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: Caleb Kidder
THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY
School: Capital (Helena, Mont.)
Position: Offensive guard/defensive end
Weight: 245 pounds
THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria
Athletic achievement: Kidder led the Bruins to a 12-1 record and the Class AA state championship this past season. He amassed 97 tackles, 13 sacks, 11 tackles for a loss and six forced fumbles for the Capital defense. A three-time All-State selection, Kidder also recorded 45 pancake blocks on offense.
Academic excellence: Kidder has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: Kidder has volunteered on behalf of local flood relief, youth sports programs and a school anti-drug initiative.
THE PRAISE: Russell McCarvel, head coach of rival Flathead (Kalispell, Mont.)
“Kidder is dominant on both sides of the ball, just a great, great player. He’s as good a two-way lineman as we’ve had in this league.”
THE FUTURE: Collegiate destination
Kidder has verbally committed to play football on an athletic scholarship at the University of Montana beginning in the fall of 2012.