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In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Evan Wysong of V. Sue Cleveland High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade New Mexico Football Player of the Year. Wysong is the fifth Gatorade New Mexico Football Player of the Year to be chosen from V. Sue Cleveland 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 Wysong as New Mexico’s best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in January, Wysong joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Trevor Lawrence (2018-19 & 2016-17, Cartersville High School, Ga.), Matthew Stafford (2005-06, Highland Park High School, Texas) and Emmitt Smith (1986-87, Escambia High School, Fla.).

The 5-foot-11, 165-pound senior quarterback led the Storm to an 11-2 record and the Class 6A state championship this past season. Wysong passed for 2,004 yards and 28 touchdowns, and also rushed for 1,289 yards and 15 TDs. He rumbled for 247 yards and three scores on the ground and passed for another TD in Cleveland’s 75-61 win over La Cueva High School in the state final. He concluded his prep football career with 47 touchdown passes and 30 rushing TDs.

Wysong has volunteered locally as part of multiple fundraising campaigns to benefit cancer research. He has also donated his time at an elderly care facility and as a youth football coach. “Evan is a one-of-a-kind player,” said Robert Garza, head coach of V. Sue Cleveland High School. “The command that he brings to our offense is very unique. He always works his hardest in practice and has been nothing but a bright spot for our team. What Evan brings to the table is special.”

Wysong has maintained a weighted 3.04 GPA in the classroom. At the time of his selection, he’d made a verbal commitment to play football on scholarship at the University of New Mexico this fall.

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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

Wysong joins recent Gatorade New Mexico Football Players of the Year Zach Vigil (2021-22, Rio Rancho High School), Luke Wysong (2020-21, V. Sue Cleveland High School), Isaiah Chavez (2019-20, Rio Rancho High School), and Dorian Lewis (2018-19, V. Sue Cleveland High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

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