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Matt Yanosich

Football ∙ Midland

 

 

 

 

To this day, Matt Yanosich is remembered as one of the toughest men ever to wear the blue and gold at Midland High School. A true “ironman”, who rarely came off the field, Yanosich was a feared, hard nose three-way starter at fullback, linebacker, and punter.  He played every quarter of every Midland football game from his freshman through his senior seasons, and twice, as an upperclassman, Matt led his team in rushing and scoring. He won the Beaver County scoring title in his final year with the Leopards in 1949, and earned All-County, All-WPIAL, and All-State honors in football. He was named to the Big 33 All-Star Game, and elected Co-Captain by his teammates.

Also at Midland, Yanosich earned ten varsity monograms; four letters in football, three in baseball, two in basketball, and one in track and field. On the diamond, Matt, Midland’s catcher, led the Leopards in home runs and won the 1949 Beaver County batting title with a .686 average on his Section Championship squad. He played basketball and ran the 100 yard dash and threw the shot put in track and field, both for legendary coach Ed McCluskey, just to keep in shape. His shot put record throw of just over 44 feet stood as a school record for several seasons.

Dozens of colleges were attracted to Yanosich because of his exceptional abilities on the football field, and Penn State University offered him a full scholarship, which Matt accepted.  He made an almost immediate impact on the Nittany Lions’ football program, leading the freshman team in rushing in 1950. He became the starting halfback on the varsity in his sophomore season, and returned punts. In one game against Michigan State in his junior year, Yanosich hauled in 14 catches for over 160 yards, a Penn State record that he owned for 42 years until it was broken in 2005.  In that game, he rushed for 50 yards, accounting for over 210 yards of offense. For that effort alone, he was honored by the Spartans who listed him on their All-Opponent Team. Matt also played, and lettered in, baseball in State College.

In 1953, Matt was drafted by the U.S. Army and led the football team at Fort Eustice in rushing. After serving his country, Matt returned home and played baseball and softball for the renowned Midland C.I.O. teams, including on one that played in the National Championships. He is still a proud member of the Penn State Letterman’s Club.