For a list of the other Gatorade State Football POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Caden Quintanilla
School: Lincoln (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
Weight: 180 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Patriots to a perfect 11-0 record and the Class 11AAA state championship this past season. Quintanilla rushed for 1,893 yards and 29 touchdowns on 257 carries. A First Team All-State selection, he was named captain of the Argus Leader Elite 45 team. He rushed for a record 244 yards and four touchdowns in the state title game, earning the Joe Robbie Award.
Academic excellence: Quintanilla has maintained a 3.94 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of youth football camps and the Character Counts program, which stresses to elementary school students the importance of responsibility, respect and commitment.
“Quintanilla isn’t the biggest guy, but he’s tough,” said Chad Stadem, head coach at Washington (Sioux Falls, S.D.). “He’s very disciplined, follows his blocks and what separates him from everyone else is how quickly he accelerates.”
THE FUTURE: Quintanilla remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.