Wednesday, December 5, 2018

MIAA Football: The Complete List of Our 2018 Award Winners

North Andover's Jake McElroy was the centerpiece of the Scarlet Knights vaunted offensive attack (Photo Courtesy: Brendan Hall/@BHaullUFA)

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612

Earlier today, SuiteSports announced its first two award winners.

Sctiaute quarterback Aidan Sullivan took home our third annual MIAA High School Football Player of the Year Award as his overall value and impact on the Sailors helped lead them to their first Super Bowl in school history.

Additionally, Everett's Mike Sainristil was the recipient of our 'Show-Time' Award. Previously only given to the most exciting player in Central Mass., we elected to open it up to the rest of Massachusetts this season and there was no one who fit that label better than the Michigan commit in Sainristil.

Now, SuiteSports and its panel of writers, correspondents, and editors, is ready to unveil the rest of its award winners. The list includes our Offensive, Defensive, Linemen, Breakout, Underclassmen, and Coach of The Year of the year recipients.

Check back in tomorrow when SuiteSports continues with its end of season coverage by releasing its MIAA Football All-State Team.

Offensive Player of the Year - Jake McElory, Sr., QB, North Andover 

McElroy was the captain of an offense that consistently piled up the points and steere North Andover to the Division 2 Super Bowl Championship. The senior quarterback was weekly one of the top dual-threats in the state, using both a strong arm to decimate teams from the pocket while also picking-up-apart defenses with his ability to make plays on the run.

McElroy also showcased an ability to come through in the clutch when his team needed it most. In the Super Bowl, on fourth and goal fro, the one-yard line, McElory made a second effort to plunge into the end zone for the only score of the game after initially getting stuffed.

Then, with less than five minutes to go, McElroy made a pair of key throws after the Scarlet Knights were pinned at their one-yard line, allowing them to extend the drive and chew up crucial minutes off the game cock.

For the season, McElory had 1,669 passing yards and 18 touchdowns to go with 453 rushing yards and eight more scores on the ground for a total of 26 touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Year - Mike McCutcheon, Sr., MLB/FS, Duxbury

Throughout the 2018 season, there was no one who created more havoc on the defensive side of the ball than McCutcheon.

Duxbury's senior middle linebacker was an unstoppable force throughout the fall seemingly making a difference on every play. Opposing offensive players often only had a split-second to turn up field before McCutcheon was there to pounce on them and plow them into the turf.

His six-foot-one, 195-pound build made him physical enough to easily push through blocks while also giving him the quickness and athleticism to catch speedy skill players.

Due to McCutcheon's efforts, Duxbury surrendered 14 points or less in eight of its 12 games and captured its 11th straight Patriot League Keenan crown.

For the 2018 season, McCutcheon finished with an incredible 147 tackles, with 98 of them being solo. He finished with 15 TFLs, including a season-high four in the Dragons week two win over Scituate, an interception, and three forced fumbles.

Lineman of the Year - Scott Elliot, Sr., Holliston

In a fall where a number of linemen made their presence felt, Elliot was in a class of his own.

Holliston's senior two-way star finished his career in style helping to propel a Panthers team to an undefeated regular season and Tri-Valley League Large Title. From the guard position on offense, Elliot frequently opened up holes for the Panthers ground game. That was on full display in Holliston's league-clinching win over Ashland where a 300-yard rushing performance propelled the Panthers to a a 48-0 win.

The six-foot-three, 282-pound Harvard commit also was a standout defensive tackle for the Panthers using his quick feet, athleticism, and technique to frequently gain positioning on opposing linemen and overwhelm the opposition.

Underclassmen of the Year - Owen McGowan, So., MLB/FB, Catholic Memorial

For those who had the opportunity to watch McGowan play this past season, it was hard to come to the realization that he was only a sophomore.

Catholic Memorial's two-way sensation was a force to be reckoned with all over the field in 2018, making it easy for one to believe that he has only scratched the surface as it pertains to his ultimate potential. In helping to lead the Knights to a Division 1 South Sectional crown and their first Super Bowl appearance in 40 years, McGowan wracked up 108 tackles from the middle linebacker position while also adding a pair of sacks, an interception, and a blocked punt.

McGowan also showed flashes of his ability on offense, rushing in a touchdown in the Knights South Sectional Semifinal win over Needham while also adding a 14-yard touchdown reception in the Super Bowl versus St. John's Prep.

The six-foot-one inch, 215-pound versatile playmaker finished with three touchdowns for the season.

Breakout Performer of the Season - Will Sheskey, Jr., RB, Scituate 

Sheskey burst onto the scene this year, asserting himself this fall as one of the top running backs in Massachusetts.

The junior frequently found himself filling up the stat sheet as he piled up the yardage on a consistent basis before eventually breaking Scituate's single season program record for rushing yards with 1,785. During the season when an opposing defense was able to quell the threat generated by Scituate's passing game, Sheskey was there to answer the call.

What made Sheskey even more dangerous, however, was his ability to become a weapon in the Sailors aerial assault turning Scituate's offense into a pick-your-poision attack as the season went along.

While not physically overpowering, Sheskey possesses unique talents such as keen footwork and agility that allow him to dance around opposing defensive fronts before using his premiere speed to breakaway for long gains.

This fall, Sheskey finished with the aforementioned 1,785 yards on 240 carries to go with 28 total touchdowns. Another year of varsity football remaining, Sheskey showcased throughout the latter weeks of the season that he has more than enough talent to carry the Sailors offense in 2019.

Coach of the Year - Valdamar Brower, Springfield Central 

Coming into the season, Springfield Central possessed plenty of talent. In its attempt to become the first Western Mass. team to win a state wide Super Bowl, however, its coach in Valdamar Brower pushed them over the top.

Brower, whose signature is his routine of wearing shorts on game day regardless of the weather, has built a Golden Eagles program that has developed into one of the top in Massachusetts. Central won its second consecutive Division 3 West title in 2018, but this time around proved ready for the challenges that a deep postseason run brings.

Behind a core of Kwame Kyles, Isaac Boston, Elijah Ayers, and Keshaun Dancy the Golden Eagles took down defending Division 3 Super Bowl champion St. John's Shrewsbury before flexing their defensive muscles in its championship win over Tewksbury.

Consistently throughout the season, Brower preached to his team about "getting better every day" and the Golden Eagles did just that. Over the course of four postseason games, Central outscored its opponents 147-34, with none of their games being closer than 13 points.

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