NAME: Jake McCarthy
LAST SEASON: 2014
As you look back at the great football players that played in northeastern Pennsylvania, you will find many who were great overall athletes whose skills carried over to make them great football players. Jake McCarthy might have been one of the best overall athletes to come out of this area and it has shown in so many ways. McCarthy was a four-year letterman and two-time captain for the Knights. His senior year was cut short because of injury, but in 8 games he still rushed for 1,730 yards and 30 touchdowns. For his career, McCarthy rushed for 6,080 yards which is second highest ever in District 2 and 30th overall in the state of Pennsylvania. He also scored 90 touchdowns during his career and holds the school record for most rushing yards in a season and most touchdowns in a season. McCarthy recorded 28 100+ yard rushing games and 12 200+ yard rushing performances during his career. He also started at free safety for Scranton.
McCarthy was a 2014 NPF Lackawanna Football Conference Division I first-team running back and Offense Player of the Year. He was also an NPF All-District 2 running back that season. McCarthy was named an all-state running back by the Pennsylvania Football Writers in 2014 and second-team all-state by the Pennsylvania Football News in 2013 and 2014 and honorable mention all-state in 2012. He was named a first-team running back by EasternPAFootball.com in both 2013 and 2014 and honorable-mention running back in 2012. McCarthy was a member of the WNEP Dream Team in 2013 and 2014 and won the 2014 Fiore Cesare Award for the best player in the Lackawanna Football Conference. Although recruited by some Division I-FBS football programs, McCarthy decided to attend the University of Virginia on a baseball scholarship. He was drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks and played high-A ball in 2019.
Former Scranton coach Mike Marichak on McCarthy: “Jake was a once in a lifetime football player. I have never seen a better running back in my coaching career like Jake. His size and speed were unbelievable but the thing that really was impressive was his vision as a running back. He was just a natural athlete that possess tools that you can never teach. Jake was a game changer, whenever the ball was in his hands whether it was offensive, special teams , defense or anywhere on the field you know that he has a chance to go the distance. Jake was a hard working and determined athlete. Besides all that he is even a better kid, very humble and respectful and a pleasure to coach. Just an outstanding young man. I have one Jake story to share as a coach, After scoring his 4th touchdown and like 200 yards rushing and I think a kickoff return and a quarter and half left to play. I turned to a few coaches and said ‘Boys enjoy this cause we are never gonna see a back like this in a very long time’ All of his hard work has payed off, and hopefully he can make a career in the major leagues in the next few years.”