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 later.
“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.”
— jack wallace (@17jwallace) December 6, 2019
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 and also volunteers in fundraising toward research for breast cancer, diabetes and heart disease. He’s also 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