WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.-When Alden's Cory Barczykowski won the Connolly Cup last December nine other players were disappointed it wasn't their turn .but they're far from discouraged because they didn't take home the hardware.
West Seneca East quarterback Andy Smigiera told Two On Your Sides Stu Boyar "just going to the Connolly Cup presentation seeing all the great players it brought a lot of confidence to know that I was one of the best ."
Andy graduates this year and is looking to play football at Holy Cross, Robert Morris or Edinboro. Holy Cross and Robert Morris want him as a defensive back. Edinboro is recruiting him as an athlete. In Andy's heart he's a quarterback. As one of the fastest in the state he's getting ready for the outdoor track season. South Park quarterback Maurice Howie and Canisius running back Qadree Ollison are both juniors and have to be among the favorites for next year's cup.
Ollison told Stu "didn't win it this year it went to another great player Corey Barczykowski. He's a great player so its going to help motivate me for this season." Howie had a similar feeing about not winning the Connolly Cup telling Stu "its going to motivate me. Its going to make me worker hard so I can win the Connolly Cup."
All three train at Absolute Performance in the Eastern Hills Mall on top of what they do at school.
"They push us to our maximum limit and that's the kind of thing that we need" said Ollison. Smigiera said "I was always brought up with the speed here brought the strength and also the flexibility that came with my speed." Howie said they're always trying to get more out of their athletes. "They be on you they work you harder." Howie is not a big fan of a proposal for the City of Buffalo to just have four high school teams telling Stu "I think there are going to be a lot of disagreements with the team and the players. No its not a good idea because I think there are going to be a lot of disagreements with players and coaches."
For athletes at any level its no longer just about what your school or team can do for you. Extra training has become an integral part of the successful athlete's regimen.
Tom Corradino from Absolute Performance told Stu that extra training is a growing trend among young people. "And its becoming more and more prevalent in this area to have kids that are interested in strength and conditioning not just in the schools but in facilities like ours."
No one knows who will win this year's Connolly Cup but its a pretty good bet that Ollison and Howie are again, at the very least, among the ten finalists.