CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ryan Switzer sat in an upscale diner in Charleston's South Hills and pondered his upcoming appearance in the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
"I just want to go out there are and represent my state well," he said. "Cedric Brown from Martinsburg and I are both playing in it, which I think is cool because we get two guys from West Virginia out there. We just want to go out and show what we can do, and show there's some pretty good football players here in this state."
The All-American Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 4 in suburban Los Angeles. Switzer and Brown will play for the East team, and Switzer will be playing as West Virginia's two-time state player of the year.
The West Virginia Sports Writers Association announced today that Switzer has won the Kennedy Award for the second consecutive year, putting him among the ranks of five other two-time Kennedy winners in the 66-year history of the award.
"I really didn't know. I had no idea, and honestly started to wonder," Switzer said about winning the Kennedy a second time. "With me being hurt, I thought maybe someone else might have won it. I'm kind of speechless."
Danny Williams of DuPont was the first two-time Kennedy winner, claiming the award in 1972-73. Robert Alexander of South Charleston won in 1975-76, Magnolia's Mark Cisar in 1992-93, Nitro's J.R. House in 1996 and 1998 and Martinsburg's Brandon Barrett in 2002-03.
The terms "Kennedy Award" and "adversity" don't often go together in the same sentence. Still, as predictable as his win was, the 2012 season was anything but a victory lap for the future North Carolina Tar Heel.
Switzer didn't play for West Virginia's best team in 2012. George Washington had but two other players that were named to the Class AAA All-State team, and neither of them were on the field with him by the time Martinsburg had staked itself to a 35-7 lead at halftime of what became a 63-14 GW loss in the playoff semifinals.
Injuries not just to Switzer but to players like All-State linebacker/fullback Dustin Crouser and Zach Malone - a second-team pick at linebacker and Crouser's backup at fullback - were common to the Patriots as the year progressed.
The losses weren't limited to on-the-field injuries. Freshman lineman Drew Morton lost his life in a car wreck three weeks into the season.