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: Alex Schultz
THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY
School: Lincoln (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
Weight: 200 pounds
THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria
Athletic achievement: Schultz passed for 2,991 yards and 36 touchdowns this past season, leading the Patriots (8-3) to the Class 11AA semifinals. He completed 195-of-329 passes while throwing just eight interceptions. A two-time First Team All-State selection, he finished his prep career second in state history in total yards passing.
Academic excellence: Schultz has maintained a 3.69 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: Schultz has volunteered locally as a peer mentor and on behalf of an area hospital.
THE PRAISE: Kim Nelson, head coach of rival Roosevelt (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
“Schultz is the best playmaker I’ve seen in a long time. He’s been successful against every team, every defense and in every type of weather.”
THE FUTURE: Collegiate destination
Schultz remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.