Colton Herman of East Anchorage High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Alaska Football Player of the Year. Herman is the first Gatorade Alaska Football Player of the Year to be chosen from East Anchorage High School.
The 6-foot, 190-pound senior running back and defensive back led the Thunderbirds to an 11-0 record and the Class I state championship this past season. Herman rushed for 615 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 13.1 yards per carry. A prolific returner, he averaged 44.9 yards on kickoff returns and 30.1 yards per punt return, scoring three special teams touchdowns. On defense, the All-State running back and defensive back recorded 46 tackles, four interceptions and returned two fumbles for scores.
East finished No. 1 in the High School Football America Alaska Top 5 statewide rankings created with our proprietary algorithm.
Herman has volunteered locally at his church and as part of community beautification projects. “Colt was a kid everyone had to game-plan for in all three phases,” said Walt Harmon, head coach of South High. “When we played them we consciously didn’t punt or kick to him as his speed is undeniable.”
Herman has maintained a weighted 3.62 GPA in the classroom. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
Herman joins recent Gatorade Alaska Football Players of the Year Derryk Snell (2017-18, Chugiak High School), Brenner Furlong (2016-17, Soldotna High School), Ethan Falaniko (2015-16, Bartlett High School), Anthony Griffith (2014-15, Ben Eielson High School), and Leroy Elliott (2013-14, West Anchorage High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Herman has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout 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 Herman as Alaska’s best
high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in December, Herman joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Emmitt Smith (1986-87, Escambia High School, Fla.), Matthew Stafford (2005-06 Highland Park HS, Texas) and Christian McCaffrey (2012-13, 2013-14, Valor Christian High School, Colo.).
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming
coaches, business owners and educators.