The inquiry stumped T.J. Plack.

For the Peters Township football coach, being asked to supply a statement regarding the value of Corban Hondru to his team was nearly impossible.

“One quote about Corban will not do him justice,” he said.

Hondru, a multiple all-conference and all-state performer, has been named The Almanac Most Valuable Player.

During Hondru’s four years as a starter, the Indians compiled a 37-10 record, complete with three conference championships, four playoff berths and two appearances in the WPIAL finals.

Hondru played every skill position on offense. He started 47 straight games at linebacker and he punted. In fact, two of his fake punts gained critical first downs in pivotal wins against Upper St. Clair and South Fayette this season.

“Corban is an elite young man that does everything close to perfect, which is why you see him excel on the field,” Plack said.

This autumn, Hondru excelled on an Indians defense that allowed 13.6 points per game. He ranked first in sacks with eight and second in tackles with 53. He recovered two fumbles, supplied five tackles for a loss and managed two safeties. In his career, he had 234 tackles and 26 sacks.

On offense, he averaged 4.64 yards per rush and 12.3 yards per catch. He caught 14 passes, third best on the squad, for 173 yards. He scored three touchdowns.

He averaged 35.7 yards per punt, with his longest measuring 53 yards.

Hondru helped PT to eight straight victories before the Indians fell to Pine-Richland in the Class 5A championship game. His biggest contribution came in the WPIAL semifinals as Peters Township came back from a 19-0 deficit to beat Gateway, 20-19. With four seconds left in the contest, Hondru caught the game-tying touchdown on a fourth-down play.

“Just catching the ball and looking at the sideline and all my teammates going crazy, it was an amazing feeling,” Hondru said.

Hondru expects to have similar experiences when he matriculates to Miami of Ohio. The Red Hawks appealed to Hondru not just because the school provides a good education and is close to McMurray.

“They compete every game, every practice. They want to win championships,” he said. “The coaches are a little old school. They will scream at you and I love that.”

At Peters Township, Hondru seldom needed vocal motivation. According to Plack, Hondru was a coach, as well as a parent’s, dream.

“He never missed a workout, always on time, always focused, learns and accepts coaching,” Plack said. “I would love for my daughter to meet a young man like him.”

Plack also predicted Hondru will do well as a Red Hawk.

“I know Corban is extremely happy to join the Miami of Ohio family,” he said. “He will be an incredible representation of Peters Township. How can we except nothing but the best from him? He’s the best high school player that I’ve been around, but also one of the best people. He does everything flawlessly, everything right.”

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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