For a list of the other Gatorade State Football POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Mark Fossati
School: Saint Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.)
Weight: 205 pounds
Athletic achievement: He has led the Green Knights to a 9-1 record entering the Non-Public, Group III state championship game, scheduled for Dec. 7. The state’s returning Defensive Player of the Year as named by The Star-Ledger, Fossati amassed 72 tackles, six pass breakups and two interceptions, anchoring a defense that allowed 14.5 points per contest through 10 games. As a running back, he rushed for 221 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries in addition to hauling in 15 receptions for 245 yards and five scores entering the championship game. Fossati also serves as Saint Joseph Regional’s punter, placekicker and kickoff specialist. He recorded 154 tackles and forced three fumbles as a junior last season.
Academic excellence: Also a baseball and basketball standout, Fossati has maintained a 3.81 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, ACES Club of UNICO National and The Green Knights Ambassadors club, he has volunteered as part of Saint Joseph Regional High’s monthly community-service initiatives.
“Mark Fossati is everywhere,” said Nunzio Campanile, head coach at rival Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.). “He’s a 20-tackle-a-game guy. He blocked a punt and intercepted a pass for a touchdown against us. He played fullback, linebacker, kicked field goals—he did everything. He’s hot stuff.”
THE FUTURE: Fossati remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.