For a second straight year, Malone quarterback Mitch Gallagher has been named the Section 10 Most Valuable Player on the Times All-North football team.
But the thoughts Gallagher has this time are much different than what he was thinking about last year.
Gallagher, a senior, is busy playing boys basketball like he did last year, but he also has already had to start preparing for the future as he has several important decisions coming up with regards to college.
Its not just what college to apply to, like most seniors deal with.
Gallagher has to decide if he wants to play college football at the NCAA Division I or Division III level.
He also has to decide if hed be content being moved away from the position of quarterback at the next level.
The reason Gallagher has all these decisions to make is what the 6-foot-1, 210-pound quarterback/linebacker has done on the field the last two years, leading the Huskies to consecutive Section 10 championship seasons.
This year Gallagher led the Northern Athletic Conference in rushing (1,302 yards) and passing (1,224 yards).
Hes become a lot better passer, Malone coach Greg Marshall said. He got a lot more accurate. One of the things that made a difference this year is he saw the whole field. As a junior, there were some times he was (only) looking for (top receiver) Harvey Smith.
According to Gallagher, three NCAA Division I FCS schools are looking at him: Dartmouth, Harvard and Lehigh. Hes also drawn interest from NCAA Division III schools St. Lawrence University, SUNY Cortland, Ithaca, Rensselaer, Hobart, William Smith and Hamilton.
Its definitely been a little difficult, Gallagher said. Its hard to pick. Certain coaches will tell you certain things, and what a school offers. Its a hard choice. I have to go with the athletics and the academics, more the academics, because I have to come out with a good education.
The decision between Division I and III is also difficult because one may offer the distinction of being a higher level, but the other may present Gallagher more of a chance to develop into one of the leaders of a team.
Ill apply to the (Division I) schools, Gallagher said. If the coaches want to pull for me and give me a lot of (financial aid). If they definitely want me, Id like to go and play for them.
Since age 7, Gallagher has been the quarterback on any team hes played for, so thats another factor in his decision.
Most coaches told me I was probably not going to play quarterback, Gallagher said. The only school Id play quarterback for is St. Lawrence. Most want me at linebacker or tight end. I like (quarterback). Anything that gets me on the field, Id love to play.
Gallagher also led the Huskies on the defensive side this year and he brought more than just statistical achievements to the team.
He was a great leader, Marshall said. He and (Smith) are both top students. Hes sixth or seventh in his class. Hes got a great sense of humor, and hes the kind of kid everybody looks up to and wants to be around.
Gallagher has not made up his mind where he wants to go to school next year, but he does have a good idea of what he wants to do when hes done with school.
I was thinking during my sophomore year about what I wanted to do and I didnt want to be stuck doing a job indoors and I wanted a job that paid good money, Gallagher said. I came across geological engineering, you go outdoors and work outdoors all day long, engineering things from dams to bridges and stuff that goes along with nature. Thats really turned me on.
The Gallagher file
Hometown: North Bangor.
Parents: Kris and Tracy.
Siblings: Brother, Camron; Sister, Leah.
Other: Member of National Honor Society, Varsity Club treasurer.