CBA's Paulus Named Gatorade POY

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (December 16, 2004) – In its 20th Anniversary season of honoring the nation's elite high school athletes, Gatorade® Thirst Quencher, in partnership with Scholastic Coach & Athletic Director magazine, today announced Greg Paulus of Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, N.Y., as the 2004 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year.

The award, which recognizes athletic achievement as well as the academic performance and overall character of its recipient, distinguishes Paulus as the nation's best high school football player. The Gatorade National Advisory Board, a group of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country, selected Paulus from the more than one million male high school football players nationwide. Paulus is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award, to be presented at an awards ceremony the afternoon prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

Rated by many recruiting analysts as the top prep quarterback in the country, Paulus led Christian Brothers Academy to a 13-0 record, its first Class AA state football championship and a No. 13 national ranking by USA Today. This year he completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 43 touchdowns and improved upon his own state single season passing record with 3,677 yards. In the state finals Paulus threw for a championship game record 376 yards and three touchdowns in leading CBA to a 41-35 victory over defending champion New Rochelle, claiming Most Valuable Player honors in the process.

"The thing that makes Greg such a great player is that he can make every throw a quarterback needs to make and he knows when to use each one," said Christian Brothers Academy Head Football Coach Joe Casamento. "He's also a fierce competitor who simply wouldn't let us lose, and that made him a great leader. But the most impressive thing about Greg Paulus may be the fact that for a kid who's already achieved so much, success never changed him as a person."

Paulus finished his prep football career the holder of five New York state records: most passing yards in a career (11,760) and in a season (3,677), most touchdown passes in a career (152) and in a season (45), and most passing yards in a game (543).

In addition to his gridiron exploits, Paulus is an honor student with a 92 average and is active in peer ministry and Amnesty International. Paulus is also one of the nation's top high school basketball players and, despite being courted by many of the nation's top Division I football programs, announced earlier this month he has chosen to play basketball for Duke University and Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Paulus' status as a two-sport phenom is not unprecedented among Gatorade National Player of the Year alumni. Current Oakland Raider Ronald Curry won Gatorade National Football Player honors in 1997 as a quarterback at Hampton High School in Hampton, Va., where he was also an All-American point guard on the basketball team. Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer (2000) is also a former Gatorade National Football Player of the Year, while current NFL quarterbacks Chad Hutchinson (1995) and Drew Henson (1998) are both former Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year winners.

"The honor bestowed upon Greg today is reflective of his demonstrated ability to play the game of football at the highest level; rising to the top of an extremely talented group of high school players across the nation," said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Tom Fox. "For 20 years the Gatorade High School Player of the Year Award has recognized outstanding athletes who also shine in the classroom and in their communities, so it is the whole of Greg's accomplishments that have earned him a place among the best high school athletes of the past two decades."

The Gatorade High School Player of the Year program recognizes one winner in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and awards one National Player of the Year in football, baseball, softball, volleyball, and boys' and girls' basketball, soccer, and track & field. Previous national award winners include Emmitt Smith, Lisa Leslie, Peyton Manning, Alex Rodriguez and Kerri Walsh among others.

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information and a list of upcoming announcement dates, or the names of previous winners, visit www.gatorade.com.


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