so u can try to stop one but the other goes off. Great coaching over there at op.Nice job. Go op!!!

Dear Wade: Remember, the Connolly Cup award goes to the best player based on his accomplishments for 2008. It's not what the player has done in his career. The NCAA Heisman is based only on what each player has done in that paticular year, not career.

When and what time is the Dick Gallagher banquet?

i heard Dick Gallagher say that walton could have won states at c or b last year. That they were loaded and their line was fantastic.

i read that every team the maple grove has played in playoffs has had a very good, big line.

how does a small maple grove line do what they do against big lines?

If they totally destroyed a big , good walton team how would they do against bigger schools in western ny?

Are we at a point in h.s. football where size is overrated and quickness is a better gauge?

I dont watch small school football, so i dont know. is maple grove that good?

Murie is the best player in WNY by far

no probs with tundo and hoppy


you moron walton average bigger than you and mg crushed them. you just are jealous that mg and sw are doin and will do better than jtown. even in bball you guys down there are messed up jealous cause the small schools get more attention than your big school keep your mouth shut this about connlley cup why isnt your ceccini ujp then wise guy?

hoppy and tundo should share it best 2 players in wny

Hey guys, there is football before the state championships and a good game at that. Harvard Cup championship game is Thursday at 11AM. You can hear it live with Harvard Cup Historian Rich Kozak, the Legendary Coach Art Serotte with Roger Weiss and Dr. John Pluta. Always entertaining, and you can hear it here...http://ibn.ihigh.com/play/index.cfm?fuseaction=embstay&id=101EE0D7C9&Org=IBN&CFID=13071845&CFTOKEN=90068537

im waiting for an answer from wade on wny football fans question?

we average 250 pounds across the line we would crush you. we have some close to 300lbs. AA would crush all D C B and most A teams

Capone Smith has had my vote since day one...this kid is amazing.. he does it all. offence.defense..special teams..Hes an all around athlete.he had over 2000 yards rushing (he is not a starting running back)and keep in mind that lackawanna has 3 different rb to choose from..threw many touchdowns caught many touchdowns..tell me who did that only on offense this year..NOBODY!!! on defense has over 100 tackles (alot of plyers cant do that by only playing defense) 6 int 3 ret to a td...has a couple kick off ret to a td..plays every down on both sides..he has the most sportsmanship that i have ever seen from a high school player...its one thing to see him play, but its another thing being on the field with him...his motor is always goin..even if were dwn..hes brought us back from many of dwn times....you can hit him as many times as u want, but he keeps commin back for more..you think you have hit him enough were u think hes done but he jumps up like nothing ever happend. its lik hes superman!!!! MAN OF STEEL!!!! LA STEEL THT IS!!! CAPONE SMITH ALL THE WAY!!!!!

i love football. do u

if tom langworhty didnt rescue you guys you would of gone 0-8 so dont come on here running your mouth

wade, records do mean something when it is this close of a race for it. you just dont like little school football do you?

yeah not one player from maple grove could start on jamestown we would beat them 50-0 secky is not that good ceccini is much better on football field and on bb court

that could be a good point tony b keeps the kids motivated to see their accomplishments and pushes them to do their best. secky and rambacher both members of the 98 champioship run interesting?

records dont mean nothing in the connelly cup. wade turner broke the rushing record and didnt get

Fran; I am not on the committee. They turned me down because I do radio work, and they feared that I and Roger etc. would spill the beans before they were ready to spill them. I am trying to add humor into the blog, by pointing out how hard the committees jib is and getting some volunteers for dennis & the boys. actually I could care less what the masses think. I agree with some and disagree with others. No biggie at all.

secky is the man can do anything why not! on the field every down! rambacher award good sound to that.

yeah i can agree with that I saw believe to be jordan kick at ecc didnt do to bad! heard he helps his dad do stats on the sideline of mg. maybe thats why they are so successful they keep their ex players involved with the team. randall secky and jordan both 1st team all western new york

lets face it. the q-back is the cornerstone to any succcessful football team.
could maple grove win without a chris secky? absolutely. i guess my point is, chris secky stands head and shoulders above all other wny football players. versatility is a great barometer of football greatness. secky stands alone.

just an idea! i know sandro deangles was and is good but does not hold records like that! jordans will not get broken for a while he kicked 5 years dont see that getting broken very soon! let me know what ya think

man should be a "rambacher award" for best kicker in western new york? since they hold most of the records!

