The following is Dick Gallagher's top stories for the 2016 high school football season:
Lancaster, Bennett, Dunkirk, Cleveland Hill and Maple Grove won sectional titles.
Dunkirk and Maple Grove won far west regional titles.
Maple Grove finished the season at 12-1, losing a state title on the game’s final play.
Isaiah McDuffie, Bennett, won the Connolly Cup and Buffalo News Player of the Year.
Nate Emer, Iroquois, won the Trench Trophy as WNY’s top lineman.
Jerry Hickson, St. Francis, established a WNY career passing record with 7610 yards.
25 players made the Buffalo News First Team All-WNY Team.
Trevor Micek, Maple Grove LB, set a WNY record with 177 tackles in a season.
Niko Mullen, Clarence, was selected Section VI football scholar athlete of the year.
Jeremy Cych, Canisius, was selected Msgr. Martin Athletic Association Football Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Canisius was selected large school poll champs while Maple Grove was selected small schools poll champions.
South Park, Williamsville North, and Cheektowaga finished their JV seasons undefeated.
32 WNY players made first team All-State and 116 earned All-State recognition.
12 WNY alumni played professional football in 2016 with 9 playing in the NFL and 3 playing in the CFL.
Brad Benson, Maple Grove senior RB/DB, was named the Class D State Football Player of the Year.