For a list of the other Gatorade State Football Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Austin Kafentzis
School: Jordan (Sandy, Utah)
Weight: 192 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Beetdiggers (12-1) to the Class 5A state championship this season. The 2011 MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year, Kafentzis completed 200-of-313 passes (61 percent) for 3,018 yards and 32 touchdowns. A returning Class 5A First-Team All-State selection as named by The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, he also rushed for 1,884 yards and 26 touchdowns on 237 carries. In four Class 5A state playoff games, Kafentzis completed 42-of-54 attempts for 749 yards and six touchdowns in addition to rushing for 389 yards and seven scores on 56 carries. His eight touchdown passes against Copper Hills (West Jordan, Utah) on Sept. 21 tied the state single-game record.
Academic excellence: Kafentzis has maintained a 3.85 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth football and javelin instructor, he has volunteered locally on behalf of his church, as a peer tutor and as a mentor for elementary school children.
“His desire to win is unmatched,” said Jordan head coach Eric Kjar. “Austin has never missed a workout, practice or game. He is not a selfish person. He puts the team – and especially the linemen – ahead of himself. He is very calm under pressure. His first game that he ever started on varsity was against the No. 1 team in the state, and he led a fourth-quarter comeback, driving the team 70 yards in 45 seconds for a touchdown and leaving just five seconds on the clock.”
THE FUTURE: Kafentzis will begin his junior year of high school next fall.