Knoch's Megahan named Valley News Dispatch boys athlete of the year
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Knoch · senior · Football, baseball
It was a big year for Big Mac in football and baseball.
Knoch's Mac Megahan started a memorable senior year by displaying his play-making ability on both sides of the football for the Knights (12-1), who claimed WPIAL Class AAA runner-up honors after falling short to Montour at Heinz Field.
This past spring, the fleet-footed Megahan punished opposing pitchers with a .559 batting average — one of the highest in the WPIAL this year — and blanketed center field.
For stellar play in more than one sport, Megahan is the Valley News Dispatch Boys Athlete of the Year.
Springdale senior Joe Killian, who stood out in football, basketball and baseball, and Highlands sophomore Allan Cratsenberg, a rising star in football and wrestling, also were contenders.
Megahan, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound free safety, was named to the All-Greater Allegheny Conference first team as a defensive back after recording 38 tackles and three interceptions.
But he showed his greatest versatility as an all-conference first-team wide receiver. He made 13 catches for 366 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed 16 times for 238 yards and three scores. He tied for second on the team with 10 touchdowns.
In baseball, Megahan added 25 RBI, 25 runs, 11 steals, five doubles, three triples and two home runs, as well as solid defense, to his resume. He was a big reason the Knights qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.
What is the one moment, the one image, you will remember most from Knoch's run to the WPIAL Class AAA football championship game?
“Definitely, after we won in the first round of the playoffs. Alexis Summers (a Knoch student and cheerleader) was killed in a car crash that week. After we won that game, everyone came together on the field, and balloons were let go. That image will stay in my head — the people coming together.
What were your emotions like when the Knights marched onto the Heinz Field grass for the first time?
“Obviously, I was nervous playing in front of all those people. When we were walking down the tunnel, we could see the right side of the stadium (where the Montour fans were seated). Then we walked out of the tunnel, and we could see the whole left side of the stadium was filled up with Knoch fans. I didn't know we'd have that many people.”
Describe the best play you made in football this past season?
“Growing up and playing football, we always heard how good Thomas Jefferson is. We heard they were a powerhouse. We played them in the playoffs, and I didn't know what to expect. But I got the first touchdown (a 52-yard reception to give Knoch a 9-0 lead). That's my favorite play.”
Your batting average was among the best in the WPIAL this year. Did you think you were ready for a breakout season?
“I was hoping for .400. I didn't expect above .500. I knew I could, but I didn't expect it. I know this sounds stupid, but there are so many things involved in hitting that, up until this year, I never watched the ball coming out of the pitcher's hand. I concentrated more this year. I could see the seams.”
What was the farthest you hit a baseball this year?
“I hit a home run at Pullman Park (in Butler), but it was an inside-the-parker. I'm pretty sure it hit the center field wall (424 feet) on two bounces.”
Who are your favorite baseball and football players?
“I'm a big fan of the Pirates. I love the Pirates. I like Andrew McCutchen, but I'd have to say Alex Presley. There's something about him. He's not a superstar, but he's good. And I'm a huge Peyton Manning fan. I'm always wearing my Peyton Manning jersey.”
Which is more difficult — tracking down a hard hit ball in the outfield gap or making an over-the-shoulder catch near the sideline?
“I'd definitely say the football catch, for me in particular. Baseball kind of comes natural.”
What's your real first name?
“My real name is Mac James Megahan. My mom gave me my birth name, which is Mackenzie. When I was 8 or 9 years old, we got it officially changed to Mac. I definitely wanted it changed. Mackenzie is kind of a girl's name. Looking back on it now, it's kind of silly.”
Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-226-2696.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Icy roads cause accidents, slow traffic across Western Pa.
- Stakes high as ex-Saints receiver Moore faces his former team
- Steelers notebook: Injury to RT Gilbert opens door for Adams to start
- Penguins GM prepares for emotional series against Carolina
- Seven Springs, Hidden Valley ski resorts open today
- Steelers’ backups Archer, Harris ready to run
- Penguins notebook: Winning home games crucial for Penguins
- No federal funds to help enforce Pa. ban on texting by drivers
- 7 hurt in buggy, SUV crash in Pennsylvania Dutch country
- Pitt receiver Boyd continues to grow on and off the field
- Police identify driver in North Side crash that killed pregnant woman