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Williamstown quarterback Maxwell Molessa garners House Award

— by Jay W. Bennett, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. — Maxwell Molessa made the most of every opportunity he was presented with during his time as a three-year starting quarterback for the Williamstown High School football program of head coach Chris Beck.

The West Virginia University-bound baseball player ended his career on the highest of notes after the Yellowjackets defeated Greenbrier West to secure the first back-to-back Class A state crowns in school history as well as the first 14-0 campaign.

A true dual-threat signal-caller, Molessa has been honored with the 10th annual House Award as selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association. The award is named after former Nitro High record-setting quarterback J.R. House, who is the third base coach for the Cincinnati Reds.

“This will be it. I’ll be hanging it up after this,” Molessa said before leaving Wheeling Island Stadium for the last time.

“Baseball only. It’s just truly a blessing to go out this way. I’ll miss it for sure, but I had fun going out with this.”

Opponents of the Yellowjackets are also glad Molessa, whose 98-yard touchdown run in the championship game versus the Cavaliers set an all-class Super Six record, no longer will be competing on the gridiron.

Molessa ended his senior season by completing 69.8 percent (83 of 119) of his passes which went for 1,261 yards with 22 touchdowns and two interceptions.

On the ground, the ’Jacket averaged 10.7 yards per carry. He amassed 1,813 stripes on 169 attempts and found paydirt 32 times. He finished with 218 points.

“We have had a lot of great players, so it’s not an easy task to be considered the best player our program has ever had,” coach Beck stated of Molessa, who was thrice named the WHS Most Outstanding Player at the Super Six. “However, Max is just that. The best player that has come through our program. Of all the stats that stick out the one as a coach I like is in all three years he started at quarterback we went to the championship game winning two of them with his teammates.

“One of his greatest strengths is his competitiveness and his ability to find a way to win. Max’s worth ethic, competitiveness and coach-ability were off the charts. He’s a great leader with tremendous physical athletic ability, and you get the type of player he is. His ability to throw the ball is underrated, as he has superior arm strength and accuracy, and if we played in an Air Raid system he would throw for 3,000 yards.”

Molessa’s 22 touchdown passes tied the single-season school record held by Jake Tracewell.

The Yellowjackets’ 77 career total touchdowns and 74 career rushing scores tied him with 1971 Kennedy Award winner Rick Petty. Molessa is also the all-time WHS leader in total offense (7,928), all-purpose yards (8,158) and scoring (500).

“I just want to give thanks to, really, God for the opportunity and then the training staff,” Molessa said. “The training staff has kept me healthy every year – Doc (Steven) Eddy, Joe Leaman, James Dearien, all those guys, and then my family for the support, the coaching staff, teammates, just everyone that supported me along the way — the Williamstown community. It’s just truly a blessing to be named that. It’s just cool stuff.”

Molessa, who essentially scored one out of every five times he had a pass or rush attempt this season, will be recognized at the 77th annual Victory Awards Dinner on May 5, 2024 at River City in Wheeling.

Four players finished tied for second in the voting behind Molessa — Martinsburg’s Murphy Clement, Parkersburg’s David Parsons, Scott’s Matt Frye and Herbert Hoover’s Dane Hatfield.