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Awesome autumn athletes

The winter season is upon us, and it looks like it could be a fun one.

But before we turn the page, it’s time to celebrate the stars of the fall.

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The autumn season was a great one for local teams. We had two championships in boys soccer, another in football, and while girls soccer didn’t produce a champion, there were a lot of players who came through big for their teams.

Today, we’ll point out the cream of the crop. Once again, as it always seems to be, it was a difficult one for us. There were many athletes and coaches who could have won these awards, but once again, we have a heck of a group of winners.

The winners, as well as our winter winners, spring winners and overall winners, who will be named next year, will be honored May 11 at the annual sports banquet at the FOP.

FOOTBALL

Catholic League Player of the Year

Tyler Yerkov

Father Judge

Tyler Yerkov

When the Crusaders needed help moving the ball this year, they turned to their junior quarterback to make plays, and he did it in a variety of ways.

He threw for more than 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns, and also picked up yards on the ground, rushing for nearly 400 more. He did this all while playing one of the toughest schedules around, including two games against La Salle, and one each against St. Joe’s Prep, Roman Catholic and a win over Archbishop Wood.

Yerkov also provided Judge with leadership and toughness, and is a big reason the team is excited about 2023.

Public League Player of the Year

Kahmir Prescott

Northeast

Kahmir Prescott has scored 10 touchdowns this year. PHOTO: SU VISUALS

The Vikings were loaded with talent this year, but whenever they needed a big play, they got the ball into Prescott’s hands and the junior athlete made things happen.

Whether it was at receiver, running the ball, returning kicks or playing defensive back, the Vikings tried to get the ball in their best athlete’s hands and once they did, he knew what to do with it.

He had big touchdowns all year, but his best game was in the Public League championship when he scored a pair of touchdowns in Northeast’s victory over Lincoln.

Prescott has been hearing from top notch Division I schools, and he’ll have another year to audition before he graduates in 2024.

Coach of the Year

Eric Clark

Northeast

Eric Clark

When Clark took over the program three years ago, he was taking over one of the top programs in the city. Now, he’s leaving the program in the same position it was in when he took over.

Northeast routinely finishes the year among the best teams in the city. Since Clark took over, Northeast won two Public League championships. The only year the Vikings didn’t win was in 2020, when the league didn’t have a championship due to the pandemic.

Clark guided Northeast once again to the Public League championship, this year beating Lincoln in a very entertaining and close game. The Vikings fell to St. Joe’s Prep in the District 12 championship. The Hawks went on to run roughshod through the rest of the state to win another state championship.

Clark is just as busy off the field. All of his players are college eligible, and many will be playing next year at colleges throughout the country.

BOYS SOCCER

Catholic League Player of the Year

Sean McKenna

Father Judge

Sean McKenna CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Crusaders were the top team in the Catholic League during the regular season and their stingy defense was a primary reason for that. The defense was led by Sean McKenna, a senior centerback.

With his toughness and leadership, Judge advanced to the Catholic League championship game and went on to win the District 12 championship and picked up a win in the state playoffs.

For his efforts, McKenna was not only one of the top votegetters in All-Catholic, but picked up an All-State nomination.

McKenna will continue his soccer career next year, though where is still up in the air.

Public League Player of the Year

Amerr Yagoub

Northeast

The senior midfielder had a rough start to his high school career. He failed to make the team one year and he missed an entire season due to coming down with COVID. But he certainly saved the best for last.

Yagoub led Northeast all season in Public League play, and helped the Vikings knock off the defending champs Masterman in the championship to return the trophy to Northeast.

Yagoub was a force on both sides of the ball, and he was in the box causing chaos when the Vikings scored the winning goal.

Next year, Yagoub hopes to attend college, where he wants to continue to play soccer and major in exercise science.

Coach of the Year

Ryan Haney

Archbishop Ryan

The Raiders had a great regular season, but because the Catholic League was so full of great teams, Ryan finished the regular season sixth.

That’s when the Raiders started a run that included wins over Roman Catholic, La Salle and finally Father Judge to win the school’s first Catholic League championship in almost two decades. To win the championship, Ryan overcame a 1-0 deficit to the Crusaders, and won the title in penalty kicks after goalie Joey Phillips scored the winner, then stoned Judge to win the title.

In doing so, Haney became the first in Catholic League history to win a championship as a player, a girls coach and a boys coach.

Haney was quick to share the accolades of winning a Catholic League championship, and said a lot of the success goes to his assistant coaches.

GIRLS SOCCER

Catholic School Player of the Year

Kayla Kinniry

Nazareth Academy

The Pandas had a great season and one of the main reasons for that was the play of their senior defender.

Kinniry provided Nazareth with toughness on the back end, and it’s why she was named First-Team All-AACA and was selected as the MVP of the team.

Also capable of playing midfield, Kinniry was one of the reasons the Pandas fared well in the Catholic Academies League.

The senior, who hopes to play in college, is a member of student council and the National Honor Society. She’s also one of the executives of Naz-a-Thon, a dance marathon that raises money for children battling cancer.

Public League Player of the Year

Kassie Sullivan

Franklin Towne Charter

Kassie Sullivan hopes to lead Franklin Towne Charter back to the championship. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

When the Warriors needed a big play, they turned to their starting center midfielder and she always came through. The Port Richmond native has been one of the top players for Franklin Towne since entering the school as a freshman, and her final season was the best one.

She helped the Warriors advance to the Public League semifinals where they fell to eventual champs, Central, 1-0. The Warriors also tied Central during the regular season, the only blemish for the Lancers in Public League play.

Sullivan, who also coaches young kids in soccer, hopes to continue her soccer career next year. She’s leaning toward majoring in nursing.

Coach of the Year

Deb Ounan

Franklin Towne Charter

The Warriors haven’t had it easy. Last year, Franklin Towne made its return to the Public League after a missing a year due to the pandemic. This year, the Warriors had just two seniors on the roster, but they still managed to have a great season led by Ounan.

Franklin Towne advanced to the Public League semifinals where it fell 1-0 to Central, which went on to win the Public League championship.

The Warriors got better as the season went on, and actually were the only Public League team to not lose to Central, tying the Lancers during the regular season.

After enjoying a strong season with a young team, the Warriors should be once again among the top teams in the Public League next year.

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