Monday, December 5, 2011

Football player of the year

What do UFC fighter Josh Koscheck, Chicago White Sox minor league first baseman Jim Gallagher and Penn State linebacker Mike Yancich have in common?

Before the trio went on to bigger and better things, all three were honored as Observer-Reporter Football Player of The Year.

Koscheck was the Offensive Player of the Year in 1996, his senior year at Waynesburg. More than one person I know involved in high school sports now or at some point say that Koscheck was the best hard-nosed running back they've seen from this area.

Gallagher, who fielded several Division I football offers, was the Offensive Player of the Year in 2003 as he guided Peters Township to a playoff win. Gallagher was also the area's top baseball player at the time, and he turned down football offers to play baseball at Duke. Eventually, he was a seventh-round draft choice of the Chicago White Sox and plays for the Class AAA Durham Bulls. I still believe that Gallagher is the best athlete from Washington County that I've covered at the high school level.

Yancich played linebacker at Trinity as a sophomore and junior. He was there as a senior, too, but he finally got a chance to become the Hillers' tailback in 2007 and did not disappoint. That year, Yancich was the Observer-Reporter Player of the Year.

In Wednesday's edition, the Observer-Reporter Player of the Year will be recognized, as will the Elite 11 and All-District Team.

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