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: Patrick Towles
THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY
School: Highlands (Fort Thomas, Ky.)
Weight: 235 pounds
THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria
Athletic achievement: Towles has led the Bluebirds to a 14-0 record and a berth in the Class 4A state championship game against Franklin-Simpson (Franklin, Ky.), scheduled for Dec. 3. He has passed for 3,637 yards and 41 touchdowns entering the state title game, completing 169-of-261 passes while throwing just one interception. Towles has also rushed for 467 yards and 14 touchdowns on 81 carries. MVP of the 2010 Class 5A state championship game, he has a 37-1 record as a starting quarterback and helped Highlands break a state record with 807 points thus far this season.
Academic excellence: Towles has maintained a 3.47 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of his school’s senior council, Towles has volunteered locally on behalf of his church’s vacation Bible school and as a peer tutor in mathematics.
THE PRAISE: Larry French, head coach of Boyle County (Danville, Ky.)
“Towles is a great athlete with a great arm who can throw it from one end of the field to the other. He makes good decisions, and he’s a winner. He’s as good as they come.”
THE FUTURE: Collegiate destination
Towles has verbally committed to play football on an athletic scholarship at the University of Kentucky beginning in the fall of 2012.