CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ryan Switzer didn't win his first game in high school. He didn't win his last, either.
Between 2009 and 2012, however, there was plenty of winning for the 5-foot-9, 175-pound do-nearly-everything star from George Washington High School. At least one more victory has been bestowed on the University of North Carolina recruit, adding to the 43 he enjoyed on the field during his run as a four-year starter for the Patriots.
The Charleston Daily Mail has selected Switzer as the Kanawha Valley Football Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.
Following GW's unceremonious loss to Martinsburg in the Class AAA playoff semifinals last week, Patriots Coach Steve Edwards Jr. took a moment to address what Switzer has meant to the GW program.
"We had a great run. Ryan Switzer is still, regardless of 63-14, he can't do it by himself. He's the best football player in the state of West Virginia, bar none," Edwards said.
Switzer won the Kennedy Award as the state's best player in 2011, and is a leading candidate to take home the award again in 2012. Far from being one to rest on his laurels, however, Switzer won the Kanawha Valley Player of the Year award not as a lifetime achievement honor, but instead for what he provided the Patriots in what turned out to be an emotionally and physically challenging season full of injuries to key players.
That injury list included Switzer, who after one carry in the season opener, suffered a concussion that kept him out of the remainder of the game as well as GW's Week 2 loss to Ashland (Ky.) Paul Blazer.
The season took a much darker tone after the Patriots beat Hurricane in Week 4. Freshman two-way lineman Drew Morton was killed in a car crash two days after the win, an event the team would recognize the remainder of the season by carrying Morton's jersey to pregame coin tosses and displaying his No. 73 on the sideline.