By Matt Feld
MassVarsity and its panel of editors and correspondents is excited to unveil its 2019 MIAA High School Football player of the year candidates. In a year where a number of individuals have starred across the state, these five individuals have stood out making game-changing plays on a regular basis that have helped elevate their teams to the top in Massachusetts.
All but one of our five finalists will participate in this weekend's Super Bowls and the winner of the award will be announced the week following the conclusion of the MIAA Football season.
Without further ado, here are our five 2019 MIAA High School Football Player of the Year candidates:
Owen McGowan, Jr., LB, Catholic Memorial
Catholic Memorial has been widely regarded as the top team in Massachusetts throughout the 2019 season and at the center of its success is junior Owen McGowan. One season after being widely regarded as the top underclassmen in the Bay State, McGowan has followed it up with a standout junior campaign leading the Knights' defense at linebacker while also being an invaluable member of CM's passing game. Will Prouty, Sr., ATH, Duxbury There may be no player in the state more instrumental to their team's success than Duxbury senior Will Prouty. Since moving to the quarterback position in Week 3, the Dragons have gone unbeaten in games Prouty has started. The senior has tortured opponents in all three phases of the game. For the season, Prouty has 1,497 passing yards, 1,064 rushing yards, and 40 touchdowns in helping to lead Duxbury to a Div. 3 Super Bowl berth.
Eamonn Dennis, Sr., ATH, St. John's (S)
Throughout the season there may have been no more explosive playmaker in all of Massachusetts than Eamonn Dennis. With elite hands, athleticism, and speed, Dennis was a nightmare for opposing defenses to game plan for all season long. The Michigan commit finished the season with 752 receiving yards, 448 rushing yards, two interceptions, and 19 total touchdowns.
William Watson, Fr., QB, Springfield Central
William Watson may be only a freshman, but one look at his play and he comes across as a seasoned veteran. Since earning the job at the start of the season, Watson has played like one of the top quarterbacks in the Bay State helping the Golden Eagles to a 9-2 record and a Div. 3 Super Bowl berth. Leading an offense that runs over 100 plays per game, Watson has shown an ability to break down defenses with his strong arm, physicality, and athleticism.
Vinnie Holmes, Sr., RB/LB, Mansfield
All season long, Mansfield has been widely regarded as the team to beat in Division 2 due to its dominance on both sides of the ball. Spearheading that dominance is senior two-way standout Vinnie Holmes. Holmes — a three year varsity starter — has been the centerpiece of a team that has a bevy of game-changing players all over the field. On the season, Holmes has 746 rushing yards and six total touchdowns to go along with 85 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, and a pair of sacks.