South Burlington running back Tanner Contois was named Vermont’s Gatorade player of the year for high school football, the company announced in a news release on Thursday.
Contois, a senior, is the second Rebel to earn the honor — Randy Morin, a running back/safety, won the award in 1988-89.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, is selected in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports. The honor means Contois is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in December, the release said.
The speedy 5-foot-11, 165-pound tailback rushed for 2,357 yards and amassed 29 total touchdowns this past season, leading the Rebels (9-2) to the Division I state title game against Middlebury. Contois, the Burlington Free Press player of the year, also caught 21 passes for 563 yards.
Contois has maintained a 3.81 GPA in the classroom.
He has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple fundraiser walks to benefit ALS and breast cancer research and has served as a student-athlete representative on the Concussion Task Force in association with the Vermont Department of Education, according to the release.
“Tanner Contois was by far the best running back that we played against all year,” Mount Mansfield coach Marty Richards said. “There were numerous times when we had him bottled up and he would somehow scamper free for 50-plus yards. He has great balance and strong legs which constantly move.”
Contois joins recent Gatorade players of the year Michael Dulac (2012-2013, Hartford), Jake Stalcup (2011-12, Burr and Burton Academy), Christian McCormick (2010-11, Rice Memorial), Max Librizzi (2009-10, Essex), Mick Wong (2008-09, Hartford) and James Durham (2007-08, Spaulding) among the state’s list of former award winners.
Gatorade award-winners for cross-country running will be announced in January.
Soccer honorees will follow in February, according to the organization’s website.