Brett Brumbaugh is Pittsburgh Trib's football player of the year
Brett Brumbaugh did it all. Win a WPIAL title? Check. State title? Easily. Set the single-season WPIAL passing record? Yep.
Brumbaugh, a 6-foot-4 junior quarterback who holds NCAA Division I scholarship offers from Temple and Akron, completed 260 of 379 passes for 3,917 yards and 41 touchdowns. The PIAA Class AA player of the year will return as a senior needing just 1,164 yards to break Sto-Rox QB Lenny Williams' career passing record, a mark previously held by Brumbaugh's brother, Christian.
What did it feel like driving back from Hershey?
It's one of the best feelings in the world. Especially when we got off 79, and the police and the fire trucks escorted us back to the gym for a pep rally. I couldn't feel happier or more proud of the boys and everyone who supported us all year. We accomplished our goal.
What happened at the pep rally?
I don't know how many people were there, but it was pretty packed. The seniors all said a few words. We brought the trophy back. Everybody got pictures. Just a big celebration of all the hard work we've put in.
With the game being pushed back, what did you do all day Saturday?
I brought my Xbox, and a couple other kids were playing Xbox. We just hung out. We didn't want to be outside or go bowling or go to a movie. That extra day helped. It put us all together one last time and gave us that extra bond we needed.
An article predicted you'd lose 50-6. Motivation?
We knew nobody gave us a chance besides ourselves and our community. We just wanted to prove to everyone that we were the best team in the state and that we were there for a reason.
Did you get a hard time about your playoff “beard?”
I got a lot of grief from the players and some kids at school. It was pretty bad, but I couldn't mess with it. I just had to keep it and let it grow to the disgusting length it was.
How nice was it to have Justin Watson, Conner Beck and your other receivers?
There were a couple times where I would look back and say, ‘Wow, that could have really been picked.' But I have a lot of trust in them, and I know that they're going to make a play whenever I need them to.
Watson had said he could often tell how the game would go by your first throw. Could you tell?
Some games are different than others, but I can usually tell if it's going to be a good day because that first pass comes out so much nicer than everything else.
What piece of advice helped most?
At the beginning of the season, I kind of got off to a rough start. I was forcing some stuff. Coach (Andrew) DiDonato and Coach (Shane) Patterson pulled me aside one day before practice started and told me, ‘Don't worry about anything. Just play the game the way you know how to play, and good things will come. Scrap those first two games and worry about making the right plays. Good things are going to happen.'
— Jason Mackey
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25 selections
Mt. Lebanon, senior, 6-2, 190
Penn State recruit had 40 catches, 728 yards and seven TDs and led team in tackles.
Mt. Lebanon, senior, 6-6, 295
Bookser, who committed to Pitt, anchored the Blue Devils' offensive and defensive lines.
Beaver Falls, senior, 6-4, 270
Boxen, an Akron recruit, led an offensive line that let the Tigers average 272.9 rushing yards.
Elizabeth Forward, senior, 6-4, 185
The Pitt wideout recruit had 1,038 passing yards, 1,109 rushing and 24 combined touchdowns.
West Allegheny, senior, 6-2, 205
He was named Parkway Conference offensive and defensive MVP for WPIAL Class AAA champion.
Aliquippa, senior, 6-2, 285
WVU recruit anchored a line that blocked for the WPIAL's first 4,000-yards teammates.
North Catholic, junior, 5-8, 180
Fulmore rushed for 1,146 yards, including a game-winning two-point run in the PIAA Class A final.
Bethel Park, senior, 6-6, 295
Grimm, who chose Pitt from among 17 scholarship offers, was a three-year starter at tackle.
Aliquippa, senior, 6-0, 180
With 1,242 rushing yards and 19 TDs, WVU recruit broke 5,000 career yards and school record.
Seneca Valley, junior, 6-1, 205
Holl passed for 2,145 yards, rushed for more than 800 and also made three INTs as a two-way starter.
New Castle, senior, 6-2, 180
Recruited to Ohio State to play defense, Hooker scored 13 TDs, including an 83-yard run.
Quaker Valley, junior, 6-2, 170
Led the Quakers to first playoff win with more than 2,000 combined yards rushing and passing.
Ringgold, junior, 6-1, 185
Law, who had 1,494 passing yards and 1,210 rushing, needed just nine games to top 1,000 in each.
Central Catholic, senior, 5-10, 185
Lista-Brinza led Quad-A with 1,733 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns for the PIAA runner-up.
Gateway, senior, 6-2, 205
The Michigan State commit, a highly recruited safety, had 41 catches, 810 yards and 11 TDs.
Gateway, senior, 6-2, 195
The Temple recruit, who set Gateway's single-season record with 50 catches, also played wildcat QB.
Aliquippa, senior, 5-10, 185
Swanson had 1,708 rushing yards and 23 TDs for the Quips, who were WPIAL Class AA runners-up.
Central Catholic, senior, 5-11, 220
Thorpe, who had 13 tackles in the WPIAL Class AAAA championship, led a defense that allowed 7.3 ppg.
South Fayette, senior, 6-3, 195
Penn recruit broke the WPIAL's single-season record for receiving yards with 1,568 on 73 catches.
West Mifflin, senior, 5-9, 170
Wheeler led the WPIAL with 2,616 yards, 298 carries and 37 TDs, including six in a playoff victory.
Central Valley, junior, 6-0, 180
Highly recruited junior led WPIAL Class AAA runner-up with 1,646 all-purpose yards and 20 TDs.
Sto-Rox, senior, 6-0, 200
Temple recruit threw for 2,709 yards, 34 TDs, and set the WPIAL career passing mark (8,509).
Thomas Jefferson, senior, 6-4, 220
Michigan linebacker recruit led the Jaguars in rushing yards (981), touchdowns (16) and tackles.
North Allegheny, senior, 6-2, 200
Pitt recruit had 49 catches, 952 yards and 10 TDs, including an 82-yarder, along with five INTs.