Credit: Stock photo | Pexels

Anthony Bracamonte of Thornton Academy in Saco has been named the Gatorade Maine Football Player of the Year.

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 Bracamonte as Maine’s best high school football player.

The 5-foot-7, 150-pound senior running back and kick returner led the Trojans to an 11-0 record and the Class A state championship this season. He rushed for 1,013 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 10.9 yards per carry. He also caught 11 TD passes and scored seven times on special teams (five punt returns, two kickoffs).

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The Southwestern Maine Activities Association player of the year, Bracamonte concluded his high school football career with 1,959 rushing yards and 48 touchdowns.

“Anthony Bracamonte is a terrific player; his skill set is so unique,” Kevin Cooper, head coach at Bonny Eagle High School of Standish, said in a news release. “The short-space quickness and unreal acceleration ability is just off the charts and makes him very hard to defend.”

Bracamonte, who maintained a weighted grade point average of 3.63, remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

Bracamonte becomes the fifth Gatorade Maine Football Player of the Year from Thornton Academy and joins recent Gatorade Maine Football Players of the Year Owen Garrard (2017, Scarborough), Mike Laverriere (2016, Thornton Academy), Joe Esposito (2015, Portland), Joe Fitzpatrick (2014, Cheverus of Portland) and Ben Lucas (2013, Cony of Augusta) among the state’s list of former award winners.

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Bracamonte has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He also is eligible to submit an essay to win one of a dozen $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.