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December 10, 2011

Carter named Gatorade Player of the Year

In its 27th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes,, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, recently announced Alex Carter of Briar Woods High School as its 2011-12 Gatorade Virginia Football Player of the Year. Carter is the first Gatorade Virginia Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Briar Woods 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 Carter as Virginia's best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in December, Carter 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, 195-pound senior defensive back and wide receiver has led the Falcons to a 12-1 record and a berth in the Group AA Div. 4 semifinals against Grafton, scheduled for Dec. 2. Carter has recorded 35 tackles with four interceptions and 10 pass breakups on defense through 13 games. He has also rushed for 443 yards and five touchdowns on 37 carries, caught 30 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns, and returned three kickoffs for scores. The Dulles District Defensive Player of the Year, Carter has been selected to play in the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Carter has maintained a 4.09 GPA in the classroom. A devoted member of his church community, he has served as a peer tutor and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports teams and a literacy-outreach program for elementary school students.

Previous Gatorade Players of the Year
1986: Ron Carey (Hermitage)
1987: Matt Darby (Green Run)
1988: Chris Hart (Harrisonburg)
1989: Terry Kirby (Tabb)
1990: B.J. Hawkins (Potomac)
1991: Aaron Sparrow (Woodrow Wilson)
1992: Tommy Edwards (Radford)
1993: Antonio Prosise (Sussex Central)
1994: Ken Oxendine (Thomas Dale)
1995: Maurice Daniels (Annandale)
1996: Thomas Jones (Powell Valley)
1997: Ronald Curry (Hampton)
1998: Ronald Curry (Hampton)
1999: Daniel Davis (Brooke Point)
2000: Raymond Mann (Hampton)
2001: Bryan Randall (Bruton)
2002: Kai Parham (Princess Anne)
2003: Vince Hall (Western Branch)
2004: Chris Long (St. Anne's-Belfield)
2005: Ed Wang (Stone Bridge)
2006: Evan Royster (Westfield)
2007: Tyrod Taylor (Hampton)
2008: Mike Glennon (Westfield)
2009: David Wilson (G-W Danville)
2010: Phillip Sims (Oscar Smith)
2011: Demetrious Nicholson (Bayside)
"Alex Carter is a big, physical guy who could play on either side of the ball, as a wide receiver or as a safety," said ESPN National Recruiting Director Tom Luginbill. "We like him on defense due to his range, ball skills and physical make-up, but he could easily be a nice fit on offense, especially given Stanford's need for playmakers."

Carter has verbally committed to play football on an athletic scholarship at Stanford University beginning in the fall of 2012.

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 ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.

Carter joins recent Gatorade Virginia Football Players of the Year Demetrious Nicholson (2010-11, Bayside High School) Phillip Sims (2009-10, Oscar Smith), David Wilson (2008-09, George Washington High School) and Mike Glennon (2007-08, Westfield) among the state's list of former award winners.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.

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