Jackson standout Theo Dawson is this year's Gatorade Football Player of the Year.

CHICAGO (December 3, 2015) — In its 31st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Theo Dawson of Jackson Hole High School as its 2015-16 Gatorade Wyoming Football Player of the Year.

Dawson is the second Gatorade Wyoming Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Jackson Hole 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 Dawson as Wyoming’s best high school football player.

Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in December, Dawson 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-2, 220-pound senior running back rushed for 2,283 yards and 27 touchdowns on 254 carries this past season, leading the Broncs to a 9-1 record and the Class 3A semifinals.

Dawson averaged 9.0 yards per carry and also contributed 61 tackles on defense.

He set a single-game state record with 489 yards rushing in a postseason victory over Riverton.

Dawson has maintained a 3.97 GPA in the classroom.

He has served as a Sunday School teacher and a tutor and has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and youth football programs.

“Dawson is one of the best I’ve seen,” said Todd Weber, head coach at Worland High. “He’s big and solid and hard to bring down.”

Dawson 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 the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

Dawson joins recent Gatorade Wyoming Football Players of the Year Christian Mayer (2014-15, Big Horn High School), Tevis Bartlett (2013-14, Cheyenne East High School), Brecken Biggs (2012-13, Natrona County High School), Jordan Roberts (2011-12, Sheridan High School), Jim Shellenberger (2010-11, Natrona County High School), Austin Woodward (2009-10, Sheridan High School), Tommy Earl (2008-09, Natrona County High School) and Alex Stratton (2007-08, Cheyenne East High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.