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HAP Awards highlight standout students of 2023 Higher Achievement Program
Keith McShea

Our unparalleled Higher Achievement Program finished its fun four-week run Friday as families and friends joined us for the HAP Awards ceremony in Scaccia Auditorium.

Rising eighth graders from all over Western New York took classes in reading, English and math and competed in team sports and other activities with their homeroom teams – all of which are named after Jesuit colleges.

Students also vied for the second HAP House Cup in a competition modeled after the pioneering CHS House System, with Campion House coming out on top. 

“The second HAP House Cup Challenge was super fun to watch,” said Assistant Director of Admission Brendan Tenney ’12. “Seeing the bonds grow between the houses resembles what the CHS House System looks like here at Canisius.”

The ceremony was highlighted with the naming of Mr. HAP 2023: Dallon Floyd of Buffalo and St. Mark School. Floyd was a part of Creighton University team and Campion House.

“The Mr. HAP Award is presented to the student who best exemplifies the qualities associated with Canisius High School and the Higher Achievement Program,” said HAP Director Michael Kwiatkowski ’99.

“Mr. HAP shows an aptitude to grow and learn in the classroom and displays integrity and sportsmanship on the athletic field. He is dependable and exhibits the desire to achieve what others think is unreasonable. He is a genuine Man for Others.”

After Cole Herc of North Collins and Lake Shore Middle (Canisius University) recited the opening prayer, the awards were distributed.

The other HAP 2023 Awards:

Jim Lilley Sportsmanship Award
(student who best shows respect for his opponent and graciousness in winning and losing)
Rocco Cellino of West Seneca and Nardin Academy Elementary (Fairfield University and Jogues House).

Pedro Arrupe Award for Service
(student who conducts himself as a true Man for Others)
Trent DeVantier of Niagara Falls and St. Peter School (Xavier University and Jogues House).

Spirit of HAP Award
(student who other students look up to and is a great Man for Others to not just his homeroom, but his housemates)
Patrick Quinn of Buffalo and Nardin Academy Elementary (Canisius University and Arrupe House).

House Cup Champion: Campion House (made up of Creighton University, Loyola University and St. Peter’s College).

Academic Awards (listed by homeroom)

Canisius University

English: Liam Nieves of Buffalo and St. Benedict School

Reading: Patrick Doyle of Buffalo and St. Mark School

Math: Alex Horner of East Amherst and St. Gregory the Great School

Creighton University

English: Sydney Pratt of Kenmore and Hoover Middle School

Reading: Parker Krol of Lake View and Nativity of Our Lord School (Orchard Park) 

Math: Carter Gregson of Lockport and St. Christopher School

Fairfield University

English: Evan Liao-Cheng of Lancaster and Lancaster Middle School

Reading: Emmet Mehaffy of Buffalo and Nichols School

Math: Hunter Hanny of Buffalo and St. Benedict School

Fordham University

English: Ducain Neal of Youngstown and St. Peter School

Reading: Liam Wurst of Buffalo and Nardin Academy Elementary

Math: Jordan Skillon of Cheektowaga and Cleveland Hill Middle School

Georgetown University

English: Charlie Bandura of West Seneca and St. John Vianney School; Boril Stoyanov of Gowanda and Notre Dame Academy

Reading: John Cullinan of Lancaster and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School (Williamsville) 

Math: Benicio Kayser of Buffalo and Nardin Academy Elementary

Gonzaga University

English: Luke Golembiewski of East Aurora and Iroquois Middle School

Reading: David Sabol of East Amherst and Park School

Math: Stephen Pecori of Angola and Lake Shore Middle School

Loyola University

Reading: Jameson Enright of Orchard Park and Nativity of Our Lord School (Orchard Park)

Math: Noah Sampson of Amherst and St. Amelia School

St. Peter’s College

English: Aiden Charland of Williamsville and St. Mary’s School of Swormville

Reading: John Weimer of Orchard Park and Nativity of Our Lord School

Math: Andrew Harris of Lake View and Frontier Middle School

Xavier University

English: Bedie Rittling of Buffalo and Elmwood Franklin School

Reading: Bryce Trautman of Buffalo and Cleveland Hill Middle School

Math: Tristan Johnson of Buffalo and St. Benedict School

Overall HAP Athletic Champions: Fordham University Rams

Fordham University homeroom team members: David (ObiAmaka) Alaku, Gamal Angolo Kuku, Gifin Balen, Gavin Cary, Peter Dehn, Rocco Diina, William Franjoine, Eamon Kenny, Carter Micoli, Ducain Neal, Landon Patterson, Jordan Skillon, Daniel Symmonds, Charles Welsch, Michael Wolasz, Liam Wurst.

HAP Athletic Team Champions

Basketball: Gonzaga Bulldogs

Football: Xavier Musketeers

Handball: Loyola Greyhounds

Soccer: Loyola Greyhounds

Athletic Most Valuable Player Awards

Basketball: Rocco Hojnacki of Grand Island and St. Stephen School (Loyola Greyhounds).

Football: Jamar Nevins of Buffalo and CSAT Middle School (Fairfield Stags).

Handball: Luke Golembiewski of East Aurora and Iroquois Middle School (Gonzaga Bulldogs).

Soccer: Gamal Angolo Kuku of Buffalo and NativityMiguel’s St. Augustine Campus (Fordham Rams).

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Students and families interested in the academic, athletic and artistic excellence only found in a Jesuit education at Canisius can learn more at

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