Player of the Year
Hilton’s Gaffney makes his points — on the ice and in the classroom
Hockey has been good to Frank Gaffney.
His point totals, and the fun he had on the ice, are proof. In 20 games this past season for the Hilton Cadets, the senior forward produced 27 goals, 36 assists and 63 points.
No player in Section V was more productive, earning Gaffney the Democrat and Chronicle’s All-Greater Rochester hockey player of the year.
But while he’d like to keep playing, the classroom will be his primary focus as he begins college. He knows what he wants to do in life, and has big plans.
After scoring 68 goals in three years of high school hockey, he now switches to a career goal: to complete medical school and become a neurologist. He faces a long road. Four years of undergraduate studies, four years of medical school and around two years of residency.
“That’s why I would rather get started right away,” Gaffney said.
He has been accepted by Rochester Institute of Technology, Nazareth College and SUNY Geneseo, and Hobart could also be an option. Ideally he’d like to also play hockey, but rarely do true freshman step off the rinks of Section V and into NCAA Division III hockey, and definitely not Division I.
He would need to play some level of junior hockey, and said he’s considering that, but school is Priority I.
“That’s kind of the caveat,” he said.
“I’ve always been fascinated with how the brain works, how it controls the whole body,” Gaffney said.
Having played a contact sport, he’s well aware of the concussion issues that face athletes on the ice as well as the football field and various other sports. The National Football League and National Hockey League are in the midst of lawsuits from former players, and safety concerns have become the focus at all levels of the sports.
“The whole concussion issue – what causes them, how we possibly treat them or prevent them – is very interesting to me,” he said.
He was fortunate to not miss a game this season. He also played in all 20 games for the Cadets as a freshman and sophomore.
He spent his junior year of high school playing only junior hockey with the Buffalo Regals. But since the Regals’ schedule allowed him to also play the high school season, he had the best of both worlds.
His scoring prowess may have been honed right at home from shooting pucks in the driveway or wherever. His brother, Jimmy, eight years his elder, was a goalie.
“Growing up, whatever he was doing I wanted to do so that’s how I got into hockey,” he said. “He definitely taught me a thing or two on how to score.”
Gaffney obviously learned quite well.
Griffin Avery, Pittsford
Helped lead Panthers to league and Section V Class A titles and a berth in the state semifinals. He scored three goals and had 17 assists – third on team. Also plays lacrosse and plans on attending Nazareth to study biomedical science and math.
Matt Clark, Greece Athena
Posted eight goals and 18 assists for the Thunder and is most proud of his blocked shots. He is deciding between Oswego and Fredonia.
Pierce Currie, Webster Thomas
The centerman scored 21 goals with go with 19 assists in helping lead the Titans to a 14-3-3 record and runner-up finish in the Section V Class BB tournament. He also plays lacrosse and plans to play both sports and study business at either Geneseo or Clarkson.
Quinn Doyle, Pittsford
Repeat AGR pick pumped in 14 goals and a team-best 21 assists to help power the Panthers (17-6-1) to a league title, Section V Class A crown and state semifinal appearance. Also plays golf and baseball.
Frank Gaffney, Hilton
Led Section V in points (63) and goals (27) and tied for the most assists (36) for the Cadets. Named all-league. Has been accepted at RIT, Nazareth and Geneseo and plans to go to medical school to study neurology.
Cam Gebhardt, Fairport
Helped the Red Raiders surge to finish as league and Section V Class A Tournament runners-up. Had three goals and three assists with a plus-14. He also plays lacrosse. A two-year captain, plans to attend MCC then Cornell to study economics.
Mitch Henshaw, Brockport
Led Monroe County Division II in goals (20), assists (29) and points (49) while leading the Blue Devils to the league title. Finished career with 58 goals and 87 assists. Also plays baseball and was recruited by Holy Cross, St. John Fisher and Queens College
Chayse Ierlan, Victor
Named team MVP and Section V Class BB Tournament MVP after Blue Devils repeated as champion. Made 570 saves and had a .920 save percentage that included four shutouts. Also plays lacrosse and has made a verbal commitment to Cornell.
Ethan Kaiser, Fairport
Repeat AGR pick posted a 1.47 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in leading Red Raiders (15-7) to runner-up finish in Section V Class A tournament. Plans on playing junior hockey to try to attract college recruiters
Max Lambert, Victor
Had 17 goals and 28 assists, including five in sectionals, in helping the Blue Devils repeat as Section V Class BB champion. Also plays lacrosse and plans to play lacrosse at UMass-Amherst.
Matt Montgomery, Webster Schroeder
Recorded 17 goals and 18 assists for the Warriors to finish his four-year career with 118 points. Named second-team all-state. Plans to attend Ithaca College and play.
Ryan Webster, Batavia Notre Dame
Posted a Section V-best 41 assists and had 19 goals in leading the Irish to the Section V Class B championship. Scored six power-play and six game-winning goals. Set school record for points in a season (60). Also plays baseball
COACH OF THE YEAR
Steve Thering, Pittsford
The Panthers won Monroe County Division I and Section V Class A titles before losing in the state semifinals. Thering, a technology teacher, is 148-44-15 in eight seasons and his sectional title was third of his career. Also coaches JV lacrosse.
Connor Ball (Webster Schroeder), Phil Barilla (Irondequoit), Morgan Brown (Geneseo/Livonia/Avon), Alex Buchbiner (Geneseo/Livonia/Avon), Cameron Clark (Batavia Notre Dame), Evan Conolly (Spencerport), Ethan Conrad (Batavia Notre Dame), Brayden Deming (Webster Thomas), Patrick Dennehy (Hilton), Andrew Ebersol (Penfield), Jesse Edwards (Hilton), Riley Emerson (Brockport), Connor Haims (Pittsford), Ryan Hooper (Greece Lightning), Hunter Howell (Hilton), Dalton Jersak (Webster Thomas), Mike Klim (Gates Chili), Tyler Kelly (Aquinas), Parker Lawrence (Brighton/ER/HF-L), Ben Leach (Brockport), Reid Mattle (Geneseo/Livonia/Avon), Billy McDevill (Geneseo/Livonia/Avon), Tanner Metcalfe (Churchville-Chili), Bryan Moscicki (Batavia Notre Dame), A.J. Nestler (Rush-Henrietta), Jonathan Newcombe (Fairport), Bryce Polito (Batavia), Alec Rockow (Brockport), Darrick Smith (Rush-Henrietta), Nick Thompson (Webster Thomas), Michael Walton (Geneseo/Livonia/Avon), Carter Whittemore (Irondequoit)
Meet the rest of the 2015-16 AGR Winter teams
Boys Basketball | Girls Basketball | Boys Indoor Track | Girls Indoor Track | Hockey | Boys Bowling | Girls Bowling | Alpine Skiing | Nordic Skiing | Division I Wrestling | Division II Wrestling | Boys Swimming