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: Balue Chapman
School: Bozeman (Mont.)
Position: Running back and defensive end
Weight: 195 pounds
Athletic achievement: He rushed for 833 yards and 12 touchdowns on 132 carries this past season, leading the Hawks to a 12-1 record and the Class AA state championship. Chapman also recorded 70 tackles, 27 quarterback hurries, 10 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks. A three-time All-Conference selection, he was a Second Team All-State honoree as a junior.
Academic excellence: Chapman has maintained a 3.67 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has participated in a service-mission trip to Costa Rica and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth football programs.
“Chapman is a game-changer,” said Kyle Samson, head coach at Flathead High. “He’s a good running back and you really had to game-plan for him on the defensive side of the ball.”
THE FUTURE: Chapman has verbally committed to play football on scholarship at Montana State University in the fall of 2016.