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Photo Courtesy of Cal Phillips

Since the Buffalo Public Schools joined Section VI for football in 2010, the South Park Sparks have led the way.

The Sparks were the first city school to win a sectional title, a state title and then had quarterback Tyree Brown win the first Connolly Cup given to a city player since the merger.

Wednesday night, the Sparks beat the rest of the city schools to the punch again as Jeremiah Sanders won the 2017 Trench Trophy, an award given to the top senior lineman in Western New York High School football.

The senior led the 2017 South Park team to a 9-1 record and an appearance in the Class A Section VI final.

“I didn’t prepare a speech,” said Sanders, who will attend ASA college next year. “I had been waiting to hear my name called but it was a surprise at the same time. There were so many guys on the list that were really good.”

“It’s an honor to know that I’m the first player from the city to win this,” he said.

Sparks head coach Tim Delaney was extremely proud of Sanders.

“It’s pretty fitting that he’s the first city kid to win the award,” Delaney said. “He was a captain for us. We scored 30-40 points a game this year with him anchoring the line. He’s a had a great career.”

According to Trench Trophy president Carl Kuras, Sanders is the complete package.

“He’s been good for some many years,” Kuras said. “We’ve been watching him under our radar and have been impressed with his physical power and great technique.”

Sanders, who anchored the line for the Sparks’ state title team in 2015, left after his sophomore season for Bishop Timon. After Timon head coach Charlie Comerford resigned over the summer, the lineman decided to go back to his home school and was welcomed back at South Park with open arms.

“My high school career kept changing, but South Park has really been my home,” Sanders said. “I was happy to come back and win this award for the team and the school.”