well folks chris secky is leading the voting and hes got mine too. i have watched smith, hoppy,ect.... consider this he has set western new york records for kicking (most extra points in a season)

add to the maple grove kickers with records. (ryan rambacher most field goals in year with 7 and career field goals) Jordan Rambacher most extra points 147 and most career point 174.) my point is the cup is suppose to go the best overall football player in wny right? well hate to tell all you class d and c and b haters you have better athletes at those levels then you do in aa and a. he is the best all around athlete in wny b-ball and on the grid iron, safety, kicker, WR(once in a while) punt/kick returner. and then QB. could be better than his older brother randall and more than likely is with his legs being a threat. dont care if it is class D you dont throw just one damn int. all year if you not that good. so doubters keep doubting but secky should be the man in '08

These blogs are like a knife fight (no rules). I think you are getting a little sensitive. As you well know, people often are passionate about their particular favorite player. And they are just as convinced they are right as you or anyone else on the Committee. So maybe if these opinions (as goofy as some of them are) are causing you indigestion, maybe you should take a break fron reading them.

I will also say this. The Connolly committee is always looking for dedicated Football junkies to commit themselves to their cause. If you are not a parochial person that only watches their sons team, dont mind driving 150 miles every weekend to go watch a kid play in Chatauqua, or Lockport , or Newfane, only to get there and find out that he was suspended because he burped in study hall, then you could apply to help these committee members do their impossible job. You can go to their meetings and throw your two cents around. Finally, you too can get blasted on this blog, when you are so sure that you got the 10 best players picked, only to find out that apparently you just wasted the last 12 weekends of your life picking the unworthy..

we need to reconsider our voters, and the people in chargeno chillis or estrsfa,ask anybody who's football and they will tell you these are two of the at least five best players out there, but what do I know

ok capone smith can jump this is not basketball this is not track and feild this, yes you got it football, put him in the inner city harvardcup league and he's just your average joe the plumer, put troy smith, kevin chillis, trent alls, or any of the disrespected, but truly real high school athelets of western ny in those leagues out there and you will see who's fast it would not be capone smith or any one of those silver spoon players out there. go harvardcup...... and to the guy who suggested that players like chillis should go to a better school for regonition should be shamed, these are kids, if it was fare we wouldn't be going through this, would we....

Looks like Brooks Estarfaa became the 1st 2,000 yd RB in WNY history (2,091) not to make the Connelly Cup finals list. Checking back in history (2003-year of the RB) I see all of the 2,000 yard rushers receive a invite with the lowest being 2,055(Ja.Fluellen)that total stood as the 14th best season. Who could you take off the list? I think alot of ppl have ideas as to whom.HE BROKE A 10 YEAR OLD RECORD....he has a single season that places him in the top 14..No one the list can say that...Who did the cup committee talk to regarding Estarfaa , Coaches he have played against all said that he is one of the best players in the area..team record 5-5, would they have won that many games if he was not playing for Maryvale? It be nice to see someone try to spin this one

to kevin chilis, come to Bishop timon high school, were you will get a better education and more recognition!!!!Also, to mr. and mrs. secky, if you want your children to be honored for their accomplishments like they should, than you too send your child to timon!!! go tigers#1

I read all the posts I could stomach and then again wondered why is Milt back on this blog? I was under the impression that Milt was dressed in ugly plaid pants and walking down a sand based fairway in Arizona, and that he would be knee deep in Martinis after the walk ended. No time for us frozen bloggers. Well I was wrrrrrrr....wrrrrrrr.....wrong. All humor aside I will say this . The Connolly Cup commitee works very hard to do a good job. There are many players who have a gripe in 08. In case you have been away for the last 3 weeks, this is WNY ,Section 6's greatest year ever. To limit the list to 10 and make everyone happy is an impossible task. Dont you think Dennis Sarow knows this? Dennis and his hard working staff did the best they could. None of these guys have kids playing football, yet they still go to 3 games a week. They travel to every nook and cranny of the section at great cost to themselves to scout ALL the talent. Then they have the impossible task of trimming the 50 or so best down to 10. No way can they please every one. You are upset about a couple kids ? I have 10 others that I could add to the list. SO WHAT! I thank the committee for working their arse off to give WNY High School football players a very prestigious award to strive for. I will say this to Brooks. Hang in there big guy, Shane Conlan didnt win the CC in 1981 , in fact he wasnt a finalist. We all know how that worked out for him. From everyone I talk to that knows Brooks he is a kid of tremendous character. This is the time to let that great character carry you onto the next level and the rest of your young life. Use the snub as motivator (I heard Conlan did). Lets not knock the committee, lets thank them for doing a thankless job. I am really glad that they didnt let me in the club because of my radio duties. Thanks Rick W..

