Kegarise honored with Maxwell Player of Year Award

By on January 18, 2017

 

After receiving Pennsylvania’s Maxwell Football Club Player of the Year Award last Thursday, Manheim Central senior Kody Kegarise (center) is shown with Baron head coach Dave Hahn (far left)and former Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Ron Jaworski (far right). Kegarise received the award from Jaworski at the Drexelbrook Country Club

After receiving Pennsylvania’s Maxwell Football Club Player of the Year Award last Thursday, Manheim Central senior Kody Kegarise (center) is shown with Baron head coach Dave Hahn (far left)and former Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Ron Jaworski (far right). Kegarise received the award from Jaworski at the Drexelbrook Country Club

L-L coaches applaud Barons’ star QB

In his time as a football coach at Cocalico, Dave Gingrich has seen some top-notch quarterbacks play under center at Manheim Central.

And in his opinion, Kody Kegarise ranks right up there with all of them.

“He’s an impressive quarterback and they’ve had quite a few,” Gingrich said, “but he’s one of the best I’ve seen from them.”

Voters for Pennsylvania’s Maxwell Football Club Player of the Year certainly agree. The senior signal-caller received the award last Thursday from former Philadelphia Eagles’ QB Ron Jaworski at the Drexelbrook Country Club.

“Just hearing my name called was a great honor,” Kegarise said. “I was actually physically shaking. I was really happy because I heard him say my first name and then he paused to say my last name because he had to think about it. But when I heard my first name, I was like, ‘Oh my word.’”

Baron boss Dave Hahn was among those in attendance and couldn’t have been more proud of his All-State and First-Team Section-Two player.

“Absolutely excited,” Hahn said of his reaction. “Ecstatic for him, ecstatic for our program too, but this is a nice individual award for him for all his hard work … (Kody) had no idea (that he would win). He was prepared if he did, and I thought he did a remarkable job getting up there and talking in front of the whole audience.”

Besides thanking his school, coaches, community and teachers, Kegarise also mentioned many of his teammates — by name.

“That was impressive,” Hahn remarked, “calling out all his linemen, his receivers, his running backs, and none of them were there. It was a really nice gesture on his part. But that’s what Kody does. He’s very humble.”

Kegarise humble personality is just one of his many strengths. And he had those characteristics on full display while completing 134-of-209 passes for 2,349 yards and 19 TDs, in addition to rushing 180 times for 1,610 yards (8.9 avg) and 28 TDs as a dual-threat QB.

Oh yeah, he also caught two passes for six yards and a TD. All told, he accounted for 48 scores.

“Forty-eight touchdowns, that’s a substantial number,” Gingrich said. “That’s very, very impressive.”

Warwick got a first-hand look at Kegarise’s dual-threat ability in a 38-17 season-opening loss to the Barons.

“They did a great job of putting him in a position where if it was a pass play, he had the ability to run,” Warrior coach Bob Locker said. “But he also made tremendous reads and they were not afraid to run him on designated run plays as a quarterback. His athleticism allowed him to be a dual-threat player. Great vision downfield, understood how to read defenses, and from everything I understand was a tremendous student of the game. I know when we scouted him film-wise, we just saw that he didn’t make a lot of mistakes and that if we gave him time, he was going to hurt us.”

Cocalico dealt Manheim Central its first loss of the season on Sept. 30, earning a 28-24 win, but then the Barons, behind Kegarise, came back with a 50-13 victory over the Eagles in the District Three 5A playoff semi-finals in November.

“I think Kody had it all,” Gingrich said. “He had a great arm, he had great legs and he had a great mind. He could beat you with all three and I was just really, really impressed with how much poise he had. He played with such poise, and whenever it seemed like they’d get into a pickle, which wasn’t very often, I mean he’d make a play. It didn’t matter if it was through the air or on the run or whatever, he just always made big plays.”

Three receivers had 20 or more receptions for the Barons this season — Jake Novak (68 receptions, 1,236 yards), Austin Geib (26-573), and Gunnar Royer (24-410), and another, Mitchell Ruth, had 17 catches for 190 yards.

“When you have more than one receiver that you’re able to go to, that’s quite impressive,” Gingrich said. “He had a great offensive line and he had good running backs and he had some good wide receivers to throw to. If you look at the numbers of their wide receivers, that was the thing, he didn’t focus on one wide receiver.”

Kegarise’s honor is also a feather in the hat for the Lancaster-Lebanon League as a whole.

“Any time somebody from our League obtains something of that nature,” Locker said, “it reflects positively on the entire League and it also reflects on the fact that besides being a good player, he’s a student-athlete and does all the intangible things.”

Added Gingrich: “Year in and year out, our League puts out some fantastic players and teams, and this is just another example that we have some top talent not only in the League and District Three, but also the eastern part of the State as well.”

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