Rockland senior Tyler Gibson was named this year's Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Massachusetts. Here are the winners from the five other New England states:
RHODE ISLAND: BONZIE COLSON, ST. ANDREW'S
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound junior forward averaged 16.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 1.2 assists per game this past season, leading the Saints (24-9) to the New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class AA tournament championship game. A First Team All-NEPSAC Class AA selection, Colson averaged 14.7 points and 15.0 rebounds per game in the NEPSAC Class AA tournament as the eighth-seeded Saints reached the final, where they lost to Cushing Academy by one point on a 40-foot buzzer-beater.
Colson has maintained a B average in the classroom. A member of the St. Andrew’s School chorus, he has volunteered locally as a youth basketball coach and referee.
“Selfless, efficient, composed, simple -— that describes Bonzie Colson,” said Jesse Bopp, head coach of Vermont Academy. “He is at the core of their success. He scores around the basket, rebounds, makes free throws and guards. He is as efficient of a player as we played against all year.”
Colson will begin his senior year of high school this fall.
CONNECTICUT: KURT STEIDL, RIDGEFIELD
The 6-foot-6, 185-pound senior shooting guard averaged 24.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, four assists, and four steals while shooting 82 percent from the free throw line this past season, leading the Tigers (18-6) to the Class LL quarterfinals. A 2013 Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-Star selection, Steidl scored 31 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in a 63-57 win over New Britain in the second round of the state tournament.
Steidl has maintained a 3.68 GPA in the classroom. A devoted parishioner in his church community, he has volunteered locally assisting the elderly and on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club of Ridgefield.
“Kurt Steidl was absolutely one of the best kids we faced this year,” said Tom Hunt, head coach at Woodland Regional High. “He averaged a double-double per game while playing in a very tough conference. Every time I saw him, he was terrific.”
Steidl has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Vermont this fall.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: ERIC GENDRON, MERRIMACK
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound junior guard averaged 19.7 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks this past season, leading the Tomahawks (13-6) to the Division I state tournament. New Hampshire’s Mr. Basketball in 2013, Gendron scored 14 points to help hand eventual Division I state champion Trinity High its only loss of the season in a 60-56 regular-season win.
Gendron has maintained a 3.86 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of the Leo Club and as a basketball coach with the Merrimack Youth Association.
“Eric Gendron has been such a huge part of all the success we had this season,” said Merrimack High head coach Tim Goodridge. “He has become a true leader on and off the court and he also happens to be one of the nicest kids I have ever coached.”
Gendron will begin his senior year of high school this fall.
MAINE: GARET BEAL, JONESPORT-BEALS
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound senior wing averaged 33.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game this past season, leading the Royals (18-1) to a berth in the Class D state tournament. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Beal shot 60 percent from the field, 48 percent from 3-point range and 79 percent from the free throw line. Also awarded Mr. Basketball as named by the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches, he carried Jonesport-Beals to the 2012 Class D state championship as a junior, averaging 22.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.8 steals, 3.6 assists and 1.6 blocks.
Beal has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom and serves as a member of his school’s student council. In addition to donating his time on behalf of the National Honor Society, he has volunteered as a positive mentor to elementary school students and as part of both community fundraisers and cleanup efforts.
“As an opposing coach, our game plan always focused on how to handle Garet before and after he received the ball,” said Glenn Billings, head coach of rival Deer Isle-Stonington High. “Garet has the ability to pull up and hit the open jumper if you play off him, drive by you if you play up tight and pass to a open player if you double him. He sees the floor and reads the defender as well as any one we have played against, and his willingness to use all of his teammates is what has made him so tough to defend. He is also an excellent defender, taking away the other team’s best offensive threat in many games. I believe he is one of the best high school basketball players we have seen in our state.”
Beal has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Maine this fall.
VERMONT: MATT ST. AMOUR, MISSIQUOI VALLEY UNION
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior guard averaged 30.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.4 steals per game this past season, leading the Thunderbirds (13-9) to the Division I quarterfinals. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, St. Amour was also named the Burlington Free Press and Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year as a junior. He finished his prep career with 2,064 points, third in state history.
St. Amour has maintained a 4.13 GPA in the classroom. Also a soccer standout, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports programs, blood-donation drives and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
“St. Amour plays within himself and really understands the game,” said Peter Quinn, head coach at Vergennes High. “He’s a tremendous shooter who knows how to put the ball in the basket.”
St. Amour remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.