The Gatorade State Football Players of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Football Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Vavae Malepeai
School: Mililani (Hawaii)
Position: Running back
Weight: 195 pounds
Athletic achievement: He rushed for 1,952 yards and 29 touchdowns on 234 carries this past season, leading the Trojans (10-3) to the Division I semifinals. The 2015 Oahu Interscholastic Association Blue Offensive Player of the Year, Malepeai set a state record for career rushing yards with 4,556. He has been selected to play in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and is a finalist for the U.S. Army Player of the Year award.
Academic excellence: Malepeai has maintained a 3.52 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, he has volunteered locally at a homeless shelter and as a youth football coach.
“Vavae Malepeai is a tremendous talent,” said Amosa Amosa, head coach at Campbell High. “I have had the pleasure to watch him grow and mature into an awesome player. He is especially a great humble young man when I’ve seen him in public or at family functions.”
THE FUTURE: Malepeai has verbally committed to play football on scholarship at the University of Oregon in the fall of