By Matt Feld
On Wednesday morning, MassVarsity announced Catholic Memorial two-way starter Owen McGowan as its 2019 MIAA High School Football Player of the Year. Now, its panel of writers and correspondents is excited to unveil the rest of its award winners. Our four awards — defensive player of the year, offensive player of the year, underclassman of the year, and coach of the year — were selected from a number of qualified candidates.
These four, however, stood out above the rest of the contenders helping to push their program to the next level.
Defensive Player of the Year - Vinnie Holmes, Sr., LB, Mansfield Holmes was the centerpiece of a Mansfield defense that was one of the best in Massachusetts all season long. In helping Hornets cruise to the Div. 2 Super Bowl, Holmes had 91 tackles, 16 TFLs, two sacks, one forced fumble, three passed breakups, and eight quarterback pressures. The Hornets senior linebacker took home the Hockomock League's Most Valuable Player Award. Mansfield saved its best defensive performances for the postseason. Over four tournament games the Hornets limited opponents to just 15 total points including pitching a 42-0 shutout in the Super Bowl against Lincoln-Sudbury. Offensive Player of the Year - Will Prouty, Sr., QB, Duxbury Its hard to restrict Prouty to just his offensive talents due to his dynamic play making all over the field. In our estimation, however, Prouty's greatest impact for the Dragons came when he moved over to quarterback prior to week three. Over Prouty's 11 starts at quarterback, the Dragons went 10-1 making yet another run to the Div. 3 Super Bowl. A true dual threat quarterback, Prouty tortured opposing defenses with his arm strength, quickness, agility, and athleticism. He finished with over 2,600 yards of offense, 42 touchdowns, and just six interceptions. Underclassman of the Year - William Watson, Fr., QB, Springfield Central From the start of the season, no underclassmen opened more eyes than Springfield Central freshman quarterback William Watson. Watson consistently looked like a season veteran more than a rookie, slicing and dicing defenses with his arm strength, touch, agility, footwork, and quickness. His abilities were on full display in the Golden Eagles Super Bowl win over Duxbury when his first five completions went for 174 yards and four touchdowns.
For the season, Watson completed 136-of-208 passes for 2,562 yards, 32 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also ran the ball 36 times for 384 yards and seven touchdowns. Watson's efforts led the Golden Eagles to a 10-2 record in which they proved to be the class of Division 3 while also defeating Everett and taking Central Catholic and Catholic Memorial to the wire.
Coach of the Year - Andrew MacKay, Ashland On Wednesday, Andre Tippett announced Andrew MacKay as the New England Patriots Coach of the Year. We could not agree more. MacKay, a 2002 graduate of the school, oversaw a plethora of accomplishments this fall. The Clockers defeated Holliston for the first time since 2001, claimed a Tri-Valley League Large title, and won its first Super Bowl since 1995. In the Div. 6 Super Bowl, Ashland overcame an early fourth quarter deficit to take down Bishop Fenwick, 28-22. Dom Cavanagh was the star of the day throwing for 270 yards and totaling four touchdowns. Ashland finished with an overall 12-1 record with its only loss coming on Thanksgiving Day.