Two York-Adams League football standouts have been recognized for their on-field, academic and community efforts this season.
Red Lion High School senior quarterback Sam Emig and Dallastown senior offensive and defensive lineman Ben Ferree were both named winners of the 2016 Pennsylvania Mini Maxwell Award. They are two of 62 recipients of the award given out to players from Districts 1, 3, 11 and 12 in the eastern part of the state. They were also two of 12 players from District 3 to earn the award.
Both Emig and Ferree will be honored at a dinner on Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Drexelbrook Catering Ballroom in Drexel Hill. On Jan. 8, one recipient of the Mini Maxwell will be selected as the Pennsylvania High School Player of the Year.
The Mini Maxwell Award is just another accomplishment for an impressive senior season for Emig. He was also named the Y-A League Division I Offensive Player of the Year after helping to lead the Lions to a perfect 10-0 regular season, the Division I crown and a berth in the District 3 6-A playoffs. Emig was a dual-threat quarterback for Red Lion, passing for 904 yards and 11 touchdowns, while also rushing for 918 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also served as the team's punter and place kicker, kicking 51 extra points and two field goals. His 167 total points led the league and broke the school record.
In head coach Jesse Shay's four years as coach of the Lions, Emig is the first player he's nominated who's won the Mini Maxwell Award.
“His play on the field spoke for itself," Shay said. "But, also, Sam is a kid that has fantastic grades and his community service sets him apart from everyone else. In all honesty, he’s everything that we want our student-athletes to be.”
Unlike Emig, it's hard for a player such as Ferree to stand out from the pack as an interior lineman. Ferree, who stands just 5-feet, 10-inches according to head coach Kevin Myers, is undersized for his position, but the 215-pounder refused to let it hinder his performance on the field. He anchored a Wildcats' defense that finished fifth in the league in scoring, allowing just 16.7 points per game, en route to helping the team go 7-3 overall. He was also a huge reason why Dallastown allowed just 127 rushing yards per game, third best in the Y-A League, and 121.8 passing yards per game. Ferree was named a York-Adams League Coaches First Team All-Star at center.
"Ben’s a heck of a hard-worker," Myers said. "He hasn’t missed a workout in the three years. He's a good student and well-rounded. The Maxwell committee asks for a quote to describe the player and mine for Ben was: 'It's not the size of the dog, but the size of the fight in the dog.' He did a heck of a job for us. For Maxwell, it’s not all about the stat line. Often, linemen get overlooked because how do they obtain a stat line? So, it’s a heck of an honor for Ben.”
Ferree is the third straight Wildcat to win the Mini Maxwell, after Addison Quinones won it in 2014 and Cade Gold won it last year, along with York Suburban quarterback Thomas Merkle.
The Mini Maxwell winners were nominated during the year by their coaches and then evaluated based on football performance, academics and community service, according to the Maxwell Football Club website.
You can find the full list of 62 winners here.
The Maxwell Football Club is best known for annually awarding the Maxwell Trophy, which is given out to the best player in major college football.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org,