The Gatorade Football Players of the Year across all 50 states were announced today. Here's a look at the winners from across New England:
CONNECTICUT: COLIN MOORE, SR. RB/DB, AVON
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior running back and defensive back has led the Falcons to a 10-0 record and a berth in the Class L state quarterfinals against New Canaan High, scheduled for Nov. 28. At the time of his selection, Moore had rushed for 2,012 yards and 29 touchdowns on 243 carries. In the defensive secondary, the 2011 All-Pequot Uncas League First Team selection had recorded 21 tackles and an interception.
Moore has maintained a B average in the classroom. During the 2011 Halloween snowstorm, he volunteered as an electrician’s assistant to help restore power in the area. He has also donated his time as a peer mentor to intellectually and physically challenged students and also serves as a youth counselor.
“Colin Moore is a tremendous football player,” said Paul Philippon, head coach of Canton High. “He’s tough, consistent and relentless—he produces in every game. He could have played in any era.”
Moore remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
Moore joins recent Gatorade Connecticut Football Players of the Year Casey Cochran (2011-12, 2010-11, Masuk High School), Kevin Pierre-Louis (2009-10, King Low Heywood Thomas), Mike Osiecki (2008-09, Seymour High School) and Alex Thomas (2007-08, Ansonia) among the state’s list of former award winners.
MAINE: ANDREW LIBBY, JR. RB/S, THORNTON ACADEMY
The 6-foot, 195-pound junior running back and safety led the Golden Trojans to an 11-1 record and the Class A state championship this past season. Libby rushed for 1,091 yards and 23 touchdowns on 182 carries, caught 17 passes for 190 yards and two scores and returned four punts for touchdowns, including one in the state title game win over Lawrence High. Libby also recorded 98 tackles, six interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, and forced a fumble.
Libby has maintained a 3.37 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of a homeless shelter and food bank, and as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit cancer research. Libby has also served as an area youth football and track coach.
“Andrew is the most important player on Thornton Academy’s senior-laden team,” said Matt Perkins, head coach of Windham High. “Their offense goes through him. On defense, he’s their free safety and allows them to over-play one side of the field because he will control the other side. He is one of the most dynamic players I’ve seen.”
Libby will begin his senior year of high school next fall.
Libby joins recent Gatorade Maine Football Players of the Year Louis DiTomasso (2011-12, Wells High School), Peter Gwilym (2010-11, Cheverus High School), Jack Mallis (2009-10, Windham), Jack Heary (2008-09, Deering High School) and Justin Villacci (2007-08, Gorham) among the state’s list of former award winners.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: TYLER GRANT, SR. RB/S, EXETER HIGH
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior running back and safety led the Blue Hawks to an 11-1 record and the Division I state title this past season. Grant rushed for 1,238 yards and 20 touchdowns on 173 carries and caught 12 passes for 217 yards and three scores. On defense, he recorded 47 tackles, three interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. The 2011 New Hampshire Union Leader First Team All-State pick returned both an interception and a fumble for touchdowns this fall.
Grant has maintained a 3.67 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit juvenile diabetes and breast cancer research. Grant has also donated his time as a youth baseball coach and on behalf of a literacy-outreach program.
“Tyler Grant is the main reason for Exeter’s success,” said Eric Brown, head coach of Concord High. “He truly stands out on both sides of the ball and special teams as well. Not only is he a physical talent, he is a very intelligent football player as well.”
Grant will attend Maine’s Bowdoin College next fall where he will play football.
Grant joins recent Gatorade New Hampshire Football Players of the Year Jake Kiley (2011-12, New Hampton School), Max Jacques (2010-11, 2009-10, Salem High School), David Zocco (2008-09, Nashua High School South) and Billy Ferriter (2007-08, Nashua South) among the state’s list of former award winners.
RHODE ISLAND: ANTHONY FRANCIS, SR. QB, LA SALLE ACADEMY
The 6-foot-1, 193-pound senior quarterback has led the Rams to a 9-1 record and a berth in the Division I state semifinals against Portsmouth High, scheduled for Nov. 28. At the time of his selection, Francis had passed for 2,013 yards and 18 touchdowns, completing 110-of-181 attempts while throwing just two interceptions. A 2011 Providence Journal First Team All-State honoree, he rushed for 633 yards and nine touchdowns on 116 carries through 10 games.
Francis has maintained a B average in the classroom. A member of the La Salle Academy Debate Team, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a day care center, at a homeless shelter and as a youth football coach.
“With Anthony this year it is like having a young coach on the field,” said Geoff Marcone, head coach of La Salle Academy. “Anthony knows the offense so well we have given him authority to check in and out of plays. He is the guy that makes the call.”
Francis remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
Francis joins recent Gatorade Rhode Island Football Players of the Year Josh Morris (2011-12, La Salle Academy), Ben Willett (2010-11, Portsmouth High School), Mike Read (2009-10, Barrington), Dave D'Errico (2008-09, North Kingstown High School) and Bobby Bentsen (2007-08, Warwick Veterans) among the state’s list of former award winners.
VERMONT: MICHAEL DULAC, SR. OL/DL, HARTFORD HIGH
The 6-foot-3, 272-pound senior offensive and defensive lineman led the Hurricanes to an 11-0 record and their third straight Division I state championship this past season. A three-time First Team All-State selection, Dulac compiled 26 pancake blocks for an offense that accumulated 4,056 rushing yards and averaged 37 points per game. He started 43 consecutive games and helped Hartford to 26 straight wins to close out his career.
Dulac has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom. An active member of his church community, he has volunteered locally as a youth mentor and in association with Hurricane Irene relief efforts.
“Michael Dulac is not only the best lineman we have faced the last two seasons, he is also one of the best players Vermont has produced in the past 20 years,” said Sean Murphy, head coach at St. Johnsbury Academy. “He is big, strong and quick and looks like a man against boys when he plays.”
Dulac remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
Dulac joins recent Gatorade Vermont Football Players of the Year Jake Stalcup (2011-12, Burr & Burton Academy), Christian McCormick (2010-11, Rice Memorial High School), Max Librizzi (2009-10, Essex), Mick Wong (2008-09, Hartford High School) and James Durham (2007-08, Spaulding) among the state’s list of former award winners.