CHICAGO, Ill. – In it's 28th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes. the Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA Today High School Sports, today announced Tanner Wood of Conway Springs High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Kansas Football Player of the Year. Wood is the third Gatorade Kansas Football Player of the Year to be chose from Conway Springs.
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 Wood as Kansas' best high school football player. now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in December, Wood joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including March Sanchez (2004-04, Mission Viejo High School, Calif.), We Welker (1999-00, Heritage Hall High School, Okla.), Terrell Suggs (1999-00, Hamilton High School, Ariz.), Anquan Bolden (1998-99, Pahokee High School, Fla.).
The 6'5'', 240 lb. senior quarterback and linebacker rushed for 2,709 yards and 39 touchdowns on 256 carries this past season, leading the Cardinals (9-2) to the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. Wood also passed for 526 yards and six touchdowns and returned two kickoffs for scores. On defense, he recorded 106 tackles–9.5 for a loss– forced two fumbles, recovered three fumbles and returned and interception for a touchdown. In the regular season finale against Chaparral High School, Wood ran for a state record 659 yards and nine touchdowns in an 84-56 win.
Wood has maintained a 3.9 GPA in the classroom. A member of the Conway Springs High School student council, he has volunteered locally as part of gift drives for underprivileged children, school-beautification projects and assisted in relief efforts for tornado victims.
"Tanner Wood had a great season, over 2,000 yards rushing and a monster on defense," said Cory Brack, Head Coach of Cheney High School. "He has a motor that will not stop and that feeds to the rest of the team. Conway Springs would be a totally different team without him."
Wood has verbally committed play football on an athletic scholarship at Kansas State University beginning in the fall of 2013.
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 and field, and wards one National Player of the YEar in each sport. the selection process is administered by he Gatorade High School Sports leadership team in partnership with USA Today High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and media advisory board of accomplished, verteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winner in each sport.
Wood joins recent Gatorade Kansas Football Players of the year, Montell Cozart (2011-12, Bishop Miege High School), Bubba Starling (2010-11, Gardner Edgerton High School), Blake Bell (2009-10, Bishop Carroll Catholic High School), and Bryce Brown (2007-08 East High School) among the state's list of former winners.