POTTSVILLE - As the football field general for Tri-Valley, Matt McGinley led the Bulldogs from an 0-2 start to the District 11 Class A title and the PIAA Eastern final.
McGinley's performances on the field and in the classroom were rewarded Sunday evening as the Bulldogs' quarterback was selected as Schuylkill County's Outstanding Scholar-Athlete.
The award was presented at the 49th Annual Scholar-Athlete dinner, which was held at Pine View Acres and sponsored by Schuylkill Chapter No. 25 of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
The event honors the senior scholar-athlete representatives of 14 high schools from the county and also including Panther Valley.
The award is based on football ability and performance as well as academic work, school leadership and citizenship.
The 6-5, 190 pound McGinley completed 140 of 282 passes for 2,324 yards and 21 touchdowns against 10 interceptions in leading Tri-Valley to a 10-5 record. He also rushed 91 times for 359 yards and seven TDs for a Bulldogs' squad to advanced to within one game of the state final before falling 42-27 to Bishop McCort.
McGinley's gridiron play won him his share of accolades, including Second Team All-State in Class A by the Pennsylvania sportswriters and Class A Player of the Year by Pa. Football News. He was also named First Team on the All-Anthracite, Eastern Conference, Twin Valley, Pa. Football News and Schuylkill County Coaches Association All-Star squads.
McGinley also played basketball, leading Tri-Valley to a District 11 playoff berth, as well as baseball.
The son of Tim and Lisa McGinley, Ashland, Matt is ranked in the top 20 percent of his class and is interested in attending Kutztown, Temple, Shippensburg and Moravian among his college choices.
McGinley is the first Tri-Valley player to receive the Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award since Darin Kehler in 1997. Richard R. Leitzel also won the award for the Hegins-based school in 1973.
McGinley received two $1,000 scholarships, one from the Schuylkill Chapter, and another from the James J. and Mary Edith Rhoades Charitable Foundation, which was presented by the late State Senator's son James, himself a scholar-athlete award winner from Mahanoy Area in 1989. He also received a trophy, plaque and autographed football.
Each of the senior scholar-athletes received a navy blazer with the Schuylkill Chapter pocket patch, a framed scroll, the chapter's Hall of Fame cap, $100, plus a 21x30 photo, an 8.x10 groupshot and a DVD of the banquet.
TIMES NEWS area seniors honored at the banquet were Joe Kloap, Marian Catholic; Andrew Tucker, Panther Valley; and Michael Gurcsik, Tamaqua Area.
The other seniors honored included Brook Gosch, Blue Mountain; Peter Stanakis, Mahanoy Area; Adrian Albertini, Minersville; Michaek Klazas, Nativity; Zach Hogan, North Schuylkill; Cale Hoover, Pine Grove; Eric Leymeister, Pottsville; Evan Fink, Schuylkill Haven; Danny Merva, Shenandoah Valley; and Dylan Smith, Williams Valley, who sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" at the start and end of the banquet.
Andrew D. Netznik, principal at Schuylkill Haven High School, presented the annual address titled "An Educator's View of a Scholar-Athlete."