Athlete of the Week: 12.7.12

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Gregg Garrity, North Allegheny

Last week: Garrity had seven catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns as North Allegheny routed McDowell, 56-6, in the quarterfinals of the PIAA playoffs Friday at Seneca Valley. Garrity had back-to-back touchdowns from quarterback Mack Leftwich -- the first for 23 yards and the second for 29 -- turning what was a one-possession game into a blowout in the second quarter.

Check this out: A 5-foot-9, 190-pound senior, Garrity has emerged as a top target in a potent North Allegheny offense, leading the team in touchdown catches (18), receptions (55) and receiving yards (1,107), a 20.1 yards per catch average that is one of the best among the elite wide receivers in the WPIAL. After a two-week lull in which he did not record a catch, Garrity has been on a tear in the Tigers' past six games, catching 32 passes for 656 yards. North Allegheny plays Wilson Saturday in Altoona, with a second PIAA championship appearance in the past three years on the line.

Do you get the feeling your team is playing its best football of the season right now? I definitely think we're at our peak. We're getting close. We could play a little bit better, but we're definitely getting there.

After losing in the PIAA semifinals last season, how motivated is this team? We're extremely motivated. From the pain we felt last year, we're not going to let it happen again.

How's the college search and recruitment process going so far? I'm talking to a few schools -- Penn State as a walk-on and some other smaller schools. We'll have to see what unravels after the season.

What's an aspect of your team that's really good that maybe gets overlooked or goes unnoticed sometimes? I definitely think our defense doesn't get enough credit. They shut teams out each and every week.

As a receiver who catches passes from him, how good of a quarterback is Mack Leftwich? Mack is unbelievable. In my opinion, he's the most underrated quarterback in the country.

What were some of your goals and aspirations entering the season, both individually and for your team? At the beginning of the season, I wanted to get 1,000 yards and I was fortunate enough to accomplish that [last week]. I'm just trying to focus on winning another state title and I plan on accomplishing that.

What position are you looking to play in college? Planning on staying at wideout? I'm looking to play receiver. Penn State is my No. 1 choice and I think I would really fit in with coach [Bill] O'Brien's offense. You look at his offense in New England with Wes Welker and I could see myself playing that kind of a role.

How would you describe your coach, Art Walker? He's just a great coach and a great teacher.

What's the best movie you've seen lately? Ted. I saw that over the summer and thought it was pretty funny.

What's your favorite sports team? Probably the Steelers or Penn State.

What would you like to do for a career or major? I want to get into communications and possibly major in journalism.

athleteoftheweek

Craig Meyer: cmeyer@post-gazette.com


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