come on, no kevin chillis in the finals, youv'e got to be kidding me,I bet a dollar to a donut that if that kid was playing any where but the inner city, we would have a different story...I agree with the other two guys who think or should i say knows who played the best this year, man 5 games all those yards, on a baby team, wake up and be honest... whew... you should be ashamed of yourself,, theres also some other misstakes youi made this year you should give up your seat....

I agree with you Hank. My opinion too is that Secky is the best all around athlete to come out of WNY. He's on the verge of his second state championship in a second sport -- and he's only in the fall of his JUNIOR season. Predictions are his basketball team will dominate again...and he has ALL of next year to get through too. The kid is exceptional as an athlete and a young man -- WE LOVE YOU SECKY!!

thats my opinion. iwatched him play basketball 2-3 times a year since he was in 8th. grade and football 2-3 times a year during that same span and i cant ever remember an athlete of his caliber. I do get away from the southern tier now and then, so i am not just basing it on local talent. again its my opinion.

whoa slow down hank, secky is a great athlete, but for you to say that he is the best athlete to come out of section in 20 years is a stretch.

Haterade, you are clueless man. chris secky is the best pure athlete to come out of section six in last, maybe 20 years. He can do anything and everything. The thing he does best is play quarterback. Hes a natural leader. He is very smart,very athletic,very unselfish and most of all he's a great kid. He always praises his coaches,teammates and opponents. Have you guys watched any of his interviews on WGR55 High school football website? He is a class act. He plays with such a passion and is a winner in every sense of the word. I have seen almost every candidate in person and have seen at least video on the rest. Secky is my choice. I will not do what you and other have done though, and that is criticize the others. they are high school kids, man!!

How many of the nominees play both ways and or special teams? I know Morris, Secky, and Capone are also excellent defensive players (and/or special teams). All of the nominees (and Brooks) are all very talented offensive players, but is the connolly just about offensive stats and leadership? I know some of these kids only play one way and its no discredit to them, but one would think there would be a preference towards a kid that plays and dominates on BOTH sides of the ball (if the award truly goes to the best football player in WNY). This is not meant as a slight towards anyone, just curious as to how some of these kids measure up without the ball in their hands.

Congrats to the big 4....keep on rolling!

Funny thing OP doesn't have to crowed the box.That all came about with the coaching chance. How do you figure it opens up passing lanes all op receivers are on the bench. That's exactly why Hoppy should get the cup.When a QB has to perform under a divided coaching staff as calm as he has been all year the way he caries himself and his teammates on and off the field. HE HAS MY VOTE.

?: http://www.connollycup.com/
Started in 1972 by the Riverside Athletic Club, the goal of our award is to recognize outstanding varsity football players from over 80 schools in Western New York State. During the season our group scouts student athletes looking for outstanding performances on a weekly basis. The players are judged on a number of factors including, strength of opposition, sportsmanship, athletic ability, team play, and work ethic. Following the final game of the season, discussion and game tape is used to narrow our list of outstanding performers to the top ten. The ten finalists are broken down using a secret ballot and grading system to determine the one final winner. The finalists are honored at a press conference and luncheon.

Can someone please list the criteria for the connely cup.

there's alot of other great athletes that are out there that didn't even get recognized because they played for a small school.

Wow someone has to steal my my screen name to gloss one of his boys,Hey "sufan"Put Murie behind OPs line and then talk to me,there both great dont steal my name to give your buddy props Murie still gets my vote

Where and when did someone say it was a political decision? Where is everyone getting their info ( oh, I heard this and I heard that)as why Estrafa didn't make it? Or is it just speculation?

What top 15, I thought it was the Top 10. Who knows where he stood. Of the Top 10 picked who would you have left off and put Estrafa on the list?

Just some snippets about how the Connolly Cup failed to mention Brooks even in the TOP 15!!! Not Going to throw any other kid in front of the bus, I’m just saying he deserves it...

