NEW CASTLE —
Young was a nine-time letterman, earning three letters each in football, basketball and track.
During his career at Laurel, he set the school record for tackles, single-season rebounds (294) and in the discus and the shot put.
“Most of us played three sports in those days,” Young said. “That’s all we lived for. I was fortunate enough to do something decent in all three of those, but I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a natural athlete.
“I was determined to be a good rebounder. I decided I wanted to go for the rebounding record my senior year. I could jump pretty well and I was strong. I worked hard in practice on boxing out. It was something I took pride in and was something I wanted to be good at.
“I really enjoyed track. The thing about track is you took pride in the team aspect of it, but there was a lot of individual satisfaction. You worked hard at your individual event. I put in a lot of time both at home and at practice throwing. I remember reading that you could add a foot for however many throws, so I threw and threw and threw.”
Young earned the right to compete in the PIAA track and field championships after winning WPIAL championships in the discus at the conclusion of his junior and senior seasons, but had a physical ailment hinder his chances at a state title.
He battled through a hairline fracture in his back suffered during a diving accident to place sixth in the discus as a junior. As a senior, a chain saw accident ended his career prematurely just days before the state meet.
“He had a couple of unfortunate accidents,” Miles said. “His junior year, he went down and gutted it out. We found out later he had broken his back. Yeah, he was snakebitten. I could see it happening one year, but for it to happen two years in a row was a real jinx.”