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Thomas Jefferson's Winovich named MSA Sports football player of the year

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Ronald Vezzani Jr. | For the Daily News
Thomas Jefferson's Chase Winovich stretches before practice Nov. 29, 2013.

Thomas Jefferson senior Chase Winovich has been named 2013 football player of the year by MSA Sports Network.

Winovich, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound multi-dimensional athlete on the TJ football team, led the Jaguars to the Big Nine Conference title and an 11-1 record.

“I'm extremely grateful and honored to be named the MSA Sports Network player of the year,” Winovich said.

The University of Michigan linebacker recruit was a hybrid performer on offense at the quarterback and running back positions. Winovich accounted for 1,212 yards in total offense and led the Jaguars in tackles with 70.

Defensively, he finished with 41 unassisted tackles and 13 sacks. He also caused three fumbles, recovered three fumbles and blocked one pass.

Behind Winovich's leadership, Thomas Jefferson shut out five opponents in 2013 and held three teams — Elizabeth Forward (95), West Mifflin (57) and Hampton (40) — to fewer than 100 yards in total offense.

The Jaguars allowed just 56 points during the regular season.

Winovich rushed for 981 yards on 115 carries, an average of 8.5 yards, and connected 15 of 32 passes for 231 yards.

He catapulted the Jaguars past rival West Mifflin with a 245-yard, four-touchdown performance and finished the year with 16 touchdowns, including five in the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.

Winovich, a starting center on the TJ basketball team, also was lauded as the Big Nine Conference defensive player of the year and was named all-conference as an all-purpose back on offense.

He was joined on the MSA Elite 11 all-star team by Seneca Valley's T.J. Holl (QB), Central Catholic's Niko Thorpe (LB), Gateway's Montae Nicholson (WR/DB), West Allegheny's Tory Delmonico (RB/LB), West Mifflin's Jimmy Wheeler (RB), Ringgold's Nico Law (QB), New Castle's Malik Hooker (WR/DB), South Fayette's Brett Brumbaugh (QB), Aliquippa's Dravon Henry (RB/DB) and Sto-Rox's Lenny Williams (QB/DB).

The Elite 11 is made up of the top 11 players in the WPIAL, regardless of position, and is selected by the MSA Sports Network staff.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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