Wadsworth quarterback wins award
“Wow” was the response many uttered this season when watching Wadsworth quarterback Joey Baughman.
It was also what he said Wednesday when informed he is Ohio’s 31st Mr. Football Award winner.
Previously bestowed by The Associated Press, the Ohio Mr. Football Award is now being presented by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association.
In August, Baughman was an unlikely candidate for the state’s top individual, but he blossomed into a favorite by leading Wadsworth to its first undefeated season since 1996. Wadsworth won the Suburban League and averaged 50.8 points during the regular season.
“In the preseason, our goals were to win the Suburban League, go undefeated and host a first-round playoff game,” Baughman said. “There was talk of going 15-0 or whatnot, but those were our big three goals.”
Baughman was a big reason the Grizzlies achieved each. He finished with 3,079 yards passing and 1,523 yards rushing. Baughman threw for 36 touchdowns and ran for 20.
“I didn’t think about Mr. Football until the playoffs started,” Baughman said. “That’s when (head) coach (Justin) Todd showed me my numbers and mentioned it. After that first playoff game, I knew it was a possibility.”
Baughman, a University of Virginia recruit in wrestling, is a two-time Division I state runner-up.
Baughman, who enters his final wrestling season 112-17, picked Virginia over Ohio State, North Carolina, Oregon State and Appalachian State.
Finishing second in voting for Mr. Football was Trotwood-Madison senior running back Ra’Vion Hargrove.
The other finalists were senior running back Daniel Bangura (Harvest Prep), senior quarterback Lukas Isaly (Hannibal River), junior receiver Tanner Holden (Wheelersburg), senior quarterback Ja’Vez Alexander (Sandusky), senior defensive end Tyreke Smith (Cleveland Heights), senior running back Isaiah Bowser (Sidney) and senior quarterback Jimmy Weirick (Pickerington North).