By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Minisink Valley’s Johnny Mack played quarterback his entire career until he was moved to wide receiver last season.
Sure, at times, Mack misses being the focal point of the offense and the action under center. However, he isn’t doing bad for himself in his new position. Mack, a junior, is one of Section 9’s breakout stars this season.
He has caught 12 passes for 327 yards with eight touchdowns for Minisink Valley (3-0).
“I love playing wide receiver,” Mack said. “I think I have been successful because we have a great quarterback (Ryan Johnason) and a great offensive line. But I think being a quarterback helps. I know how a quarterback’s mind works and where I should always be on the field.”
Johanson is also making a name for himself this year and he has two other talented wide receivers in his arsenal, Noah Smith and Steven Fellenzer. But Mack is the go-to guy. At 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, he is a prototypical receiver, and is a good athlete with great hands.
“Across the board, I think Minisink Valley has the best wide receivers that I’ve seen,” Burke Catholic coach Aaron Hasbrouck said. “But (Mack) is the guy who can really bust coverage’s. He is a real good athlete and a good player. The kid is definitely legit.”
Mack was moved from quarterback to wide receiver to make way for up-and-coming quarterback Kai Colon. He never flinched when asked to change positions and immediately began honing his craft as a wide receiver, attending camps, watching YouTube videos and working out. Mack caught 15 touchdown passes for Minisink Valley’s jayvee team last year.
“I think Johnny’s success is due to the fact that he is a good athlete and Ryan is a pretty good quarterback,” Minisink Valley coach Kevin Gallagher said. “We put in a new system with more passing and it fits him. I thought he would have a good year for us and he is definitely a home run threat.”
Mack said he has always been interested in the position because his father played wide receiver in high school for Washingtonville and his brother previously played the position for Minisink Valley.
“I’ve actually always liked the position,” Mack said. “I put a lot of work in and I’m excited. The future is bright and I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished so far.”