From Milt
Connolly Cup also recognizes players based on some criteria not exclusive to the football field, He stands out as a leader and great student, as well. He meant as much to his team as any other candidate, maybe more in some cases.

From Sad Fan:
You're right, Connolly Cup dropped the ball. I would have like to see Estrafa play for Fran, those stats would be greater.

From Mike Ferrintino
All these great Connolly cup kids excel at other sports. (Captain of the Basketball team last year as a junior)

From Just for the Record
This is not about their team it is about their individual athletic ability -

From FBS:
Estarfaa hold the western New York record for rushing yards in a game and he did it on 19 carries.

From Coach K
It is a shame that Estarfaa isn't a nominee, but part of the blame falls on his coaches. The Connolly Cup has a website where coaches (and fans, too) can recommend players to be nominated. How Estarfaa wasn't nominated after he ran for 460+ yards against Medina is a mystery. (I’m sure the coaches nominated him, I just don’t think Dennis Sarow paid any attention because they don’t wear the OTHER maroon in WNY)

It is a shame that something that should be so pure and be a great honor be such an absolute political thing. What else can it be? He is only the second back in WNY to have over 2,000 yards and he did it on 159 carries! He carries over a 90 academic average. He put up 13X72 against Cleve Hill, 16X180 against Alden, 18X220 against Depew, 19X463 against Medina, 8X144 against Newfane, 26X253 against EA. Even in the loss against Fredonia he had 14X156. To judge him on "how" they think he carried the ball rather inside or out is obsurd and a poor excuse to cover up something deeper. Does Sarow watch film, did they even watch him play this year? It was also said that 3/4 of his yards came against weaker talent, all I have to say about that is umm well just read the stats above against PLAYOFF TEAMS. Class B North this season was a league of the most parody imaginable. With not every team playing every team and such and teams upsetting teams every week every game did mean a lot and to say otherwise is a complete lie and travesty to this so called "prestigious award". I am not saying he should be the number one candidate but not even to be mentioned, let alone in the top 15, and only received one weekly honor and it took just a little over 460 yards to do it. Does anyone in those purple hats read the Buffalo News? Do they listen to WGR when they read the scores and stats from the paper, come on guys Tony and Roger and Shawn and Mike do all the work for you, just listen and when they read the stats for anyone go "ooooh and ahhhhhh". It is incredible. For the next 40 years of my life I will never be able to recognize a Connolly cup winner they way he should because now I have to wonder, and I am sure everyone else in this area is wondering too. Way to go CC, you dropped the ball, kicked it wide right, fumbled on the one yard line all in one play. I’m glad the Buffalo News takes all the time to make their decisions unbiased and based on fact, not based on how some ignorant people feel on how some teams runs their offense. Are you kidding me. It is unfortunate because all you do is dog on a kid, and take something that he will remember and basically just take one more away from him. Good luck kid where ever you go because god knows you will be successful and don't let this gigantic mistake wane in your head any longer. I feel the so called "committee" owes you a sincere apology to their fullest extent, you deserve it.

by far capone smith..he can do everything all you players that seen him or played with him you no that this kid is phenomenal..he had over 2000 yards rushing (he is not a starting running back) lackawanna has 3 different rb to choose from..threw many touchdowns caught many touchdowns..tell me who did that only on offense this year..NOBODY!!! on defense has over 100 tackles (alot of plyers cant do that by only playing defense) 6 int 3 ret to a td...has a couple kick off ret to a td..plays every down on both sides..he has the most sportsmanship that i have ever seen from a high school player...also HAVE YOU SEEN THIS KID JUMP, ITS IS AMAZING!!! he can jump right over you even when your standing and keep on running lke its nothing...most of these nominees players play one side of the ball you get brakes all the time and only have ONE JOB..capone smith deserves to win this

dan your right hoppy is a great athelete but Tundo has really lead op the last 2 yrs. and this year has dominated the playoffs. Tundo for sure should win not only b/c of the amt of td's he has but b/c of the fact teams are keying on him.

haterade, it's obvious you've never seen secky play; he IS amazing

Hoppy is most deserving of the Cup. He is an outstanding all around athlete. He keeps cool and calm under pressure and gets the job done. He and Tundo work well together, they are a force to be reckoned with. Tundo got his C Cup because he is an outstanding athlete, no doubt about it...but now it's Hoppy's turn!

