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Michael Rigerman had few things left to accomplish in his senior year of football. He had over 2000 yards rushing and nearly 30 touchdowns on offense, and over 100 tackles on defense. The only thing on the bucket list was the Connolly Cup, given annually to the top football player in Western New York. 


On Saturday, Dec. 1, Rigerman was named winner of the Connolly Cup, the first Pioneer player to claim the award since it was first handed out in 1972. The honor was bestowed during the 47th annual banquet held at Ilio DiPaolo's in Blasdell.



connolly cup

ABOVE: Michael Rigerman hoists the Connolly Cup, alongside coaches Tom Izydorczak, left, and Jim Duprey.




Rigerman led the Panthers to a 9-1 record and their first trip to the Section 6 championships in a generation. The Connolly Cup is chosen by the Riverside Athletic Club and ADPRO Sports. 


Rigerman rushed for 2,116 yards and scored 29 TDs. On defense, he made 101 tackles and three interceptions. 


The Connolly Cup committee considered 10 finalists for the award, and Rigerman won a very close vote. Rigerman was also chosen to the Buffalo News' All-Prep Team, along with teammate Trevor Smith.


In an interview with the Buffalo News, Rigerman thanked his coaches, teammates and family for supporting him through his successful 2018 season.