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.
Senior wide receiver, Gaffney (Gaffney, S.C.)
2011 Team record: 12-0
2011 Team standing: Will play in Class 4A-I quarterfinals vs. Dorman on Friday
2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 86-1,644 (19.1)-22
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Undecided
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: No. 67 WR in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. 2010 First Team All-State selection. 2011 South Carolina Mr. Football finalist. 2011 Shrine Bowl selection.
Senior quarterback, Blue Ridge (Greer, S.C.)
2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 150-252 (59.5)-2,538
2011 TDs-INTs: 33-7
2011 Team record: 8-3
2011 Team standing: Lost in first round of Class 3A state playoffs
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Maryland
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011 Shrine Bowl selection. 2010 First Team All-State selection. School record-holder for completions, passing yards and touchdowns.
Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011 campaign.
Joey Copeland: Gaffney (S.C.) senior quarterback
D.J. Goodman: Greenwood (S.C.) senior running back
Shaq Roland: Lexington (S.C.) senior wide receiver
Oliver Jones: Ninety-Six (S.C.) senior offensive lineman