Century High School student-athlete named Gatorade North Dakota Football Player of the Year
CHICAGO (May 13, 2021) — In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Andrew Leingang of Century High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade North Dakota Football Player of the Year.
Leingang is the second Gatorade North Dakota Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Century 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 Leingang as North Dakota’s best high school football player.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in May, Leingang joins an elite group of past state football award-winners, including Emmitt Smith (1986-87, Escambia High School, Fla.), Matthew Stafford (2005-06, Highland Park High School, Texas) and Christian McCaffrey (2012-13 & 2013-14, Valor Christian High School, Colo.).
The 6-foot-6, 275-pound senior offensive and defensive lineman led the Patriots to a perfect 10-0 record and the Class AAA state championship this past season. Leingang paved the way for an offense that averaged 248.5 rushing yards and 39 points per game, while also contributing 37 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions on defense. The Class AAA Senior Football Athlete of the Year, he is a two-time First Team All-State honoree and was selected the MidcoSN North Dakota Player of the Year.
Leingang has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics. “He does everything well on the offensive line,” said Chris Clements, head coach at Legacy High. “He has great feet and he uses leverage well. He has a great motor on defense too, and you always have to be conscious of where he’s lining up.”
Leingang has maintained a 4.10 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play football on scholarship at Kansas State University 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 works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Leingang joins recent Gatorade North Dakota Football Players of the Year Oscar Benson (2019-20, Hillsboro-Central Valley), Will Madler (2018-19, Bismarck High School), Andy Gravdahl (2017-18, West Fargo High School), and Brandon Metz (2016-17, West Fargo High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Leingang has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Leingang is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.
Story Courtesy of Gatorade
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