Ppl can argue all you want, but after seeing OP's game last night, there's absolutely NO doubt in my mind that SH would beat OP. They stopped Murie & Vogl and they'd stop Tundo. Not saying they're not a very good team, but it's clear. Bind should've made that game a lot closer (maybe won it) if they wouldn't have dropped so many passes.

Milt: You are supposed to be Golfing. What up wit dat?

i went to most of the games tundo was out by the end of the third qrter one game i think it was even half. Puls did you see thee AA south teams this yr they were stacked. Like i said teams loaded the box against tundo. Whatevr they are both great players and im sure tundo or any of the other kids who r up for this and r still playing dont really care, just make sure your facts are straight before you post them about ppl.

I have stated in numerous post who I feel is the best all-around player in WNY. Morris from SH should be the Connolly Cup winner. All the finalist are worthy choices, but of all the players that I have seen this year, this kid is at the head of the class. He dominates both sides of the ball. I have no allegiance to any team. I spent many years coaching and scouting in college. This kid is special.

Murie is very good and prabably would start for most teams with the exception of op. Also what neutz did this yr was great. But overall tundo is the best overall player yesterday he still had 150 yrds and 4 td's with the team keying on his every move. But haterade is right hoppy benfits a lot from tundos presence on the field. i watched the game and almost every time they threw tundo did a ball fake an at least 3 or 4 guys followed him. But dont get me wrong, hoppy is a great athlete and a great punter for op and is getting the job done and helping the op powerhouse get to ship just like every single kid on the team. Go OP!!!!!

Secky is not amazing. Good Qb makes nice throws but how hard is it to throw a ball 35 yards when the other team plays press coverage with a lineman playing safety? I mean he plays against no one that can take away caporale. If he played for OP if he played sweet home he would not be the player he is in class D. Whoever says Murie is average shouldnt talk because he did run a hand timed 4.38 at the penn state camp. Neutz had something like 22 td's and 1100 yards receiving. thats ridiculous. Tasker is great kid and a great player. Leave his name out of it. Tundo is a work horse and hoppy is great too but does benefit from jeff's attention. Please where is Chillis. Kid is nasty give him an invite. Leaving Estarfaa out is pretty sad too.

leafsfan...Murie didn't do enough this this year?? When his season ended, he was leading WNY in scoring, and had 28 TDs. For all the accolades he got last year, he bettered his production this year. Games such as Grand Island, WSE, Cheektowaga he came up big. He had a better running game against Sweet Home than any back in recent memory. Connolly Cup also recognizes players based on some criteria not exclusive to the football field, Murie stands out as a leader and great student, as well. He meant as much to his team as any other candidate, maybe more in some cases.

Coach "K", Thanks,I look forward to seeing them soon.

Sadfan: RIGHT ON...Go section 6


Still pending. Been a busy week but I should have it up soon.

Unfortunately not all the nominees will have had a chance to play more than 10 games. Based on an equal number of games played by each player I believe Capone Smith was a complete player in all phases of each game. There wasn't one game where he did not make a difference. Imagine his stats with an extra 2 or 3 games. It's going to be very hard to pick a winner. It's like the Heisman Trophy every year in the NCAA, everyone has their own choice as to who the winner is. The Top ten nominees should all hold their heads high for their great accomplishment. I applaud all the players & coaches for all their accomplishments. The culmation would be 4 for 4 at the State Championships. It can and will be done.

Coach "K"'

Did I miss your write up on the offensive and defensive line candidates for All_- WNY
or are they still pending?

actually 1 td was inside the 3 and hoppy drove down the field maybe twice all the others were tundo. He had 150 yrds how can you say he didnt drive them down the field? Theres just so many jealous ppl who think tundo benefits from his dad. And like I said ppl load the box every teams 1st goal is to stop tundo and thats why hoppy gets his yrds. Not saying hes not a very good qb b/c he is and without a doubt the best in wny hes just not better overall than tundo.

To the idiot from OP who thinks Chris Secky would be on the JV football team and not start on the basketball team... well that's just plain stupid. Chris Secky would not only be the best player on your basketball team, but he would also be a star on the football team. Sure he might not play at QB, but he would def. be a prime time player on OP. I've watched both MG and OP play numerous game this year, and I can guarantee you that Chris Secky would still be a star athlete at OP.

how many of those tds for Tundo were inside the 3.You can not count touchdowns.The game i watched last night Hoppy drove them down the field and Tundo takes them in.Not saying hes not good but look at the whole picture Hoppy should have MVP last night.

