Noah Spence wins 2011-12 Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year
CHICAGO (December 1, 2011) — In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes,, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Noah Spence of Bishop McDevitt High School as its 2011-12 Gatorade Pennsylvania Football Player of the Year. Spence is the second Gatorade Pennsylvania Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Bishop McDevitt 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 Spence as Pennsylvania’s best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in December, Spence 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-4, 245-pound senior defensive tackle has led the Crusaders to an 11-2 record a berth in the Class AAA state quarterfinals against Lampeter-Strasburg, scheduled for Dec. 2. Spence amassed 84 tackles, 23 tackles for losses, 10 sacks and three blocked punts for a team that allowed just 11.9 points per contest through 13 games. A 2012 Under Armour All-America Game selection, Spence, also a tight end, hauled in four receptions for 35 yards and two touchdowns while blocking for an offense that scores 36.4 points per game. The returning Defensive Player of the Year as named by Pennsylvania Football News, he recorded 102 tackles, 33 tackles for losses, 22 sacks and eight forced fumbles as a junior in 2010.
Spence has maintained a 3.25 GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating his time as a youth mentor and athletic instructor, he has volunteered with the Special Olympics and as part of multiple community-service initiatives on behalf of his church’s Care Leadership Youth Group.
“The combination of his physical strength and speed on the field would rank as the best I’ve seen at the high school level,” said Robert Klock, head coach of rival Lower Dauphin High. “He is also very smart in how he positions himself. He seems to always be in a great position to maintain leverage. Spence is a wonderful young man as well as an outstanding football player.”
Spence 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 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.
Spence joins recent Gatorade Pennsylvania Football Players of the Year Brendan Nosovitch (2010-11, Allentown Central Catholic High School) Kyle Smith (2009-10, Lancaster Catholic), Zach Barket (2008-09, Schuylkill Haven Area High School) and Brendan Beal (2007-08, Liberty) 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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