Lake Norman's Ladowski named AP prep football player of the year for North Carolina

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — Lake Norman's Josh Ladowski is The Associated Press prep football player of the year for North Carolina.

The senior quarterback set a state single-season record with 5,647 yards of total offense while leading his team to the Class 4-AA semifinals. He earned seven votes from 20 sports writers across the state in results released Wednesday.

The award comes two days after Ladowski was an AP all-state team pick at athlete for the second straight season.

East Lincoln quarterback Chazz Surratt was second with four votes after guiding his team to an unbeaten season and the 2-AA championship.

Southern Guilford's Reggie Gallaspy and New Bern's Mike Hughes each earned three votes. Gallaspy ran for a state-best 3,318 yards, while Hughes led his team to an unbeaten season and the 4-A title.

Both Ladowski and Surratt broke the previous single-season mark of 5,494 total yards set by Charlotte Independence's Chris Leak, who had held the record since 2002.

Ladowski — who was also named the Gatorade player of the year for North Carolina — threw for 3,628 yards and 43 scores, then ran for 2,019 yards and 34 touchdowns. Those 77 touchdowns also broke the state record for touchdown responsibility, surpassing Leak's total of 74 in 2002.

"It's just been playing the game and loving it so much," Ladowski said of his success. "The way I had to work, it wasn't really work for me. It was just having fun, honestly."

Ladowski said he had played running back for most of his life until moving to quarterback as a sophomore, explaining some of his rushing success in Lake Norman's offense.

Lake Norman coach Rob McNeely said Ladowski had a strong work ethic and was focused on "becoming a really good quarterback instead of just an athlete that plays a position."

"Some of it's God-given talent," McNeely said, "but the majority of it is just his will and his heart are just unmatched."

Ladowski has signed to play baseball at North Carolina.

The AP named Charlotte Mallard Creek's Mike Palmieri as its prep football coach of the year for the state on Tuesday.


Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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