Jared Lebowitz of St. Francis named All-Area Football Player of the Year
Senior signal-caller was a diamond in Vermont that went on to shine as area's best at St. Francis
Jared Lebowitz of St. Francis High is the 2012 All-Area Football Player of the Year. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer / January 5, 2013)
“My dream was to get a Division I scholarship,” Lebowitz says. “The dream hasn’t changed.”
But plenty has changed for the Golden Knights senior since he ventured from Vermont to the hot bed of high school football that is Southern California.
However, one thing that hasn’t changed has been Lebowitz’ consistency.
Forty-four consecutive varsity starts marked his high school football career over two states, with plenty of gaudy statistical numbers in between.
Of course, the final number that likely stands out most in Lebowitz’ final season with the Golden Knights is 4-7 — St. Francis’ final record in a season marked by fresh and inexperienced faces filling starting roles for the first time.
Thus, one could easily argue that Lebowitz could’ve likely produced a lot bigger numbers had his situation been a bit different.
“No doubt, they could’ve been better,” said St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds of his quarterback’s statistics. “We were very young up front [on the offensive line]. That affected Jared two ways. We had difficulty protecting him, but we also had difficulty running the ball. So, everybody knew we had to throw the ball and he still put up big numbers.
“For him to put up the numbers he did is pretty darn impressive.”
While one could argue how much better Lebowitz’ numbers could have been had the circumstances of the season been different, nobody can argue that his numbers were the best in the area, as he had more touchdown passes and yards per game than anyone else.
Thus, the argument for Lebowitz as the best in the area was an easy one, as he was unanimously voted the 2012 All-Area Football Player of the Year by the sports writers of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, La Cañada Valley Sun and Pasadena Sun.
“I think the biggest attribute he showed this season was the ability to get the job done,” says St. Francis safety Joe Velladao, a first-team All-Area and All-Mission League pick, who was also one of three of his team’s captains along with Lebowitz and center Matt Kubly. “He’s really a sleeper. He put up the same numbers [as other standout quarterbacks] with less talent around him.
“Our record didn’t really display the kind of talents he can show.”
At the end of the season, Lebowitz completed 192 of 350 passes (55%) for 2,560 yards and 23 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. For good measure, he added 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns on the ground.
When Bonds describes Lebowitz and the skillset he showcased in 2012, it’s as one that displayed great arm strength, escapability and the prowess to make plays on the run.
“He did all those things for us this year,” Bonds says. “The biggest asset for him is he can handle every throw a quarterback needs to make. ... He’s one of the best I’ve ever coached.”
In his sophomore season at South Burlington, Lebowitz posted 30 touchdowns and 2,700 yards passing to 13 interceptions. It marked the halfway point of a varsity football career that saw him start 44 consecutive games from his start as a South Burlington Rebels freshman to his conclusion as a St. Francis Golden Knights senior.
But the transition from football in Vermont to football in Southern California was one that took some time to get used to.
“There was definitely some growing pains,” Kubly says. “But he was able to work them out and learn from whatever mistakes he made.”