High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Josh Morris

Rhode Island Football POY: Josh Morris

December, 1, 2011
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: Josh Morris

THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY

School: La Salle Academy (Providence, R.I.)
Grade: Junior
Position: Running back/cornerback
Height: 5-foot-9
Weight: 170 pounds

THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria

Athletic achievement: Morris led the Rams to a 10-1 record and a berth in the Division I state championship against Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, R.I.), scheduled for Dec. 3. He rushed for 1,278 yards and 16 touchdowns on 134 carries through 11 games and caught nine passes for 175 yards and a score. A 2010 First Team All-Division I selection, Morris is averaging 39.8 yards per kickoff return, with one touchdown, and has recorded two interceptions on defense.

Academic excellence: Morris has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: Morris has volunteered locally as a youth mentor and football coach and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with his church community.

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Eye on POY: Rhode Island football

November, 17, 2011
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.

Anthony Francis
Junior quarterback, La Salle Academy (Providence, R.I.)

2011 Team record: 8-1
2011 Team standing: Play East Providence in regular-season finale Nov. 24

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 38-73 (52.1)-836
2011 TDs-INTs: 9-4
2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 79-584 (7.4)-9

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: HS junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Passed for 241 yards and four TDs in 48-21 win over playoff-bound South Kingstown. Ran for three touchdowns in 38-10 win over Barrington. Two-year starter.

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