For a list of the other Gatorade State Football POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Joe Dineen
School: Lawrence (Kan.) Free State
Weight: 195 pounds
Athletic achievement: He passed for 1,568 yards and 18 touchdowns, completing 111-of-207 attempts, leading the Firebirds (9-2) to the Class 6A state quarterfinals this past season. He also rushed for 726 yards and 10 touchdowns on 122 carries. The Sunflower League Player of the Year, Dineen recorded 73 tackles, five for a loss, recovered two fumbles and collected one interception on defense.
Academic excellence: Dineen has maintained a 3.38 GPA.
Exemplary character: A donations bell-ringer for the Salvation Army, he has volunteered locally as a mentor to children with special needs and as a youth football referee. He’s also donated his time to the Special Olympics.
“I thought Joe Dineen was an all-around great player,” said Tim Callaghan, head coach of Shawnee Mission West (Overland Park, Kan.). “He was the reason they were as good as they were. He anchored the offense and the defense.”
THE FUTURE: Dineen has verbally committed to Kansas.