Jan. 19—Ten football players from four schools across the greater Niagara region were honored by the state.
Lockport's Shey Williams, Tristan Grimball, Tray Thompson and Lucas Stiglmeier, Starpoint's Lucas Lombardo, Joe Richardson and Jake Stickney, Grand Island's Michael Sole and Evan Pickering and North Tonawanda's Christian Earnst were picked by the New York State Sportswriters Association for the organization's large school selections (Class AA and A).
Williams was named to the Class A second team offense and Lombardo was named to the Class A second team defense while Earnst and Grimball were picked to the third team offense and defense, respectively.
Williams closed his senior season with the selection after helping Lockport advance to the Section VI Class A final, its first title game appearance in 20 years. The 6-foot-1 wide receiver recorded 1,568 all-purpose yards and 19 total touchdowns. Along with scoring and finished top-five in the section in receptions, yards receiving and receiving touchdowns.
Lombardo was the anchor on defense for Starpoint in its season that ended in the Class A semifinal. The junior linebacker ranked second in the section in sacks (11), fourth in tackles (123) and ninth in tackles for a loss (20). Along with six sacks in the postseason opener against Williamsville North, Lombardo recorded double-digit tackles seven times, including a 20-tackle game against Grand Island.
Earnst, meanwhile, received the all-state honors after rushing for 1,082 yards and 16 touchdowns on 7.6 yards per carry for NT. Along with three 200-yard games and five multi-touchdown outings, the junior became the first Lumberjack to rush for 1,000 yards in a season since Chris Woodard in 2014.
Grimball was a significant contributor for Lockport's defense in his senior season. The linebacker ranked third in the section with 137 tackles, including 11 for loss. Along with three sacks and a fumble recovery, Grimball was part of a Lockport unit that allowed 18.3 points per game.
Starpoint junior running back Joe Richardson was named to the all-state fourth-team offense. Richardson rushed for 746 yards and 10 touchdowns, both team-highs, and averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Six of his touchdowns came against Class A2 opponents.
Lockport junior Tray Thompson received fifth-team defensive all-state honors. The 5-foot-10 defensive back recorded 61 tackles and four interceptions, two of which were pick-sixes against Grand Island in the sectional quarterfinal. Thompson also recorded 356 yards and eight touchdowns from scrimmage for the Lions.
Teammate and lineman Lucas Stiglmeier, Starpoint lineman Jake Stickney and Grand Island defensive back Michael Sole and kicker Evan Pickering received honorable mention.
Forty-eight players from Western New York were named all-state large school selections by the NYSSWA, 24 each in Class AA and A.