Tundo should get it by far hes got 32 tochdowns thats more than last year hes been mvp of all the play off games and has near 1800 yrds and is still going.....He brings 9 guys into the box to open up passing lanes for hoppy....and when ppl dont do that he gets 200 yrds a game. we all know a lot of you people dont wan to see him win again but face it hes the best around and maybe in new york

The class AA large school south had the toughest schedule .Early in the season West Seneca played Sweet Home even late in the game.Clarence whipped Iroqois.Most of the South whipped the North.In the Orchard Park games almost every team set up to stop Orchard Parks running game with 8 and 9 in the box.Orchard Park also had 6 games that were over early in the 2nd and 3rd quarter.32 tds,1800 yards with every one keying on you-that's one hell of a year-my vote goes to Jeff-

Estarfaa hold the western new york record for rushing yards in a game and he did it on 19 carries.

capone smith hands down should win it. look at his numbers he has over 2000 yards rushing 26 tds, played quarterback n wide receiver with success. he also had over 100 tackles with 6 interceptions. and he led his team far

Morris Morris Morris yes Day Day Morris should be this years Connelly Cup winner. This kid dominate both sides of the ball.

seriously I have watched hoppy play a couple games this year and i have watched the rest play too..kyle hoppy should win it no matter what

It is a shame that Estarfaa isn't a nominee, but part of the blame falls on his coaches. The Connolly Cup has a website where coaches (and fans, too) can recommend players to be nominated. How Estarfaa wasn't nominated after he ran for 460+ yards against Medina is a mystery.

Tasker is a great special teams player, and he was the best athlete for St. Francis this year. I am not surprised that Fabor wasn't nominated. Fabor had a very disappointing year, and even in the Championship game, save the one big run that went I believe 54 yards, he wasn't anything special. He struggled mightily this year.

Smith was the main reason (maybe even the sole reason) for Lackawanna's success this year, and he was not just a jack of all trades but an ace of all trades.

Murie was also a main reason for Iroquois' success and trip to the Ralph. A bit of a down year statistically compared to last year, but that doesn't diminish his achievements.

Same thing with Tundo, last year's winner. Not the same numbers that he had last year, which makes this year's competition a race.

Morris dominates on both sides of the ball, which makes him a key cog in the SH machine. Maybe they aren't as successful without him. But they sure are thankful this year for him.

Neutz had a great year for GI and will be good for UB, but I think as compared to some of these other players, it will be tough for him to win.

Hoppy, Brady, and Kacz have all been great field generals for their teams. Brady suffers a bit of a hit though based on his team's performance in the final, but also because he isn't playing anymore whereas Hoppy and Kacz continue to get chances along in the spotlight.

So who wins? No idea.

i don't think kevin chillis belongs on the list. this is a very tough year to pick. if i had a vote i would pick capone smith he dominated in all phases of the game.

Mr. Mike Ferrentino...all I ever do is prop up Maple Grove kids? so? i'm a die hard mg fan -- secky is more than worthy of being the winner -- he's broken several wny records which puts his ability up against players even from previous years -- he excels at several positions on that football team -- not just qb -- i've got nothing against hoppy or any other player on the list -- they too are exceptional athletes but if my screen name is MGFOOTBALLFAN why is it a problem with you if i prop up secky? -- and max do you watch any other school play? doesn't sound like you've ever watched the lowly d class play -- have you seen the offense he runs at mg? close to flawless -- and nope, I haven't seen him fire his troops up on the field because they've taken the lead so quickly and plays are executed so perfectly he honestly hasn't needed to -- i can imagine the firing up takes place pregame because they always come ready to play when they hit the field -- Secky is a magic man; just exceptional to watch -- i say good luck to all too but i'm rootin' for the junior that wears #2

This is not about their team it is about their individual athletic ability - I vote Murie

All of these athletes might be good or great at other sports. Secky is magical in football and basketball. good luck to all that get nominated.

