BUFFALO, N.Y. — Rashard Perry, the Syracuse recruit who powered Bennett to its first state football championship, and Xander Hind, the Randolph running back who set a Western New York record for rushing yards in a season, have received Player of the Year awards from the New York State Sportswriters Association.

Perry, who won the Trench Trophy as the top lineman in WNY, was shared the Class AA Player of the Year award with St. Anthony’s quarterback Dante Torres.

Hind, a Connolly Cup finalist who rushed for 2,577 yards and 34 touchdowns in 11 games, shared the Class D award with Tioga quarterback Caden Bellis.

Perry followed Canisius lineman T.J. Wheatley (2014) and St. Joe’s quarterback Chad Kelly (2011) as local players to win NYSSWA Player of the Year awards in the state’s largest classification.

Bennett teammates Jayden Lewis, a University at Buffalo recruit, also were selected to the all-state first team, along with St. Francis running back Ricardo Kidd.

More than 70 WNY players received all-state recognition, with more than 20 making the first team.

First-team all-state selections

Class A: Bennett lineman Rashard Perry, receivers Jayden Lewis and Jameer Thomas, Williamsville East receiver Dorian Facen Jr., Jamestown linebacker Sean O’Brien and Kenmore West defensive back Jermaine Atkins.

Class B: Iroquois running back Trevor Barry, the Connolly Cup winner, teammates Nate McGoldrick, a tight end, and offensive lineman Braedan Donnelly, along with Maryvale running back Justus Hill.

Class C: Fredonia quarterback Ethan Fry, Lackawanna defensive lineman Sunday Ikegwuonu, Salamanca linebacker Jesse Stahlman, as well as running back Noah Kinner and offensive lineman Chris Johnson from Medina.

Class D: Franklinville/Ellicottiville running back Gian Nuzzo, Randolph receiver Jaiden Huntington, Randolph lineman Ryan Carpenter, F/E lineman Koda Curtis, Portville linebacker Zander Keim, and CSP kicker Bryce Hinsdale.

Second team

Class AA: St. Francis OL Marcus Harrison, Bennett DB Aaron Roseboro

Class A: Jamestown QB Trey Drake, Sweet Home LB Jordan Theodore

Class B: Timon RB James McNeil, Pioneer OL Luke Matheis

Class C: Lackawanna RB Antwan Threeths, Fredonia RB Micah Davis, Lackawanna WR Shyheim Smalls, Lackawanna WR Ashlin Alexander-Hall, Southwestern K Neves Hoose

Class D: Portville RB Kaedon Holcomb, F/E DL Tyler Gibas, Portville DL Caiden Zollinger, Randolph LB Payton Slade

Third team

Class AA: Lancaster RB Micah Harry, Orchard Park WR Dylan Evans, Lancaster OL Tommy Carlsen, Bennett DL Xzavier Goodman

Class A: South Park QB Noah Willoughby, Williamsville North RB Kendal Donovan, Amherst DB Caleb Nichols

Class B: Albion QB Amari Jones, Iroquois DL Shane Smith

Class C: Lackawanna QB Billy Gechell, Fredonia WR Jameson Quinn

Fourth team

Class AA: Bennett DL Darell Hamilton

Class A: Williamsville East QB Sean Sansone, Jamestown RB Carsen Bane, McKinley LB Tyrone Hughes

Class B: Iroquois QB Justus Kleitz, Cheektowaga RB Cam Warburton, Timon WR Gerald McCloud, Maryvale DL Dezmin Walker

Fifth team

Class AA: QB Ben Gocella

Class A: Jamestown WR Darius Freeney, Clarence K Zach Campana

Sixth team

Class AA: Lancaster K Cannon Converse

Class A: Jamestown WR Carson Panebianco, South Park WR A.J. Watts

Honorable mention

Class AA: Bennett QB Antonio Davis III, St. Francis QB Steve Otremba, St. Francis WR Logan Reaska, Lancaster LB Sam Judasz, Orchard Park PK Justin Moeller, Orchard Park P Brody Stevens

Class A: Williamsville South WR Daniel People, Williamsville North OL Evan Locke, Amherst OL Patrick Tan

Class B: Pioneer QB Gavin Schwab, Timon QB Dominic Anzalone, O’Hara QB Kalughn Ford, Falconer/Cassadaga Valley/Maple Grove RB Dalton Caldwell, Olean WR Cade Anastasia, Lake Shore WR Aiden Kaczmarek, Pioneer OL Sam Platt, F/CV/MG PK/P Brailyn Paladino

Class C: Akron QB Chris Bergman, Medina QB Aiden Pitts, Eden/North Collins QB Matt Sweet, Tonawanda RB Alexander Gallo, Akron WR Donny Kreher, Fredonia WR Keegan Whitfield, Medina OL Roosevelt Mitchell, Albion OL Nick Radder, Southwestern PK/P Jameson Walsh

Class D: Randolph QB Carson Conley, CSP RB Trent Burchanowski, Wilson WR Drew Dabill, CSP OL Taite Newman, CSP LB Lucas Lisciandro, Wilson PK/P Conner Ernest


Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.