Since the 1999-2000 school year (my first at the Observer-Reporter), the sports staff has selected a boys and girls athlete of the year. The athlete is chosen from a list of finalists and, for this post, we're going to look at the finalists for the boys.
First, let's glance back at previous O-R boys athletes of the year.
1999-2000 – Michael Sutton, Washington
2000-01 – Lanfer Simpson, Waynesburg
2001-02 – Dan Mozes, Washington
2002-03 – Colby Giles, Carmichaels
2003-04 – Coleman Scott, Waynesburg
2004-05 – Jeff Weiss, McGuffey
2005-06 – Robert Heller, Ringgold
2006-07 – Andrew Sweat, Trinity
2007-08 – Dan Conley, Burgettstown
2009-09 – Nick Wilcox, Peters Township
2009-10 – ?????????
On to this year's finalists (in alphabetical order).
* Christian Brumbaugh, South Fayette
Brumbaugh passed for 2,183 yards and a WPIAL-best 29 touchdowns. He was the O-R Player of the Year and the Century Conference MVP. Brumbaugh was also a key contributor of South Fayette's state championship basketball team.
* J.T. Deschamps, McGuffey
Deschamps was an all-section defender in soccer but made more headlines during the spring track season. He won PIAA and WPIAL Class AA gold medals in the 300 intermediate hurdles and established a WPIAL record in the event.
* Austin Hancock, Peters Township
Hancock passed for 1,298 yards and 14 touchdowns as he earned a spot on the O-R Elite 11 and helped PT to its first winning record since 2003. He was invited to the U.S. Army Junior Skills Challenge. In baseball, Hancock batted .451 with 23 RBI.
* Joe Havrilak, Trinity
Havrilak was an all-conference selection as a receiver and defensive back for the Hillers, but his best sport is baseball. Despite teams doing their best to avoid Havrilak, he batted .510 with 16 extra-base hits, including five home runs (four at Consol Energy Park), and a knack for clutch plays.
* Mike Hull, Canon-McMillan
The Big Macs' Mr. Everything, Hull was a four-year starter in football and finished with 100-plus tackles each season. He started at middle linebacker in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and was the MVP for the U.S. vs. The World game. Hull also helped C-M to WPIAL team titles in wrestling and track.
* Bryan Thomas, Washington
Whether as a defensive end or a run-blocking tight end, Thomas was a destructive force for the Prexies, plus he produced the big play with frequency. An Elite 11 pick, Thomas recently played in the PFCA East-West Game. A first-year starter in basketball, Thomas nearly everaged a double-double and he also participated in track.