Bulldogs go deep in the playoffs, Brown runs at Nationals, Minnick signs in pinstripes
A spectacular week of sports
As the school year winds down to its final day, so do the school year sports.
This past week was one of the more action packed weeks of the year, seeing the Brocton Bulldogs advance to their first ever State Championship baseball game — after coming up a game short last year. Also, Emily Brown of Fredonia continues to run all over the country, and Matt Minnick of Collins signed with the New York Yankees after being drafted in the 23rd round of the MLB Draft.
In the pros, the NHL saw the St. Louis cap-off a storybook year with their first ever championship and the Toronto Raptors brought the first NBA Championship north of the border by knocking off the Warriors dynasty.
For local high school baseball, Brocton was able to do one of the most difficult tasks in sports — appear in consecutive championships. Not only did they match last years feat of advancing to the State Final Four, but they improved off of last year and steamrolled their semifinal opponent, Section X champion Lisbon, and advanced to the baseball programs first ever State Championship game. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs came up one win short of a State Championship, losing to Whitehall from Section II.
While most of the great track and field athletes saw their season end at the Track and Field State Championship meet a week ago, Emily Brown of Fredonia continued her season at the New Balance Scholastic National Track and Field Meet in Greensboro, NC. Emily ran the 2,000m steeplechase in an impressive time of 7:06.35, which was good enough for 13th place. Only a junior, Brown looks to improve for next year by attending training camps. At the end of the month, Brown will be heading off to Colorado for a high altitude XC Camp.
Most kids grow up dreaming of becoming a professional athlete, Matt Minnick of Collins recently took a gigantic step in his professional baseball career. Despite injuries in the last two years at Mercyhurst University, Minnick pitched a stellar senior season that caught the eye of big league scouts. Minnick was drafted by his favorite MLB team growing up — the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers took the southpaw Collins native in the 23rd round of the MLB Draft, and on this past Wednesday he signed a professional contract with the club and is waiting minor league assignment.
In the national world of sports, both the NHL and NBA saw teams claim their first championships. With a big help from Jason Botterill and the Buffalo Sabres, the St. Louis Blues won their first ever Stanley Cup and former Buffalo Sabre Ryan O’Reilly won the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP. The Sabres only hopes of saving themselves from complete embarrassment in the O’Reilly trade will come this Friday when they will use the Blues first round pick to draft another piece to the never ending rebuild.
With the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday giving mixed emotions — seeing a former star player win the cup (O’Reilly), but a rival city Boston losing a championship game, the following night the NBA Finals gave many fans something to cheer for. The Toronto Raptors — for many Western New Yorkers their closest NBA franchise — claimed their first ever NBA Championship by defeating the Golden State Warriors. In the shocking series, the Warriors saw two of their best players go down with huge long term injuries — Kevin Durant injured his achilles and Klay Thompson saw a devastating knee injury in game six. The injuries signaled to many the ending of the Warriors dynasty, setting the table for an interesting NBA season next year.
In the upcoming week, the Brocton Bulldogs will be welcomed home with their heads held high, after blazing through the Class D baseball tournament for a second consecutive year. Emily Brown will continue to run and improve for her senior season, Matt Minnick will await assignment from the New York Yankees and both the NHL and NBA will have their drafts.