Each season, Gatorade recognizes one student-athlete from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. who embodies its Player of the Year program’s three pillars: athletic production, academic achievement and exemplary character.
Each week during its Gatorade State Player of the Year selection process, USA Today surfaces one candidate who meets those criteria and deserves recognition as a serious Gatorade State Player of the Year contender.
Name: Matt Ferris
School: Xavier (Appleton, Wis.)
Athletic Production: The 6-foot-5, 175-pound Ferris is rewriting the Wisconsin state record books in 2013. With 48 touchdown passes and counting, the Xavier quarterback has shattered the single-season record of 40, shared by Kenosha St. Joseph’s Danny Freund in 2003 and 2012-13 Gatorade Wisconsin Football Player of the Year Tarek Yaeggi of Watertown, who tied the record in 2012. Ferris has completed 244 of 392 passes for 3,743 yards for Xavier (12-1), which will play in the Division 3 semifinals this Friday.
Academic Achievement: He has maintained an A average.
Exemplary Character: A member of the National Honor Society and an elected officer in his school’s student government organization, Ferris has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and youth sports camps.