Well...the Connolly Cup is only for football. Too bad for Secky that Sweet Home and Orchard Park had such great seasons. New York State has separate classes for football and other sports for a reason. Some of the small school fans on here seem to forget that. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

You can say the same about Hoppy No advantage...Can Secky fire up his Troops like Hoppy did last night when they were down.Can he run his offence like Hoppy did last night it was quite impressive

MGFAN: Not that it matters, but dont you think Hoppy excels at every sport too. He was on the Empire state Baseball team and is probably the best basketball player at OP too. Thats at Class AA. Make an argument , but all you ever do is prop up Maple Grove kids. We all love the MG kids, but do you watch any other school play ?? All these great Connolly cup kids excel at other sports.

i'll take a secky over a hoppy any day -- the kid excels at any sport he touches

Would have to say Hoppy or Tundo...I would vote for Hoppy this year. Stunned Fabor was not on here. Smith had a great year as did Secky. Morris is a beast, and Kacz is steady. Murie and Neutz were great, but their teams came up short, as did Brady's.

After watching OP's season this year I think Kyle Hoppy has come a long way and is a great candidate for the Connolly Cup. He shows great leadership on field and I believe he is one of the top qb's in WNY.

Chris Secky gets my vote BIG TIME -- just an exceptional athlete all around -- broke a Section 6 record at the Ralph for passing; broke the WNY record for points via kicks and field goal; led his team to set a WNY record for most points scored in a season,on the brink of a State Championship -- if that's not enough qualifications for the elite athlete of the 2008 season, I don't know what is

Bulldog: If you dont think Tasker was SFHS best player, then you didnt see SF play. He was unbelievable at 4 different positions. Delano was great but Tasker was the man.

A lot of great players on the list for this season. But, I believe Tundo and Murie have had several consecutive great seasons.

how does Estarfa not make it with his kind of numbers i dont care who you played against or your teams record he should ahead of tasker cause tasker wasnt even the best player on that team fabor was

Tough is an understatement but if not Tondo IT would be Hoppy at O.P..

Man...This is a tough group. I can make a case for 7 of these kids to get the cup. Good Luck to all. I care way more about the potential 4 State Championships lurking out there. I will worry about the C.C. after Sunday.

I'm a fan of high school football I watch all teams and players, how could you not consider kevin chillis a finalist for the cup, he was a one man team, check the stats if it wasn't for him the macks would not have won a game this year, check how many points the team scored compare them to his points and then,with a straight face tell western ny that he's not one of the best. SOMETHINGS WRONG... I'LL TAKE HIME OVER CAPONE SMITH.


believe me.. capone aint my pick because i played with him but hes my pick becuse when you play every postion on the field and do it well that deserves alot. all these kids are really great players to but they are good at there one solid postion. capone can burn you make you miss hit you and what ever else you can think of.its not everyday you see a player like him

I would have put in Estrafa ahead of Tasker. You're right, Connolly Cup dropped the ball. I would have like to see Estrafa play for Fran, those stats would be greater.

My vote would be for Morris. He is a wrecking ball on both sides of the ball. Without a doubt the best player I have seen in 5 years.

Smith and Murie did the most keeping their teams in games and into the playoffs,however every kid on this list can make a great case to win,also, how Estarfa was not a least recognized as a finalist is a shame

This is the first time in the connelly cup history that a running back that ran for over 2000 yards and averaged over 13 yards a carry did not make the final list. The BS that is being said out there is he got all his yards on the outside, he played in a weak division, he played for a bad team, blah, blah, blah. He is a hard running back with great eyes, he ran for over 1000 yards combined against top 10 teams. He played defense, special teams and scored on both. 26 touchdowns, 2091 yards on 159 carries, 46 tackles, 3 ints. over 13 yards every time he touched the ball. Come on Connelly cup, you missed one.

chris secky,not only is that kid the best qb. he is a great defensive back and he is one of the the best kickers and punters in the area too. he does everthing.he is a special athlete that comes around every 20 years or so.

A very impressive list of players. This year was one where there were many players deserving. I believe Smith, Murie, Hoppy & Tundo are the top Four and you could toss their names in a hat and draw one. I'll give the edge to Smith based only on the first 10 games of the Section VI competiton. Not all players were able to play those extra games in the playoffs. He did everything, rusher, passer, defense, punter, kicker, punt returner, kickoff returner. Remember these are only opinions, be nice.

You are definitely driving that Sweet Home bandwagon!!
While I would like to see one of the OP guys win it, my head tells me that the season Secky had deserves to be recognized. The only thing he doesn't do for Maple Grove is drive the bus, and I'm not even sure he doesn't do that.

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