Rawlins earns all-state honors

| Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Last season, Monessen quarterback Chavas Rawlins was named honorable mention on the Pennsylvania Sportswriters Class A All-State Football Team. While he was honored by the designation, he became more motivated.

“Last year I was named honorable mention, so I made it a goal of mine to be better,” Rawlins said. “It feels good to have the first team honor this year. I strived to be on the list and where I'm at right now.”

Monessen football coach Andy Pacak could always see a bright future for his quarterback.

“I remember telling people when he was younger that everyone was going to know who Chavas was,” the Greyhounds coach said. “Him being named all-state tells me that every once in a while, maybe they're right about something.

“It's been a wonderful ride for Chavas and I'm really happy for him. He's so good and he works so hard.”

Rawlins said he's thankful for the honor after putting in so much time and effort and added that he owes a lot to his teammates.

“I'm not going to sell myself short, but I can't thank my teammates enough,” the WVU recruit said. “The class of 2014 is probably the most talented class I've ever been around. Without them guys and my fellow seniors, I would have never been able to be where I am.

“I honestly think a couple of my teammates were deserving of the honor.”

Rawlins completed 71 of 165 passes this season for 1,382 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also rushed for 613 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. He helped lead the Greyhounds to the WPIAL quarterfinals before losing to Neshannock with seconds remaining in the game.

With the pain of the playoff loss behind him, Rawlins is now focused on his college career, which he'll be getting a jump start on after being approved to leave Monessen early and enroll at West Virginia in January. He gave up his basketball season for the opportunity to start college early. The quarterback said his last day at Monessen will be Jan. 14, and his first day as a full-time college student will be three days later.

“The difference for me, as a coach, is that Chavas is a once-in-a-career kid,” Pacak said. “It really doesn't have to do anything with football. If you look at the aspects of his life and what he's done academically and in the community ... for him to say that he was going to work harder so he can graduate and go to school early to get an opportunity to get his master's degree. It makes me so proud to see. He knows that football is a short time period in his life, he knows that he needs the education and has the ability to have the school pay for it. I'm overjoyed for him right now.

“When a 17-year-old says that ... oh my. The sky's the limit for him.”

Enrolling at WVU in the spring will allow Rawlins to participate in spring drills with his new Mountaineer teammates.

“I'm working real hard trying to do everything I have to do,” Rawlins said. “It's a real quick turnaround but I'm doing what I need to do.”

PIAA and WPIAL champion Clairton had five selections on the All-State Team, including the Class A Player of the Year, Tyler Boyd. Another Black Hills Conference player, Garrett Vulcano of Chartiers-Houston, was named to the team.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com or 724-684-2667.

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