By Matt Feld
MassVarsity and its panel of editors and contributors is excited to announce Catholic Memorial junior two-way standout Owen McGowan as its 2019 MIAA Football Player of the Year. McGowan was selected from a list of premiere individual talents that made their presence felt across Massachusetts this fall.
While a number of players shined this year, McGowan stood out showing a unique ability to combine talent, physicality, and leadership to become a dominant force on the football field. With McGowan at the center of it all, Catholic Memorial reached the Division 1 Super Bowl for the second straight season while also claiming its first outright Catholic Conference crown since 1987.
One season after emerging as the top underclassmen in Eastern Mass., McGowan took his game to the next level starring at both linebacker and running back. At 6-foot 1, 225 pounds McGowan overwhelmed opponents with physicality, speed, and lower body strength. Defensively, he was one of the best linebackers in the state both in stopping the run and when dropping back into coverage. When called upon out of the backfield and in the passing game McGowan posed a consistent threat to opposing defenses.
“(McGowan's) a throwback type of guy,” St. John’s Prep coach Brian St. Pierre said. “He doesn't come off the field and you have to certainly respect him for that. You can tell he is their leader. He's just a very good all around player who can impact the game in all three phases."
McGowan’s prowess on the field translated into a bevy of accomplishments. The junior was named the Catholic Conference’s Most Valuable Player, earned both Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic honors, and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year Award.
In helping to propel Catholic Memorial to an 11-1 record and a second straight Super Bowl berth, McGowan finished with 700 all purpose yards, six touchdowns, 110 tackles, five forced fumbles, and five sacks. Still one season remaining on the high school gridiron, McGowan holds a verbal commitment to Boston College.