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S-GI athletes Tyler Studd and Chris Phinney named to all-state team

Chris Phinney and John Sopko
SPRINGVILLE — Springville-Griffith Institute 2012 varsity football players Tyler Studd and Chris Phinney are being rewarded for their efforts, during this past season.

Studd and Phinney were both named members of the All-New York state football team. Studd made first team defense as a defensive lineman, while Phinney made honorable mention as a linebacker.

S-GI Coach John Sopko called this is a “very special honor for his two seniors [and a] tremendous accomplishment for the two players. We haven’t had an all-state player since 1996, so obviously this is a big deal,” he said. “It’s great for our team, our program and the community.”

Both players helped Springville-GI win the Class B South championship and eventually go on to play at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Phinney led the Griffs in tackles, with 75. He also recorded three sacks and returned an 85-yard interception, for a touchdown during a game against Olean.

Tyler Studd and John Sopko
Studd had a team-high 13 sacks and was second on the team in tackles, with 68.

Sopko said that he couldn’t be happier, for his two defensive standouts. “Having two players recognized is extraordinary,” he said. “It illustrates their progress and hard work, over the last three years. Both of them were three-year starters on varsity and they shared the Section VI Class B Defensive Player of the Year Award.”

Both players were recognized for their 2012 season performances during the 2012 season.

Studd was named to All-Western New York first-team defense. Phinney was the Pop Warner Award winner, during S-GI’s football banquet.

Sopko said that he is very proud of the two players’ accomplishments, but added that there may be more to come.

“Next up is to see whether or not either player will be selected for the upstate/downstate game in July,” he said.

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