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Eye on POY: Alaska football

The window on the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year race is closing, and time is running out for student-athletes to state their POY case. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program's selection process.

A.J. Hull

Senior quarterback/defensive back/punter, Kenai Central (Kenai, Alaska)

2011 Team record: 6-4

2011 Team standing: Medium School state champions

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 32-102 (31.4)-816

2011 TDs-INTs: 9-9

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 162-933 (5.7)-14

2011 Tackles: 96

2011 Interceptions: 6

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Led his team to the 2011 state title. 2009-2011 First Team All-State selection. 2009-2011 First Team All-Conference selection. School record holder for career TDs (44). 2011 Alaska School Activities Association State Playoff All-Tournament Team selection.

Amu Aukusitino

Senior quarterback/defensive back/punter, Service (Anchorage, Alaska)

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 160-252 (53.5)-2,396

2011 TDs-INTs: 22-11

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 107-1,008 (9.4)-13

2011 Tackles: 49

2011 Interceptions: 5

2011 Team record: 10-0-1

2011 Team standing: Large School state champions

Academics: B-minus average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Led his team to the 2011 Large School state title. 2010 and 2011 First Team All-State selection. 2009-2011 First Team All-Conference selection. 2011 Alaska School Activities Association State Playoff All-Tournament Team selection.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011 campaign.

Trenton Anthony: Bartlett (Anchorage, Alaska) senior running back

Lah Fifita: Juneau-Douglas (Anchorage, Alaska) senior linebacker/fullback

Moo Rodgers: North Pole (North Pole, Alaska) senior quarterback

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com or Twitter @ESPNHS_GPOY.