From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Football Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Junior running back, Cheverus Academy (Portland, Maine)
Greatness Present: Joe Fitzpatrick didn’t reach pay dirt in the Eastern Class A championship game, but he was as valuable as ever for undefeated Cheverus this past weekend.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder rushed for 97 yards on 24 carries as the Stags (10-0) rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to defeat Portland, 22-19, and advance to this Saturday’s state title game.
For the season, Fitzpatrick has rushed for 1,804 yards and 30 touchdowns on 191 carries. In the Eastern Class A semifinals, he ran for 263 yards and five TDs in a 37-0 win over Bangor.
Greatness Past: Fitzpatrick rushed for 168 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries as a sophomore backup last season.
Greatness Future: Fitzpatrick will be a senior next fall.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Football Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.