St. Joe’s Jack Wallace named Gatorade CT Player of the Year
St. Joseph’s Jack Wallace, a first-year quarterback who has thrived while leading the Hogs to their first unbeaten record in 35 years and a spot in the Class L quarterfinals, has been named the 2019 Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year, the company announced Friday.
He is the first St. Joseph football player to earn the award, which began in 1985, and the first Connecticut junior since Middletown’s Dario Highsmith in 2013.
Wallace, a 6-foot, 175-pound junior , was moved from cornerback to quarterback this year to replace two-year starter and all-stater David Summers and has been flawless as the Hogs set school records for offense en route to a 10-0 regular season record and an eighth-straight berth in the state playoffs.
He has thrown for 1,915 yards and 36 touchdowns in the regular season, completing 67.4 percent of his passes (116-of-172).
With Wallace at the helm, St. Joseph has already set school scoring records with 556 in 11 games, 50.5 per game.
“I’m honored and blessed to have received the Gatorade Player of the year award for CT,” Wallace said on Twitter.
“Too many people to thank for this accomplishment” he added, tagging St. Joseph coach Joe Della Vecchia and Clarke Sports Quarterback Academy in New Jersey.
The Hogs, who are vying for their 15th state title, an unprecedented third-state championship in a third different class, and their first No. 1 ranking since 1982, defeated Wilton 49-7 in Wednesday’s state quarterfinals and will face FCIAC rival New Canaan in the semifinals Monday night.
“Jack is a very good high school quarterback,” Duncan DellaVolpe, head coach of FCIAC rival Fairfield Warde, said in a statement released by Gatorade.“He is a heck of an athlete. He can throw and run, keep plays alive and really doesn’t make any mistakes.”
The Gatorade state player of the year award recognizes not just athletic achievement but also puts emphasis on strong academic and extra-curricular activities.
Wallace hold an A-minus average. He also volunteers in fundraising toward research for breast cancer, diabetes and heart disease. He’s a Special Olympics volunteer and youth football coach.
Gatorade CT Football Players of the Year
2019 — JACK WALLACE, Jr. QB, St. Joseph
2018 — CORNELIUS JOHNSON, Sr. WR, Brunswick
2017 — SPENCER LOCKWOOD, Sr. RB/LB, Killingly
2016 — BEN MASON, Sr. FB/LB, Newtown
2015 — MARK EVANCHICK, Sr. DE, Darien
2014 — ZACH ALLEN, Sr. DE, New Canaan
2013 — DARIO HIGHSMITH, Jr. QB, Middletown
2012 — COLIN MOORE, Sr. RB/DB, Avon
2011 — CASEY COCHRAN, Sr. QB, Masuk
2010 — CASEY COCHRAN, Jr. QB, Masuk
2009 — KEVIN PIERRE-LOUIS, Sr. LB/FB, King
2008 — MIKE OSIECKI, Sr. RB/LB, Seymour
2007 — ALEX THOMAS, Sr. RB, Ansonia
2006 — AARON HERNANDEZ, Sr. TE, Bristol Central
2005 — MATT KELLEHER, Sr. QB, Southington
2004 — ASAPH SCHWAPP, Sr. RB/LB, Weaver
2003 — D.J. HERNANDEZ, Sr. QB, Bristol Central
2002 — JOHN SULLIVAN, Sr. OL, Greenwich
2001 — TIM WASHINGTON, Sr. RB, Bristol Central
2000 — DAN ORLOVSKY, Sr. QB, Shelton
1999 — JERMELLE LEWIS, Sr. RB/S, Bloomfield
1998 — HORACE DODD, Sr. LB, Hamden
1997 — PHIL BOWMAN, Sr. QB/DB, Cheshire
1996 — TARELL FREENEY, RB/LB, Holy Cross
1995 — STEVE COUGHLIN, Sr. WR, Ansonia
1994 — TONY ORTIZ, Sr. RB/LB, Crosby
1993 — CHRIS SILVESTRI, Sr. RB/DB, New Canaan
1992 — ADAM SALINA, Sr. RB/LB, Berlin
1991 — EDWARD GREEN, Sr. T/DT, St. Paul
1990 — PAUL YOUNG, Sr. RB, Maloney
1989 — STEVEN MILLS, Sr. QB, Bristol Eastern
1988 — JAMAL JOHNSON, Sr. RB/DB, New London
1987 — RICO BROGNA, Sr. QB/K, Watertown
1986 — TIM FRAGER, Sr. RB, Avon Old Farms
1985 — ANDREW WALKER, Sr. T, Norwalk