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November 23, 2018

PhillyVoice High School Top 10: Coatesville’s Aaron Young is special in more ways than one

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1123_Coatesville_HS_USAT Coatesville Athletics/for PhillyVoice

Coatesville's Aaron Young.

Aaron Young had been biding his time for this time. The gifted 5-foot-10, 190-pound Coatesville tailback/defensive back is arguably the best high school player in the state, in there with Malvern Prep’s Keith Maguire.

Young, who’s heading to Michigan State (somewhere Ike Reese is smiling), had a good season, statistically speaking, though not exactly an “Aaron Young” kind of season.

Through Coatesville’s 13 games, Young has rushed for 1,685 yards on 143 carries and 26 touchdowns. Those numbers are very similar to the 1,687 yards and 31 TDs he rushed for last season through 15 games. The major difference being most of Young’s stats have come playing as little as a half in most games this year.

Red Raiders coach Matt Ortega was essentially saving the speedy Young for this time of year—when Coatesville makes its push for the PIAA Class 6A state championship.

A big part of that push comes tonight, when the Red Raiders (13-0) play North Penn (13-0) at 7 p.m. at Pennridge High School in the District 1 Class 6A championship. Coatesville will be going for its second-straight district title, after racking up 600 points in 13 games, averaging 46.1 points a game, scoring 40 or more in 10 of its 13 victories, while giving up a scant 138 points, which averages out to 10.6 points a game. Coatesville has two shutouts and hasn’t given up more than 21 in a game this year, beating opponents by an average of 35.5 points a game.

At the hub of this juggernaut is Young, who’s curtailed his game for the betterment of the team, giving other younger players a chance to play while basically preserving himself for this important back stretch of the season. That sacrifice has translated into the Red Raiders reached the state quarterfinals tonight.

“Aaron is such a great kid and a great leader,” Ortega said. “All Aaron really cares about is winning football games. Look at his stats and during the regular season, he has around 75 to 80 less touches than the other top stat leaders in the area, and that’s because we’ve been pulling our guys in the second half of games.

“If you’re up by 35, 40 points heading in the third quarter, why risk a player like Aaron? Plus, it keeps Aaron fresh for later in the season, when you’re playing prime games against very, very good teams. Aaron understands his role. He understands about winning championships and winning in November and December.”

North Penn and coach Dick Beck routinely produce a top-three program every year in District 1.

“There are probably four or five programs in the state that are the face in high school football—and North Penn is one of them,” Ortega said. “We were two years ago when this senior class were sophomores and we lost in the district semifinals. The seniors remember what it’s like. We have a lot of goals set for ourselves and we’re going to play our best.”

Coatesville has won district titles in 2012 and 2017.

For Young, taking a step back so his team could take a collective two steps forward was a no-brainer.

But now, this is Aaron Young time. He’s a humble young man, with a ‘yes-sir, no-sir’ attitude who puts winning above all else.

“On our team the last couple of years, if one area of our game opens the other area of our game opens, so if our running game is open, it opens the passing game, and if the passing game is open, it opens the running game,” said Young, the youngest of three sons of former Temple star Anthony Young. “Winning is more important to me than stats or numbers. I remember walking off the field last December when we lost to St. Joe’s Prep. My goal is to win a state championship before I graduate.”

The PhillyVoice Top 10

Week of Nov. 23, 2018

1. St. Joseph’s Prep (10-0)

2. Coatesville (13-0)

3. North Penn (13-0)

4. Imhotep Charter (9-2)

5. Malvern Prep (11-0)

6. Archbishop Wood (8-3)

7. Garnet Valley (12-1)

8. Downingtown West (11-2)

9. Conwell-Egan (13-0)

10. Pottsgrove (12-1)

Under consideration: Downingtown East (10-3), Penn Wood (11-2), Academy Park (9-3), Radnor (9-3), Neshaminy (8-4), Upper Dublin (11-1), Truman (10-2), Quakertown (9-3).

PIAA Class 6A playoffs

Championship game is Friday, Nov. 23, at Pennridge

1. North Penn (13-0) vs. 2. Coatesville (13-0)

PIAA Class 5A playoffs

Championship game is Friday, Nov. 23

2. Upper Dublin (12-1) vs. 5. WC Rustin (11-2)

PIAA Class 5A playoffs

Quarterfinal game is Friday, Nov. 23

Archbishop Wood (8-3) vs. Hollidaysburg (9-4), at Milton Hershey, 2 p.m.

PIAA Class 4A

Quarterfinal game is Friday, Nov. 23

Pottsgrove (12-1) vs. Bethlehem Catholic (10-3), at Palisades, 7 p.m.

PIAA Class 3A

Quarterfinal game is Friday, Nov. 23

Conwell-Egan (13-0) vs. Middletown (11-1), at Milton Hershey, 7 p.m.

PIAA Class 2A

Quarterfinal game is Friday, Nov. 23

West Catholic (11-2) vs. Richland (13-0), at Central York, 2 p.m.

SATURDAY

PIAA Class 6A

Quarterfinal

St. Joseph's Prep (10-0) vs. Bethlehem Freedom (12-1) at Northeast, 1 p.m.

PIAA Class 4A

Imhotep Charter (9-2) vs. Valley View (13-0), at Northern Lehigh, 1 p.m.


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