Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs High School quarterback Austin Hinder was named the 2009-10 Gatorade Colorado Football Player of the Year on Thursday.
Hinder, who has verbally committed to play for the University of California, Berkeley, has thrown for 2,114 yards and 25 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
The senior also has run for 793 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“Wow. I didn’t think I got that,” Hinder said. “It’s major, especially with the names mentioned. It puts you in a class with some of the greatest athletes out there.”
According to a news release from Gatorade, “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 Hinder as Colorado’s best high school football player.”
Hinder is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award, which will be announced later this month.
Hinder has helped lead Steamboat to the Class 3A state championship game against Valor Christian. The two teams square off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Legacy Stadium in Aurora.
“As far as a football talent, he can play at any level at any school in our state,” Palisade coach John Arledge said in the release. “He is a Division I kid, and rightly so. He’s got size and speed. I thought he was a better runner than he is a thrower. He can whiz it, though.”
The Gatorade Player of the Year program recognizes one winner from each state in football, volleyball, cross-country, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball and track and field.
Previous Colorado winners have included Rocky Mountain’s Bryan Peters in 2008-09, Ponderosa’s Jon Major in 2007-08 and Columbine’s Ryan Miller in 2006-07.
“It is kind of surprising that I got that honor,” Hinder said. “Mainly because I am playing in a smaller class. But it shows a lot of people, good athletes and players come from everywhere as long as they work hard.”