Luke Schaefer was second on the team in goals and points, while Hamilton led the team in assists. (Photo by Jack Beasley/MaxPreps)
CHICAGO (June 16, 2022) — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s top high school athletes, Gatorade today named Hamilton High School’s Luke Schaefer the 2021-2022 Gatorade Arizona Boys’ Football Player of the Year. Schaefer is the third Gatorade Arizona Boys Football Player of the Year selection from Hamilton High School.
The award, which honors not only outstanding athletic performance but also high academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field, makes Schaefer Arizona’s top high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys’ Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Schaefer is joining an elite association of state award-winning alumni in 12 sports, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, high school Cranbrook, Michigan, USA). ), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mount Carmel High School, California), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy Young Women’s School, New York), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02 and 2002-03 , Intermediate East Brunswick High School, NJ), Matt Besler (2004-05, Blue Valley West High School, Kansas), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Massachusetts) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School, Colorado).
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound senior forward had 22 goals and 11 assists last season, leading the Huskies (15-4-2) to the Conference 6A state semi-finals. Schaefer was the Premier Region 6A Player of the Year and was named to the State First Team twice. He ended his preparatory football career with 40 goals and 18 assists.
Schaefer has volunteered for Feed My Starving Children and homeless shelters. He also donated his time as a youth football coach and was involved in numerous community initiatives through his church youth group. “Luke is such an impressive player,” said Justin Hughes, head coach at Pinnacle High. “Fortunately, we knew about him even before we played with them, so we “managed” to keep him out of the game as much as possible. He still scored twice against us.”
Schaefer maintained a weighted GPA of 3.67 in the class. He signed a national letter of intent to play football for a scholarship at California Polytechnic State University this fall.
Gatorade Program Player of the Year recognizes one winner annually 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’ football, baseball, softball, and athletics for boys and girls. field and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which uses experts including coaches, scouts, the media and others as sources to evaluate and determine the state’s winners in each sport.
Schaefer joins recent Gatorade Arizona Boys Footballers of the Year Charlie Cobb (2020–21, Brophy Preparatory College), Francesco Montanile (2019–2020, Brophy Preparatory College), Derick Hall (2018–19, Brophy Preparatory College) and Carter Clemmensen. (2017-18, Brophy Preparatory College) on the list of former state award recipients.
Gatorade has a long history of serving the athlete community and understands how the sport instills valuable skills for life on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Middleton is able to provide a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choice that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Middleton is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why their chosen organization deserves one of twelve $10,000 grants to be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners have awarded more than $3.5 million in grants to over 1,300 organizations.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and collegiate championships, and many have also become mainstays in their communities as coaches, business owners, and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, view past winners, or nominate student athletes, visit the website playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOYInstagram in instagram.com/Gatorade and twitter on twitter.com/Gatorade.