FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - Carroll senior Drue Tranquill took home top football honors Thursday night, being named the 2013 21Alive/Parkview Sports Medicine High School Football Player of the Year.
Tranquill, a two-way star who recently changed his verbal commitment to the Notre Dame, received the award in a special edition of Sound Off live from SportONE/Parkview Fieldhouse and televised on 21Alive.
"I initially thought I wanted to play Major League Baseball," Tranquill, also a standout baseball player, says. "That ultimately changed a year ago at the Army All-American Combine when I got connected here at AWP and the Carroll football program. That's when I knew God was steering me in that direction."
Tranquill accounted for 1,403 rushing yards, 28 rushing touchdowns, 348 receiving yards, 5 receiving touchdowns and 1 passing touchdown. He added 75 tackles, 5 sacks and 1 interception on defense.
Nominees for the Player of the Year award were those players voted 21Alive/Parkview Sports Medicine High School Football Players of the Week by a committee of coaches. Finalists included Woodlan's Jaylin Bennett, Bluffton's D'Wayne Eskridge, Bishop Dwenger's Mike Fiacable, Norwell's Piercen Harnish, New Haven's Jordan Hogue, North Side's Mike Lovett, East Noble's Brandon Mable, Concordia Lutheran's David Morrison, Concordia Lutheran's Jon Poore, Carroll's Justin Tranquill and New Haven's Ariest Vasquez.
The committee--made up of Garrett's Chris DePew, Columbia City's Randy Hudgins, Northrop's Tim Martone, Norwell's Jeff Miller and Snider's Kurt Tippmann--collectively chose Tranquill as Player of the Year.
In another high honor given at the banquet, Bishop Dwenger senior Austin Hillman won the 2013 21Alive/Parkview Sports Medicine Scholar Athlete of the Year. Hillman wrestles and runs cross country and track & field for the Saints, while maintaining a 4.3 grade point average. Hillman was unable to attend Thursday night's ceremony, so Bishop Dwenger head football coach and dean of students accepted the award on Hillman's behalf.
Hillman was chosen by a panel of superintendents that included: Wendy Robinson, Ed.D., of Fort Wayne Community Schools; Dr. Ken Folks of East Allen County Schools; Steven Yager, Ed.D., of Southwest Allen County Schools; and Chris Himsel of Northwest Allen County Schools.
Finalists for the Scholar Athlete of the Year award were: Blackhawk Christian's Marta Bleed, New Haven's Travis Crowe, Carroll's Dillon Fernando, North Side's Teddy Hesterman, New Haven's Jordan Hogue, Wayne's Haleigh Hunley, Snider's Andrew Kreager, South Side's Eva Lewellen, Snider's Donavin O'Day, Concordia Lutheran's Jon Poore, Northrop's Becca Pruden and Bishop Luers' Addie Reimbold.
Trine football head coach Matt Land was the keynote speaker at the banquet, sharing how football is more than just winning a games on the weekend, but prepares young men and women for life after sports.
"Greatness comes from luck. It can happen out of necessity. But 99 percent of the time, it will come from hard work, honesty and loyalty," Land told the student-athletes, their families and coaches.
21Alive congratulates Tranquill and Hillman on their awards, and commends all the Football Players of the Week and Scholar Athletes of the Week from this fall.
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