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Welcome to the online home of the Connolly Cup. On this site you will find information about the past, present, and future. So, take some time, read about who we are, see who won the award in past years, and let us know about the great player you saw last weekend…


Grade: Senior
Position: Running Back
School: Pioneer
Team Record: 8-0 (NYSPHSAA Section VI Class B Running-ups)

2018 Connolly Cup Award Winner:
Mike Rigerman

From The Buffalo News:

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Rigerman captured the 47th Connolly Cup Award, an honor bestowed upon the top high school football player in Western New York as chosen by the Riverside Athletic Club and ADPRO Sports. Among a group of 10 finalists, including three returnees from 2017, Rigerman earned the award after having a dynamic season on both sides of the ball for the Panthers (9-1), who captured the Class B1 division title and won their first nine games en route to securing a spot in the Section VI final.

The running back/linebacker led Western New York with a school-record 2,116 yards rushing and also scored 29 touchdowns. He also made 101 tackles and three interceptions in becoming the first Pioneer player to ever win the Connolly Cup.

“It means a lot to me and my family my coaches and especially the Pioneer community,” Rigerman said. “It’s not just me that got me here. It was my teammates. I’d like to thank them and my coaches and my mom and dad for always believing in me and pushing me to be the best person I can possibly be.”

About Our Award

Started in 1972 by the Riverside Athletic Club, the goal of our award is to recognize outstanding varsity football players from over 80 schools in Western New York State.

During the season our group scouts student athletes looking for outstanding performances on a weekly basis. The players are judged on a number of factors including, strength of opposition, sportsmanship, athletic ability, team play, and work ethic. Following the final game of the season, discussion and game tape is used to narrow our list of outstanding performers to the top ten.

The ten finalists are broken down using a secret ballot and grading system to determine the one final winner. The finalists are honored at a press conference and luncheon.