Whether Brandon Schick is playing in a soccer game or just practicing, his coaches contend it’s hard to tell the difference.
Williamsville East coach Jeff Librock has seen his share of kids who don’t give nearly the same effort when there is no audience. Schick is not one of them. “He’s a fierce competitor, and the same goes in practice. He practices like he plays,” Librock said. “He doesn’t just get up for game day.”
Schick’s body of work in his career has earned him plenty of accolades; the latest coming with the announcement he is the Western New York Player of the Year. Schick leads the 14-player All-WNY team chosen by a panel of area coaches.
The senior forward broke the school record for most goals in a season with 41 and will graduate as the all-time leader in goals with 84. He is considering playing soccer at Division III Houghton College next fall.
A starter for four years, Schick has exceptional speed and the ability to score despite being double- and sometimes triple-teamed. He scored in 20 of East’s 22 games, including two in the state semifinals.
“He plays with a lot of passion, he creates [scoring] situations for himself, but also creates opportunities for other players on the team [18 assists],” Librock said. “He’s a very well-rounded player.”
Representing Catholic state champion Canisius is junior defenseman Jacob Montante. The Crusaders (16-4-2) beat Chaminade of Long Island, 2-1, in double overtime to win the title in a game played in Queens.
Librock picked up a postseason honor himself, being named the WNY Coach of the Year by his peers. He’s been the Flames’ head coach the past 27 years. This year’s team won the Section VI Class A crown. They won their first 21 games before losing, 4-2, in the state final semifinals to two-time state champion Jericho.
Librock’s staff included former Lew-Port coach and current Flames JV coach Jim Clauss, who was recently inducted into the New York State Soccer Hall Of Fame. Clauss’ Lew-Port teams made two state final four appearances, won seven sectional titles and 14 Niagara Frontier League crowns.
Williamsville East was ranked No. 3 in the final New York State poll. Clarence and East Aurora were both No. 5 in their respective classes.
Steve Adamec was named the WNY Referee of the Year. He’s worked seven state tournaments in his 27-year career as a high school official.
The only repeat pick on the All-WNY team is senior Alex Reid of Lockport. Reid was the only player in Western New York to earn All-American honors from the NSCAA. He was also first team All-NYS among large schools while Parker Healy of East Aurora was a small school first team all-stater.
This year’s champions were Clarence and Lockport (Class AA co-champs), Williamsville East (Class A-1), Riverside (Class A-2), East Aurora (Class B-1), Tonawanda (Class B-2), Maple Grove (Class C) and North Collins (Class D). . . . Clarence and East Aurora were voted winners of the coaches’ large and small school polls, respectively.
Referee Adam Delity retired after 40 years of service to mostly Chautauqua and Cattaraugus county soccer.