Quaker Valley quarterback Ricky Guss has been named the first annual Dunkin’ Donuts Pittsburgh Sports Now Beaver County Player of the Year.
The senior has led the Quakers to the No. 2 seed in the Class 3A WPIAL playoffs and a 9-1 record. His 19 passing touchdowns and 1,630 yards through the air are tops among all local Class 3A quarterbacks. He’s also rushed for 785 yards and 20 touchdowns.
“It’s an incredible honor,” Guss said of the award. “I’m very thankful and very grateful to play the position I do and have the opportunity to make plays for my team. It’s an honor to be chosen for this.”
Behind Guss, the Quakers have been one of the biggest surprises in the WPIAL this season, rattling off seven straight wins to open the season. Their only loss was a 22-7 setback against top-ranked Aliquippa in Week 7. Quaker Valley closed out the regular season with consecutive blowouts of Seton LaSalle and Ellwood City.
“Coming into the season, we knew what we were capable of, myself included,” Guss said. “We all had confidence in each other—we’re just a very confident group.”
A win Friday night against Derry in the first round of the playoffs would be just the second 10-win season in school history, matching the 1983 team. Guss and his teammates are also trying to accomplish a feat no Quaker team has done before: play for a WPIAL championship.
“We as a team haven’t done anything yet,” Guss said of the regular season. “Now is the time to be most focused. Right now I am just focused on Derry.”
“Everyday we say, ‘It’s the playoffs. Win or go home.’ So we ramp it up on both sides of the ball everyday in practice.”
With Guss at the helm, the Quakers have averaged nearly 40 points a contest, and he broke the school-record for touchdowns and points scored back in Week 6 against Beaver Falls.
Last year, Guss played wide reciever while also making a few starts at quarterback. He credits his experience playing multiple positions within the Quaker offensive system for his big individual season.
“My comfortability with the offense and the plays,” Guss said. “I was just familiar with the offense. I’ve been part of the varsity offense for three years now and just the experience with multiple positions really helped me.”
Like any good quarterback, Guss also acknowledged the play of his teammates.
“The main thing this year was my teammates, and especially the offensive line—that’s where it starts,” Guss said.