North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Anson Football Player Earns Honor


Special To The NCHSAA from Gatorade

CHICAGO — In its third decade of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, has announced Stephone Anthony of Anson High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade North Carolina Football Player of the Year.

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 Anthony as North Carolina’s best high school football player.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior linebacker recorded 123 tackles and four sacks, as the Bearcats finished 3-8 this past season. Anchoring a defense that allowed 89.6 rushing yards and 147.4 passing yards per game this past fall, Anthony was credited with six pass breakups, two interceptions and two forced fumbles, while 16 of his tackles resulted in lost yardage for opponents. An Under Armour All-American and also a running back for Anson, he rushed for 302 yards and seven touchdowns on 50 carries. On special teams, he returned 14 kickoffs for 498 yards. As a junior in 2009, Anthony amassed 120 tackles—18 for losses—and four interceptions, leading his team to the school’s second-ever Class 3-A state semifinal appearance.

Also a baseball, wrestling and track standout, Anthony has maintained a 3.57 weighted GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as a youth athletic instructor and mentor to elementary school students.

“He’s been absolutely incredible for our football team and our community,” said Anson head coach Luke Hyatt. “He’s a super, super kid. It’s easy to say he’s the best player on our football team, and he has been the last three years without a doubt. He gets it done in the classroom. He’s doing what he’s supposed to do all the time. He’s a great leader for us. The whole community looks up to him. He’s just a pleasure to coach. I don’t know if I’ll ever coach another guy like that again.”

Anthony 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 ESPN RISE 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.

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