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Friday, November 11, 2011
Eye on POY: Washington football

By Joel Beck

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.

Max Browne
Max Browne is a top candidate for 2011-12 Gatorade Washington Football Player of the Year
Max Browne
Junior quarterback, Skyline High (Sammamish, Wash.)

2011 Team record: 7-3
2011 Team standing: Class 4A first round vs. Mead on Saturday

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 238-317 (75.1)-3,056
2011 TDs-INTs: 29-5
2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 20-154 (7.7)-0

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: HS Junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010 First Team All-State selection. 2010 First Team All-Conference selection. Led team to 2010 state championship game. Threw for more than 4,200 yards and 50 TDs as a sophomore in 2010.

Zach Banner
Senior offensive lineman, Lakes High (Lakewood, Wash.)

2011 Team record: 10-0
2011 Team standing: Class 3A first round vs. Mountain View on Friday

2011 Team carries-YDs (avg.): 233-2,264 (9.7)
2011 Team passes-YDs (avg.): 182-2,166 (11.9)

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2012 U.S. Army All-American Game selection. No. 122 ranked recruit. in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. 2010 First Team All-State 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.

Joshua Garnett: Puyallup (Wash.) senior offensive lineman
Jordan Todd: Interlake (Bellevue, Wash.) senior running back
Marchael Acode: Mount Vernon (Wash.) senior running back
Sefo Liufau: Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, Wash.) junior quarterback

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