Mark Pyles Wins Maxwell Football Club PA Player of the Year Award
Written by: Joseph Santoliquito on Friday, January 10th, 2014. Follow Joseph Santoliquito on Twitter.
Mark Pyles was honored at the 29th Annual Pennsylvania High School Awards Dinner Thursday night at the Drexelbrook, which was not a surprise, considering the season the Lebanon High School quarterback had.
What was also not a surprise was the first thing out of Pyles’ mouth after receiving the award by the prestigious Maxwell Football Club.
Pyles, headed to Bucknell, where he’s projected to play linebacker, didn’t say anything about himself as he held the trophy in his hands. The first thing he did was to congratulate the other 54 winners the Maxwell Club was honoring before he spoke about himself.
That was typical of everyone who knows Pyles.
“That doesn’t surprise me, Mark has always been that way,” said Gerry Yonchiuk, Pyles’ coach. “I mean Mark put up all of these unbelievable numbers, but it wouldn’t matter. If Mark didn’t throw a touchdown and rushed for five yards and we won, he would be the happiest kid on our football team. I can say that sincerely, because he is the ultimate team guy. He is a tremendous character kid. All that Mark has earned doesn’t surprise me.”
Pyles concluded an amazing season throwing for 32 touchdowns and rushed for 16 more. He was the hub of Lebanon’s team. He helped the Cedars average 391 yards and 30 points a game. Defensively, he racked up more than 100 tackles at linebacker.
Perhaps no player across the state had as much impact on their team as Pyles.
Top that off with a No. 1 ranking in his class and a 4.60 GPA and Pyles is the complete package.
“I had no idea I would be honored like this, this is unbelievable,” Pyles said. “The history behind is outstanding. Sitting here with these 54 other high school players and hearing most of their names, I know they’re all amazing players. They’re all deserving of this award. I want to thank the Maxwell Club for this award.”
It does conclude a bittersweet part of Pyles’ career. Going to Bucknell to play linebacker, he may have thrown his last pass.
“You never know,” Pyles said, not exactly ruling out the possibility of playing quarterback in college. “I love playing quarterback and I love running the ball. It will be a lot different not playing on the offensive side of the ball. But I can’t complain playing defense, because that was always my first love.”
Photo Credit – Wendy Badman
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