Over the past 12 years, the Observer-Reporter has recognized an United States Olympian (Coleman Scott), a NCAA football All-American (Dan Mozes) and one of the nation's premier marathoners (Jeff Weiss) among others as its Boys Athletes of the Year.
2011 - Christian Brumbaugh, South Fayette
2010 - Mike Hull, Canon-McMillan
2009 - Nick Wilcox, Peters Township
2008 - Dan Conley, Burgettstown
2007 - Andrew Sweat, Trinity
2006 - Robert Heller, Ringgold
2005 - Jeff Weiss, McGuffey
2004 - Coleman Scott, Waynesburg
2003 - Colby Giles, Carmichaels
2002 - Dan Mozes, Washington
2001 - Lanfer Simpson, Waynesburg
2000 - Michael Sutton, Washington
Some years, the choice was easy. Other years, it was a difficult selection.
The O-R Boys Athlete of the Year falls under the difficult category. Time will tell if any of the finalists prove as successful as many of their predecessors, but there were many to choose from.
Zach Challingsworth, South Fayette
The Pitt football recruit played receiver, quarterback, defensive back, punter and kick returner for the Lions and was a first-team All-State pick. He was also on the O-R All-District basketball first team.
T.D. Conway, California
A two-sport (football, baseball) standout headed to Cal U for football. Conway owns several Trojans passing records and pitched the baseball team into the WPIAL Class A finals this spring.
Andrew Erenberg, Peters Township
Erenberg competed against some of the toughest competition the WPIAL can offer as a vital member of the football and baseball teams at Peters Township. An All-State selection and Fordham signee, Erenberg rushed for 1,343 yards with 17 TD. In baseball,. he batted .468 with 22 RBI.
Dustin Fuller, Washington
Fuller played soccer and kicked for the football team last fall, but made his mark in track. In fact, it's been some time since an area athlete had a better track season than Fuller. He became the first male to win four events at the WPIAL championships, and followed it with four medals at the state meet, including one gold and one silver.
Tanner Garry, Fort Cherry
Fort Cherry's career passing leader went for 2,171 yards and 23 TD as a senior with 12 rushing TDs. The future Bowling Green football player wrestled this winter after playing basketball as a junior. In baseball, he batted nearly .500 and struck out 88 as the team's top pitcher.
Quad Law, Ringgold
There wasn't much Law couldn't or didn't do on the football field during his senior season, which was one reason why he was selected the O-R Player of the Year. The future Gannon multi-purpose threat, was an All-State player as he rushed for 1,341 yards and averaged 11.2 per carry.
Chavas Rawlins, Monessen
Name the sport, and chances are Rawlins plays it for Monessen and he excels. It's football, however, where the WVU recruit shines as he accounted for 16 TDs as a junior.
Cody Wiercioch, Canon-McMillan
In his first season with the Big Macs, Wiercioch went unbeaten on his way to WPIAL and PIAA titles. The O-R Wrestler of the Year also helped C-M win team championships at the state and district level.
Josh Wise, Washington
The rare three-sport athlete who excels in every sport he particpates, Wise helped the Prexies qualify for the playoffs in football, basketball and track, where Wash High won a WPIAL title. Wise made the All-District basketball first team and was a WPIAL high jump champion.