Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Coming off two division championships in 2012, there weren't many reasons to smile for the Kenmore West football team during its 5-6 season a year ago.
The Blue Devils were a young team taking their lumps, but coach Rich Harris always seemed like he was in on a secret that the rest of Western New York just wasn't privy to.
That secret was Alex Price.
"We were a younger team and we had some growing pains, but we really saw some of (Alex's) abilities," Harris said. "We knew he was a great runner, inside and outside, has phenomenal hands, great speed and great strength, but because he didn't get to finish the season and get the big numbers, nobody really knew about him."
Well, everybody knows who Alex Price is now.
The senior racked up 964 yards rushing in nine games to go with 17 rushing touchdowns, caught a pair of scores, threw a pair of TDs and finished the season with 1,468 all purpose yards. For his efforts, Price is the 2013 Tonawanda News Football Player of the Year.
"For him to rush for (almost) 1,000 yards in this AA division, which I think without a doubt was the toughest division around, is incredible," Harris said. "A lot of the coaches from the league thought he was the best running back in the division and it says a lot considering the type of competition he faced each and every week. He was a great leader, somebody you talk about wanting to go out and make a play, be a hero. He wants the ball and he wants to make the play."
Price almost didn't get the chance to compete for the Blue Devils this season.
After suffering a fractured C-5 vertebra in his neck against Kenmore East in 2012, Price was "iffy" on whether he'd be able to take the punishment for another season, especially in a physical and demanding AA division.