Favorite athlete: Saquon Barkley.
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles.
Favorite memory competing in sports: Winning the district playoff game against Perk Valley my junior year (in football).
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: I slid into second after stealing a base and ripped a hole in my pants.
Music on mobile device: Rap music.
Future plans: Go to college for a degree in an engineering field.
Words to live by: “Twenty-four months of eating crap to be able to eat caviar for the rest of your life.”
One goal before turning 30: Graduate from college and work for a good company.
One thing people don’t know about me: I went skydiving in Israel when I was 15.
By Mary Jane Souder
Josh McGovern doesn’t need a lot of fanfare. As a matter of fact, the Quakertown senior doesn’t need any, preferring instead to quietly go about his business. Mention McGovern’s name to his coaches, and they echo similar sentiments.
“He’s a team guy, which is great,” Quakertown baseball coach Jon Pallone said. “He’s involved in Mini-THON with the school. Some kids do it to jack up their resume or do it because they want their name out there.
“He does it because he wants to be a good guy, which is so commendable. He’s up there in his class (ranking). When I heard about that – I knew he was bright, but I didn’t know he was that bright. He’s such a good athlete and such a good person too.”
“He’s a super nice kid, quiet,” Quakertown football coach George Banas said. “He just goes about his business.
“He’s super positive, not a rah rah guy, but he is the guy who would talk to people and say – ‘Okay, let’s go, we can get through this.’ He led by example. I have him in the classroom, and he’s the same way. He goes about his business – does his work, hands it in, helps others when he needs to.”
A two-way starter for the football team, McGovern is the recipient of a Mini Maxwell from the Maxwell Club.
“They look for well-rounded kids,” Banas said. “Whenever we have community events, he’s always there and helping out.
“Again, he went about his business. He’s not a guy that expresses himself a whole lot on the field. He does his job, shuts down wide receivers. He’s a really good open field tackler, and he’s just as nice as can be – please, thank you, yes sir, no sir. He does exactly what you ask him to do, never complains, never goes into our training room to get out of practice or anything like that. He’s a super solid kid.”
The Panthers, a regular in the District One 6A Tournament, struggled this past fall and did not make the playoffs, but that did not prevent McGovern from enjoying his final high school season.
“Of course, I enjoyed it,” he said. “I enjoy playing anytime I can. If we didn’t have a good game, it was on to the next game. That mentality – next game, next play.”
With football season behind him, McGovern is preparing for his final high school season when he will have his first opportunity to play varsity. He is matter-of-fact about his stint on the junior varsity.
“Last year we had 13 seniors graduate – they were a really good class above us,” McGovern said. “We have two kids that were on jayvee but they’re committed for (college) baseball. That shows how good the seniors were last year.
“It was kind of tough, but at the same time, it was fine. No one was upset or making a scene about it.”
McGovern, according to Pallone, was a victim of numbers.
“Josh didn’t play because of the circumstances we had,” the Panthers’ coach said. “Last year’s team was probably the best offensive team I’ve had in all my years.
“The year before, Josh was probably the best hitter on jayvee, but we just didn’t have a spot in the (varsity) lineup for him. We wanted to make sure he’d be ready to go and step in for us this year, so he stayed on jayvee. When we didn’t have a jayvee game or went to the playoffs, he was up on varsity.”
McGovern has been playing baseball for as long as he can remember, and he got his start in flag football at a young age.
“Just growing up, I was always watching football with my dad - I always had my Eagles stuff on and watched the game on Sunday,” he said. “My first year of tackle was when I was seven years old. I played a little bit of soccer and basketball, but it never really stuck around - it was just a year or two.”
Playing two sports through his entire career never posed any serious conflicts.
“I usually prioritize which one is in season because I think that’s fair to both,” McGovern said. “My winter is usually focused on baseball. I went to some football stuff if times matched up, but right now I’m lifting. Next week I have speed and infield. Summer was when I did most of my football workouts.”
As a junior, McGovern was the starting cornerback on the varsity football team.
“Sophomore year he sort of blended in, but with what we had talent-wise on our team, it was hard to get on the field,” Banas said. “His junior year in the offseason he really started to come into his own and got a starting spot at cornerback. He really had a tremendous year last year.”
As much as McGovern enjoys both football and baseball, he will not be playing either at the collegiate level.
“I’m just going to college for academics,” he said.
McGovern played his final competitive football game at Pennridge on Thanksgiving Day.
“It was tough,” he said. “I was pretty emotional, even after the last home game against Academy Park – it was pretty sad.
“The student section, the band, the cheerleaders and the fans come out to our games – it’s amazing, and the players appreciate it so much. It helps the program so much because of the energy they give.
“Coach Banas does a great job running the program and making sure the players are doing their jobs but also making it so they’re enjoying it. He makes it fun for all the players.”
A versatile baseball player, McGovern is not yet penciled in for one specific spot.
“We shifted his position a couple of times since he’s been a freshman,” Pallone said. “He just takes it in stride. He’s a smart kid, he picks it up quick.
“I don’t know where he’s going to play this year. He usually plays outfield, but we moved him to first and he played third before.”
“I’ve been moving around everywhere,” McGovern said. “I try and fill in. I’ve usually played third, but for high school, you need to fill in where you’re needed.”
When it comes to college, McGovern has already been accepted at Penn State and Drexel and is still waiting to hear from Lehigh. He plans to pursue an engineering major.
An excellent student, McGovern is taking four AP classes.
“His GPA is off the charts,” Banas said. “I think it’s 4.3 weighted and he’s fourth in the class. He’s our number one male in the class.
“He’s a good teammate, he’s a good baseball player, and it’s the same thing – super quiet, does his job. He’s just super consistent, steady eddy. He’s just a great program kid.”
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