In Play with Tom Markowski

Malzone named 2014 Mr. Football winner

Football   | Tom Markowski

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Birmingham – Al Fracassa has coached a number of high-caliber quarterbacks in a coaching career that spanned six decades.

It’s quite possible none were as good as Alex Malzone.

Malzone was named the recipient of the State Champs Mr. Football award on Wednesday.

He’s the first player from a Detroit Catholic League school to win the award. This is the sixth season State Champs has named a Mr. Football winner. Last year’s winner was Travis Smith of Ithaca.

The other candidates who made the final vote were quarterback Tyree Jackson Of Muskegon Mona Shores, running back Mike Weber of Detroit Cass Tech and quarterback D.J. Zezula of Clarkston.

This season Malzone set school records for attempts (325), completions (211), yards (2,998) and touchdowns (38).

Among some of the quarterbacks Fracassa coached at Brother Rice include Jon English, Dave Yarema, Matt Baker and Bobby Utter. In his nine seasons (1960-68) at Royal Oak Shrine one the best quarterbacks Fracassa coached was Chuck Lother.

“I can’t say who was the best,” Fracassa said. “I’d hurt somebody’s feelings.

“(Malzone) is a natural leader. He’s got a very accurate arm. That’s his forte.”

Fracassa ended his coaching career after the 2013 season. One of his former quarterbacks, Dave Sofran, is now the head coach.

 “It means a lot to me,” Malzone said of the award. “I think of all the great players that have come from Michigan and all the players who came from Brother Rice. It’s one of my best achievements.”

Malzone (6-2, 200) committed to Michigan and will enroll for classes in January. He said he never wavered from that commitment despite the firing of Brady Hoke as coach earlier this week, the controversy that preceded it or the many de-commitments that have taken place the past two months, including that of Weber.

It’s a great program,” he said. “It hasn’t been there the last five to 10 years. (The coaching change) provides a new opportunity for me. I’m ready for it. I can’t wait to put that winged helmet on.”