In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Sam Schrader of Mishawaka High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Indiana Football Player of the Year. Schrader is the first Gatorade Indiana Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Mishawaka High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Schrader as Indiana’s best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in December, Schrader joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Wes Welker (1999-00, Heritage Hall HS, Okla.), Terrell Suggs (1999-00, Hamilton HS, Ariz.), Anquan Boldin (1998-99, Pahokee HS, Fla.) and Jerome Bettis (1989-90, Mackenzie HS, Mich.).
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior quarterback rushed for 1,749 yards and 28 touchdowns this season, leading the Cavemen (11-4) to the Class 4A state final. A 2011 First Team All-State selection, Schrader also threw 10 touchdown passes against just three interceptions. On defense, he contributed 24 tackles in the secondary.
Schrader has maintained a 4.09 GPA in the classroom. A member of the Mayor’s Youth Council in Mishawaka, he has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple community service initiatives in association with the National Honor Society.
“We did not face a more skilled football player playing the quarterback position than Sam Schrader,” said Keith Kilmer, head coach at Lowell High. “We played him in the playoffs two years in a row and he beat us in every facet of the game both times. He also demonstrates good sportsmanship and above average leadership skills.”
Schrader remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Schrader joins recent Gatorade Indiana Football Players of the Year Gunner Kiel (2011-12, Columbus East High School), Matt McIntosh (2010-11, F.J. Reitz High School), Kofi Hughes (2009-10, Cathedral), Morgan Newton (2008-09, Carmel High School) and Paul McIntosh (2007-08, F.J. Reitz) among the state’s list of former award winners.
Schrader won football's Mental Attitude Award at this year's state title game.