For the list of the other 2014 Gatorade State Football POYs, click here
THE WINNER: Gabe Green
School: Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield, Ill.)
Weight: 205 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Cyclones to a 14-0 record and a second consecutive Class 5A state championship this past season. Green completed 14-of-21 pass attempts for 207 yards and one touchdown in addition to rushing for 86 yards on 21 carries in the 29-14, title-clinching victory against Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic. A two-time Class 5A First Team All-State selection as named by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association, Green threw for 2,837 yards and 37 touchdowns against just one interception on 163-of-216 passing (75 percent) in 14 games. He also rushed for 851 yards and eight touchdowns on 91 carries.
Academic excellence: Green has maintained a 3.67 GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a math tutor and youth football instructor, he has volunteered as part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Springfield’s Saint Martin De Porres Center and his school’s peer-leadership initiative. A participant in an elementary school literacy-outreach program, Green has also supported multiple charitable endeavors to benefit the homeless and Sacred Heart-Griffin’s Mostaccioli Dinner fundraiser.
“He is a great leader, and he is a truly great competitor,” said Mark Grounds, head coach of rival Jacksonville. “However, I think the way he carries himself in spite of all the success he has had is what is most remarkable. He is humble, approachable and always very excited at the success of others. He makes the people around him better and raises their level of play.”
THE FUTURE: Green has verbally committed to Southern.