High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Cleveland

New Mexico Boys Track AOY: Luis Martinez

June, 21, 2012
6/21/12
5:19
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Luis Martinez

THE BASICS

School: Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.)
Grade: Junior
Event(s): Distance
Height: 5-foot-9
Weight: 130 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Martinez won an individual state title in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:41.66 this spring, leading the Storm to the Class 5A state title as a team. The 2011-12 Gatorade New Mexico Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, he also won the 1,600-meter run in 4:17.50 and the 3,200 in 9:13.16 at the Richard Harper Invitational.

Academic excellence: Martinez has maintained a 4.06 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Watermelon Mountain Ranch animal shelter and as a youth track and field coach.

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Eye on POY: New Mexico volleyball

December, 8, 2011
12/08/11
5:17
PM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Volleyball 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.

Sara Hattis
Senior middle blocker, Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.)

2011 Team record: 19-6
2011 Team standing: Lost in Class 5A state championship

2011 Kills: 289
2011 Blocks: 131
2011 Digs: 12
2011 Aces: 2
2011 Assists: 4

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Texas (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American selection. PrepVolleyball.com No. 9 Senior Aces.

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New Mexico Football POY: Cole Gautsche

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
5:19
AM ET
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.

Cole Gautsche
file photo/ESPNHSCole Gautsche is New Mexico's No. 1 senior recruit.
THE WINNER: Cole Gautsche

THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY

School: Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 218 pounds

THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria

Athletic achievement: Gautsche has led the Storm to a 12-0 record and a berth in the Class 5A state championship game against Mayfield (Las Cruces, N.M.), scheduled for Dec. 3. He passed for 2,783 yards and 35 touchdowns through 12 games, completing 123-of-199 attempts against just four interceptions. A 2010 First Team All-District performer, Gautsche has also rushed for 1,162 yards and 23 touchdowns on 137 carries. He has accumulated more than 4,000 yards both rushing and passing in three years as a starting quarterback, including one year for Aransas Pass (Texas).

Academic excellence: Gautsche has maintained a 3.79 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, Gautsche has volunteered locally at a food bank, an animal shelter and as a youth football counselor.

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Eye on POY: New Mexico football

November, 15, 2011
11/15/11
1:46
PM ET

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.

Cole Gautsche
ESPNHSCole Gautsche is New Mexico's top-rated senior recruit.
Quavshaun Branch

Senior quarterback, Manzano (Albuquerque, N.M.)

2011 Team record: 9-1

2011 Team standing: Play Clovis in Class 5A quarterfinals Friday

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 74-132 (56.1)-1,129

2011 TDs-INTs: 13-5

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 184-1,380 (7.5)-16

Academics: B average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Over 1,000 yards rushing and passing. First-year starter. Named by ESPNHS as a 2011-12 Preseason Third-Team All-State basketball player.

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POY Potential: Top N.M. volleyball recruits

October, 18, 2011
10/18/11
8:25
PM ET
The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces rankings.

That being said, the state’s top recruits as ranked by PrepVolleyball.com are sure to challenge returning Gatorade New Mexico Player of the Year Nathalie Castellanos for the 2011-12 honor at some point. Here they are …

1. Cleveland High (Rio Rancho, N.M.) middle blocker Sara Hattis
  • PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: 9
  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Club: NM Juniors
  • College: Undecided
  • John Tawa, publisher of PrepVolleyball.com: "A basketball star considered among the top 100 recruits nationally in that sport, Hattis is new to big time volleyball, having played only three months of club ball, but in that span, she was able to mesmerize college coaches from across the country with her immense potential."

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POY Potential: Top 5 Tenn. football recruits

October, 12, 2011
10/12/11
7:35
PM ET
The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU's recruit rankings.

That being said, the state’s top five football recruits as ranked by ESPNU are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Football Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

Jay Guillermo
File photo/ESPNHSJay Guillermo is Tennessee's No. 1 senior recruit
1. Maryville High (Maryville, TN) Center Jay Guillermo

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 88
  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 292 pounds
  • College: Clemson (verbal)
  • Testing results: 5.69 40-yard dash; 25.6 vertical jump
  • Traits: Strength, pass blocking, space blocking
  • ESPNU scouting report: "Guillermo is an outstanding run blocker, demonstrating the playing strength necessary to handle "0"technique defenders. Has the size and athleticism for the center position at the major level of competition. This is a smart football player who can also step in and do a very good job at the guard position offering two position depth; is very accurate handling the shotgun snap and is quick to get the ball up with the conventional snap."

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POY Potential: Top 4 N.M. football recruits

October, 4, 2011
10/04/11
4:14
PM ET
The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU's recruit rankings.

That being said, the state’s top four football recruits as ranked by ESPNU are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Football Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

Cole Gautsche
file photo/ESPNHSCole Gautsche is New Mexico's No. 1 senior recruit.
1. Cleveland High (Rio Rancho, N.M.) quarterback Cole Gautsche

  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Weight: 218 pounds
  • College: New Mexico State (verbal)
  • Testing results: 4.63 40-yard dash; 30.0 vertical jump
  • Traits: Accuracy, reads, athleticism
  • ESPNU scouting report: "What makes this guy attractive is that he has actually worked from under center on a consistent basis and had to drop from center, work through progressions, pull up and get the ball out on time. He is big, strong and has deceptive speed and elusiveness for the position."

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