By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor
“I’m playing football next year for sure,” Joseph Girard III told The Chronicle Sunday. “100 percent. I’m not a fan of losing,” referring to Glens Falls’ 20-7 loss to Pleasantville in November’s state semifinals.
Girard, who has Division I scholarship offers in both basketball and football, was just named New York’s Class B football Co-Player of the Year by the statewide sportswriters’ association.
He threw for 1,883 yards and 22 touchdowns, and ran for 518 yards and seven TDs.
In 2016, he was NYS Player of the Year and led the Indians to their first-ever state title and a 13-0 record.
“I don’t want to go out on a losing note. I’m coming back and hope to help Coach [Pat] Lilac get a second ring.”
Girard said when he returned his football equipment after the season, “I wouldn’t give him back the black game jersey so he knew I would be back.”
Contacted for comment, Coach Lilac said, “Obviously we are thrilled that Joseph is planning on playing football his senior season. I think he is the top quarterback in the state and having him play along with the players we have coming back gives us the ability to compete with anybody. And if you know Joe, he is not playing to lose.
“We have been fortunate at Glens Falls in terms of having our best athletes play multiple sports. Joseph is such a competitive person and football is one of the most competitive sports. I think he is drawn to the sport for that reason and also many of his friends play football. I think he would have a hard time watching from the stands while they were out there playing.”
Girard is 36-1 as a starting quarterback, 24-1 at the varsity level. He’s already has football scholarship offers from Tulane and UMass, both FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools playing the highest level of college football.
His father, Joe Girard Jr., said, “The football option is still there. He’s got two good offers with interest from others, and football recruiting is really just starting.
“Next year will be the big year. Football recruiting starts a lot later.”
And Girard says he’s intrigued by the possibilities of playing both football and basketball in college.
“Now that I have two offers, football is definitely something I’m taking more seriously and have to consider more seriously than I have in the past,” Joseph said.
His father said “if he didn’t play football his senior year, his two scholarship offers would disappear. He’s doing it for his teammates, for his school, and to continue the possibility of playing college football.
“He’s 6-2 now. He’s big enough to play in the NFL.”
As to Joseph’s decision to keep playing football next season, Glens Falls Coach Lilac says, “I always thought that Joe would want to play throughout his high school career, but I also understand what he’s got going on.
“I think that in general it has been a trend for kids to focus on one sport the past few years and that was kind of disappointing.
“Recently, much has been said about the need for kids to keep playing multiple sports and Joe is kind of a poster child for that. His competitiveness and toughness are second to none.
“Also, I did know that he did not hand in his black game jersey. I was hoping that he was hanging on to it so he could wear it his senior year.”
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