CHICAGO (December 11, 2017) — In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Carter Putz of Bishop Miege High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Kansas Football Player of the Year. Putz is the second Gatorade Kansas Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Bishop Miege 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 Putz as Kansas’ best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in December, Putz joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Mitchell Trubisky (2012-13, Mentor High School, Ohio), Greg Olsen (2002-03, Wayne Hills High School, N.J.), Matthew Stafford (2005-06 Highland Park High School, Texas), Harrison Smith (2006-07 Knoxville Catholic High School, Tenn.), Latavius Murray (2007-08, Onondaga High School, N.Y.), Brock Osweiler (2008-09, Flathead High School, Mont.) and Leonard Fournette (2014-15 & 2012-13, St. Augustine High School, La.).
The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot, 190-pound senior quarterback led the Stags to a 13-0 record and a second-straight Class 4A, Division I state championship this past season. Putz completed 165-of-217 passes for 2,844 yards and 38 touchdowns against just five interceptions. He also rushed for 596 yards and 11 scores. A three-time First Team All-State selection, Putz concluded his prep football career with 9,295 passing yards and a state record 124 touchdowns.
He has volunteered locally as a youth football and baseball coach. “Carter Putz is the key to Bishop Miege’s success,” said Joel Applebee, head coach of Mill Valley High. “He doesn’t have very many, if any, flaws in his game.”
Putz has maintained a weighted 3.95 GPA in the classroom. He has verbally committed to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 2018. 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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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. Two-time winner Putz joins Gatorade Kansas Football Players of the Year Christian Jegen (2015-16, Mill Valley High School), Denzel Goolsby (2014-15, Bishop Carroll Catholic High School), Joe Dineen (2013-14, Free State High School), Tanner Wood (2012-13, Conway Springs High School), Montell Cozart (2011–12, Bishop Miege High School), Bubba Starling (2010-11, Gardner Edgerton High School), and Blake Bell (2009-10, Bishop Carroll Catholic High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Putz will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.