A dedicated ESPNHS POY team managed the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the awards program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character. For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Football Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Shaquille Powell
THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY
School: Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Position: Running back/strong safety
Weight: 175 pounds
THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria
Athletic achievement: Powell has led the Gaels to a 13-1 record and a berth in the Class 4A state final against Reed (Sparks, Nev., scheduled for Dec. 3. He rushed for 2,302 yards and 36 touchdowns through 14 games, averaging 12.6 yards per carry, and added 11 receptions for 171 yards and three scores. The Sunset Southwest District Offensive Player of the Year, Powell has totaled 71 tackles as a defender with two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.
Academic excellence: Powell has maintained a 3.0 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: Powell has volunteered locally at an area homeless shelter and food bank, and as a youth football counselor.
THE PRAISE: Shawn Dupris, head coach of rival Bonanza (Las Vegas, Nev.)
“Shaq Powell runs very hard -- he stays low to the ground and is very elusive. I was surprised to see him playing both sides of the ball so much this year. I think that says a lot about him considering the talent that is on that team.”
THE FUTURE: Collegiate destination
Powell remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.