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.
Senior running back/defensive back, Salem (N.H.)
2011 Team record: 7-4
2011 Team standing: Lost in Division I first round
2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 211-1,670 (7.9)-21
2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 6-67 (11.2)-1
2011 Kickoff returns-AVG.-TDs: 12-42.8-3
2011 Tackles: 23
2011 Interceptions: 2 (1 TD)
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Undecided
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Returned two kickoffs for touchdown and ran for four more TDs in 50-28 win over Manchester Central. Recorded 356 yards rushing and five touchdowns on 19 carries in 59-20 win over Timberlane. Career totals of 4,437 rushing yards and 63 rushing TDs.
Senior quarterback/wide receiver/cornerback/punter, New Hampton School (New Hampton, N.H.)
2011 Team record: 7-1
2011 Team standing: Play Governor's Academy (Byfield, Mass.) in Jack Etter Bowl on Saturday
2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 17-27 (63.0)-167
2011 TDs-INTs: 3-3
2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 55-331 (6.0)-11
2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 14-318 (22.7)-5
2011 Kickoff returns-AVG.-TDs: 2-45.0-1
2011 Tackles: 38
2011 Sacks: 1
2011 Interceptions: 3
2011 Punts-AVG.: 12-42.2
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Penn State (verbal)
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010 Evergreen League Player of the Year. U.S. Army All-American Bowl nominee. Offense/Defense All-American Bowl nominee. No. 108 rated CB in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.
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.
Kevin Davies: Pinkerton Academy (Derry, N.H.) senior running back/linebacker
Tyler Grant: Exeter (N.H.) junior running back
Armond McRae: Nashua South (Nashua, N.H.) senior running back
Emmitt Smith: Pinkerton Acdaemy (Derry, N.H.) senior running back