For a list of the other Gatorade State Football POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Dario Highsmith
School: Middletown (Conn.)
Weight: 185 pounds
Athletic achievement: He has led the Blue Dragons to an 11-1 record and a berth in the Class L state semifinals against Darien (Conn.), scheduled for Dec. 7. At the time of his selection, Highsmith had rushed for 2,565 yards and 27 touchdowns on 219 carries and thrown for 895 yards and nine TDs on 31-of-52 passing. On defense, the 2012 Central Connecticut Conference Division II West First Team honoree had recorded 39 tackles, four interceptions and one fumble recovery.
Academic excellence: Highsmith has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a youth football coach and mentor.
“Dario Highsmith is extremely fast, has great vision and is very durable,” said John Campanello, head coach of Wethersfield (Conn.). “He’s had big games all year no matter who they played. To have a chance at beating Middletown, you have to stop Dario.”
THE FUTURE: Highsmith will be a senior next fall.