CHICAGO (December 4, 2014) - In its 30th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced McKenzie Milton of Mililani High School as its 2014-15 Gatorade Hawaii Football Player of the Year. Milton is the first Gatorade Hawaii Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Mililani 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 Milton as Hawaii's best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in December, Milton 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 6-foot, 185-pound junior quarterback led the Trojans to a 14-0 record and the Division I state championship this past season. Milton passed for 3,392 yards and 35 touchdowns, completing 238-of-346 passes (69 percent) while throwing eight interceptions. He also rushed for 808 yards on 96 carries and another 12 touchdowns. The 2014 Oahu Interscholastic Association Blue Offensive Player of the Year, Milton passed for 421 yards and seven touchdowns in a 53-45 win over Punahou in the state championship game.
Milton has maintained a 3.29 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally at a food bank and a homeless shelter in addition to participating in multiple community clean-up initiatives.
"McKenzie Milton is one of Hawaii's most exciting football players to watch," said Mililani High head coach Rod York. "He is well-respected among his peers and he is one of the most liked student athletes on our campus. What makes him successful is his selflessness and humble attitude."
Milton will begin his senior year of high school next fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year <http://www.gatorade.com/poy/overview.aspx> 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 <http://www.usatodayhss.com/customize>, 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.
Milton joins recent Gatorade Hawaii Football Players of the Year Larry Tuileta (2013-14 & 2012-13, Punahou School), Steven Lakalaka (2011-12, Punahou School), Marcus Mariota (2010-11, Saint Louis High School), Andrew Manley (2009-10, Leilehua) and Manti Te'o (2008-09 & 2007-08, Punahou School) among the state's list of former award winners.
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