North Allegheny QB named state's player of the year
North Allegheny senior quarterback Mack Leftwich capped a statistically stellar season by leading his team to the PIAA Class AAAA championship. Thursday, he was recognized for his efforts and named the state's Class AAAA Player of the Year by a group of Pennsylvania sportswriters.
The UTEP recruit passed for 3,331 yards and 45 touchdowns this season and went 30-1 the past two seasons at North Allegheny.
He completed 16-of-20 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 90 yards and another score on 16 carries in the PIAA final, a 63-28 victory over Coatesville.
“When you talk about (ex-NFL player Mike) McMahon, (Notre Dame recruit Paul) Failla and (IUP star Brian) Eyerman, North Allegheny has had some really good quarterbacks,” coach Art Walker said, “... but I think his numbers are proof that he's also without a doubt one of the best ever.”
Leftwich surpassed 5,000 career passing yards in just two seasons. But to Walker, the meager four interceptions thrown this season by Leftwich also was an impressive stat.
“He's extremely accurate and has a lot of confidence in his arm and confidence in the guys he was throwing to,” Walker said. “He was constantly making tough throws.”
North Allegheny teammates Gregg Garrity (wide receiver), Zach Lyon (tight end), Pat Kugler (offensive line), Jeremy Gonzales (defensive line) and Brendan Coniker (defensive back) also were selected to the Class AAAA Pennsylvania Sportswriters All-State team. Kugler, a Michigan recruit, and Coniker are repeat selections.
Other WPIAL players named to the team were Gateway's Thomas Woodson (quarterback) and Montae Nicholson (defensive back), Woodland Hills' Jawan Turner (defensive line) and Alex Beasley (linebacker), and McKeesport's Hodari Christian (linebacker).
Coatesville's Matt Ortega was named Class AAAA Coach of the Year.
The Class AAA all-state team featured several WPIAL players as well: Thomas Jefferson's Joe Carroll (quarterback), Central Valley's Robert Foster (wide receiver), Montour's Matt Barone (offensive line) and Devin Wilson (athlete), West Allegheny's Jordan Diven (offensive line), Belle Vernon's Dorian Johnson (offensive line), West Mifflin's Derrick Fulmore (athlete) and Franklin Regional's Carter Henderson (linebacker). Foster and Wilson are repeat selections.
Erie Cathedral Prep's Damion Terry was named the Class AAA Player of the Year. Prep's Mike Mischler was named Coach of the Year.