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: Jake Funk
School: Damascus (Md.)
Position: Running back
Weight: 205 pounds
Athletic achievement: He has led the Hornets to a perfect 13-0 record and a berth in the Class 3A state championship game against Dundalk, scheduled for Dec. 3. Funk rushed for 2,289 yards and 44 touchdowns on 183 carries through 13 games, breaking the state single-season record for touchdowns with 50 overall. He was a First Team All-State selection as a junior and was named to the Washington Post All-Met Second Team.
Academic excellence: Funk has maintained a 4.46 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has assisted special needs students in his school and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports programs.
“Funk is a complete player,” said Ernie Williams, head coach at Wheaton High. “A great mix of speed and strength make him virtually unstoppable out of the backfield, and on the other side of the ball he’s just as effective.”
THE FUTURE: Funk has verbally committed to play football on scholarship at the University of Maryland in the fall of 2016.