CHICAGO (December 4, 2014) — In its 30th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Mason Fine of Locust Grove High School as its 2014-15 Gatorade Oklahoma Football Player of the Year. Fine is the first Gatorade Oklahoma Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Locust Grove 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 Fine as Oklahoma’s best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in December, Fine 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, 165-pound junior quarterback has led the Pirates to a 13-0 record and a berth in the Class 3A state semifinals, scheduled for Dec. 5. With as many as two games to play, Fine has thrown for single-season state records of 4,469 yards and 65 touchdowns against only five interceptions on 292-of-424 passing (69 percent). A Preseason All-State selection as named by the Tulsa World, Fine also rushed for 522 yards and 10 touchdowns on 134 carries through 13 games. He has eclipsed the previous single-season state records of 3,916 passing yards and 54 touchdown passes.
Fine has maintained a 4.00 GPA in the classroom, ranks No. 1 in his graduating class and serves as junior class president. In addition to donating his time as a youth football instructor, he has also volunteered on behalf of the National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Mason is also an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
“Mason Fine is an excellent player and competitor,” said Shane Richardson, head coach of rival Tahlequah Sequoyah Tribal School. “He is probably the best quarterback I’ve coached against. He has set records in Oklahoma this year. You can tell he is the leader of his team by watching them feed off of his energy. On our team, we ask our players to play with great effort, attitude and intensity. Mason Fine embodies that creed. He is an absolute nightmare to prepare for and, at the same time, fun as heck to watch.”
Fine will begin his senior year of high school in the fall of 2015.
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.
Fine joins recent Gatorade Oklahoma Football Players of the Year Cameron Batson (2013-14, Millwood High School), Stanvon Taylor (2012-13, East Central High School), Andrew Hearon (2011-12, Metro Christian Academy), David Glidden (2010-11, Mustang High School), Demarco Cobbs (2009-10, Central), Timothy Flanders (2008-09, Midwest City High School) and Mark Ginther (2007-08, Jenks) among the state’s list of former award winners.
Watch Mason’s interview with Tulsa Worlds’s Mike Brown: