High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Lincoln-Way East

Illinois Girls Track AOY: Aaliyah Brown

June, 20, 2012
6/20/12
5:37
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Girls 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 her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Aaliyah Brown

THE BASICS

School: Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort, Ill.)
Grade: Junior
Event(s): Sprints
Height: 5-foot-6

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Brown won the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.18 seconds at the Class 3A state championship meet this spring, leading the Griffins to a fourth-place finish as a team. She also took second in the 100-meter dash and anchored the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays to runner-up finishes. Brown broke the tape in the 100 and 200 at the Arcadia Invitational in California and finished second in the adidas Dream 100 with a time of 11.44 seconds, which ranked as the nation’s No. 4 time among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of her selection.

Academic excellence: Brown has maintained 3.32 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track programs and the Special Olympics.

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Illinois Football POY: Blake Winkler

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
5:37
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.

Gatorade POY: Blake Winkler
ESPNChicagoBlake Winkler threw for 4,297 yards and 51 TDs in his final two high school seasons.
THE WINNER: Blake Winkler

THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY

School: Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort, Ill.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 180 pounds

THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria

Athletic achievement: Winkler completed 131-of-213 pass attempts for 2,369 yards and 30 touchdowns against just five interceptions this past season, leading the Griffins (10-1) to the second round of the Class 7A postseason. A returning Honorable Mention All-State selection as named by the Chicago Tribune, he rushed for 94 yards and one touchdown on 45 carries. Winkler concluded his career as Lincoln Way-East’s leading passer, throwing for 4,297 yards and 51 touchdowns while leading his team to a 19-3 record over the past two seasons.

Academic excellence: Winkler has maintained a 4.11 weighted GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Pi Sigma Pi history honor society and Mu Alpha Theta mathematics society, Winkler has volunteered locally on behalf of a homeless shelter and his church in addition to donating his time as a tutor and football instructor to area youth.

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Eye on POY: Illinois football

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
4:44
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.

Eye on POY: Matt Alviti
Scott Powers/ESPNHSMatt Alviti led Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.) to the 2010 Class 8A state title as a sophomore.
Matt Alviti
Junior quarterback, Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.)

2011 Team record: 10-1 (Class 8A)
2011 Team standing: lost Class 8A second round to Stevenson, 24-22

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 150-235 (63.8)-2,037
2011 TDs-INTs: 26-7
2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 95-511 (5.4)-12

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: HS Junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: In the first round of the Class 8A state tournament, threw for 182 yards and four touchdowns in addition to rushing for the fifth TD in a 35-13 victory. Averaged 7.7 yards per touch for the season. Class of 2013 ESPNU 150 Watch List nominee. 2011 First Team All-State preseason selection as named by ESPNHS. 2010 Second Team All-State selection as named by the Chicago Tribune. 2010 Class 8A state champion.

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