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: Matt Farniok
School: Washington (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
Weight: 315 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Warriors to an 11-1 record and the Class 11AAA state title this past season. Farniok helped pave the way for a Washington offense that averaged 35.3 points and 229.4 rushing yards per game. Captain of the Argus Leader Elite 45 team, he has been chosen to play in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Academic excellence: Farniok has maintained a 3.78 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of his school’s student council and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a homeless shelter and Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire.
“Farniok is big, he’s strong, he’s fast,” said John Hodorff, head coach at Watertown High. “He does his job every play and they run behind him an awful lot.”
THE FUTURE: Farniok remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.