For a list of the other Gatorade State Football POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: James Johannesson
School: Fargo (N.D.) South
Weight: 210 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Bruins to a 9-3 record and the Class AAA state championship this past season. Johannesson rushed for 2,671 yards and 29 touchdowns on 266 carries. A First Team All-State selection, he ran for 236 yards and three touchdowns in the state title game against Bismarck (N.D.). He owns the school records for rushing yards in a game, season and career.
Academic excellence: Johannesson has maintained a 3.43 GPA.
Exemplary character: Also a hockey and track standout, he has volunteered locally visiting nursing homes and assisting with youth hockey and football programs.
“Johannesson is big, he has great vision and he’s patient,” said Jay Gibson, head coach at West Fargo (N.D.). “He can run away from you or run you over. He has the whole package.”
THE FUTURE: Johannesson will be a senior next fall.