CHICAGO — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Cade McNamara of Damonte Ranch High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Nevada Football Player of the Year. McNamara is the first Gatorade Nevada Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Damonte Ranch 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 McNamara as Nevada’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, McNamara 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 High School, Texas) and Christian McCaffrey (2012 13, 2013-14, Valor Christian High School, Colo.).
The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot-1, 206 pound senior quarterback passed for 2,995 yards and 39 touchdowns this past season, leading the Mustangs (12-1) to the Class 4A Northern Region championship game. A two-time Northern Nevada Region Player of the Year, McNamara concluded his prep football career with a
state-record 12,084 passing yards along with 146 touchdowns.
A member of his local chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, McNamara has volunteered locally at a home day care facility and he has donated his time as a youth football coach. “Cade is the best quarterback I have ever seen out of this area,” said Eric Borja, head coach of Spanish Springs High. “He makes everything look like it’s in slow motion. He knows football and how to manage and play the game.”
McNamara has maintained a weighted 4.30 GPA in the classroom. Taking advantage of NCAA early signing rules, McNamara has inked a financial-aid agreement that paves the way for him to enroll at the University of Michigan. He will graduate from high school later this month and attend collegiate classes in the spring semester.
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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Two-time winner McNamara joins Gatorade Nevada Football Players of the Year Tate Martell (2016-17, Bishop Gorman High School), Biaggio Ali Walsh (2015-16, Bishop Gorman High School), Tate Martell (2014-15, Bishop Gorman High School), and Tyler Newman (2013-14, Liberty High School) among the state’s list of former award
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” McNamara 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.
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.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate studentathletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.