Three Barons named All-State

By on December 27, 2017
Manheim Central senior wide receiver Jake Novak (left) and sophomore QB Evan Simon (right), along with junior lineman Tyler Dougherty(middle), received Pennsylvania Football Writers Class 5A All-State honors.

Manheim Central senior wide receiver Jake Novak (left) and sophomore QB Evan Simon (right), along with junior lineman Tyler Dougherty (middle), received Pennsylvania Football Writers Class 5A All-State honors.

Three weeks ago, Manheim Central’s football team came up just short of reaching the PIAA State 5A championship game.

In a classic battle in the semi-finals, the Barons dropped a heartbreaker to Gateway, 31-28, in Altoona.

That, however, didn’t stop Manheim Central from winning big in voting by Pennsylvania football writers for the 2017 All-State teams.

Senior wide receiver Jake Novak, junior center Tyler Dougherty and sophomore QB Evan Simon each grabbed Class 5A All-State honors for the Barons, who finished with a 13-1 record this fall.

“Ecstatic about it,” Manheim Central coach Dave Hahn said. “We’re happy for the program. All three of them are great representations of the team and the program, so we’re very happy.”

This is the latest honor for Novak, who became Manheim Central’s all-time leader in receiving yards this fall, ending his career with 2,555, just ahead of former Baron star Graham Zug.

All told, Novak had 59 receptions this fall for 1,195 yards and 14 TDs.

“Jake’s just special,” Hahn said. “The kid works hard, he’s competitive as anybody I’ve ever coached, and you love having him on your side. When it’s fourth-and-short or third-and-long, you like to have a Jake Novak and he performed every game.”

Novak had five games with more than 100 receiving yards this year, but Hahn noted that even in games where he didn’t have a lot of catches, he still made his presence felt.

“Even in games where (opponents) tried to take Jake away from us, I think that’s when he really showed himself because he wasn’t selfish and had to have the ball. He just took guys out of the way so other guys could make plays. That’s a great player right there and Jake brought that to the table for us.”

As a defensive back, Novak finished with 88 tackle points, one fumble recovery and a team-high six interceptions.

“He did it defensively too,” Hahn said. “He’s a two-way guy that was so competitive on defense and performed every game.”

Dougherty (5-foot-11, 282) was another two-way player for the Barons at center and defensive tackle. He helped pave the way for Manheim Central’s offense to average 417.5 yards and 44 points per game.

“(Tyler) was just Mr. Consistent all year up on the front line,” Hahn said. “Very consistent and he did a great job. He’s strong, he’s physical, he’s a two-way guy, so I’m happy that he got recognized for his hard work that he put in. That’s not to take anything away from our other linemen. They did a great job and worked hard this year. But he did a really good job.”

Simon also did a great job for the Barons in his first year as the starting quarterback.

In 14 games, the 6-foot-2, 191-pound signal-caller was 145-of-246 through the air, good for 2,597 yards and 29 TDs, with 10 interceptions.

Simon threw for a career-high 361 yards in the MC’s 66-6 non-league win over West York and then had five straight 200-yard passing games starting with their victory over Solanco and stretching through the District Three 5A championship game, in which the Barons beat Governor Mifflin 30-29.

“Evan’s a special talent,” Hahn said. “I think he quietly went along his business until, like, that sixth game and then all of a sudden, it was every game, 200 yards, high-200, high-200, 200 yards passing the ball. He had great command of the offense. The sky is the limit for him. He could do a lot. But he’s very humble and he works hard, he wants to learn more, so I’m happy for him too. He’s just a good player. He’s real good.”

A dual-threat player for Manheim Central, Simon also ran 89 times for 451 yards and three TDs this year. Don’t be surprised to see that total increase down the road.

“He can run,” Hahn said. “We didn’t run him a lot this year. He’ll run more as he gets older and he gets stronger because he’s got that ability to run. I think he ran a little bit more as the season went on. But he’s a total package kid too.”

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2 Comments

  1. Ken

    December 28, 2017 at 8:46 am

    In the body of the article, it states that Evan is a junior. He is in tenth grade.

    • bmorgan

      January 3, 2018 at 9:25 am

      Hi Ken,
      Thanks a lot for letting us know. My apologies for the error. It’s been corrected on our website. Do you want us to run a correction in the print edition as well? Thanks again. Bruce

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