In its third decade of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in partnership with RISE Magazine, today announced Paul McIntosh of F.J. Reitz High School as its 2007-08 Gatorade Indiana Football Player of the Year. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also meeting high standards of academic achievement while demonstrating exceptional character on and off the field, distinguishes McIntosh as Indiana’s best high school football player. McIntosh is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in mid-December. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior quarterback gained 4,074 total yards and scored 56 total touchdowns for the Panthers (15-0) this season. Showcasing all his talents in a 61-60 Class 4A regional title win over Columbus East, McIntosh connected on 18-of-27 attempts for 219 yards and a score, rushed for 232 yards and six touchdowns on 29 carries and scored the game-winning two-point conversion. McIntosh rushed for 155 yards and three touchdowns, while passing for 104 yards and two scores, in Reitzs 33-14 victory over Lowell in the 4A state title game at the RCA Dome last Saturday, November 24th. McIntosh has maintained a 3.8 GPA in the classroom while serving as a class officer on the school’s student council. Also a track & field standout, McIntosh volunteers as part of numerous church and community-service initiatives, coordinating efforts in the Elderly Family Project and escorting special needs children to the renowned West Side Nut Club Fall Festival. He’s won the Daughter’s of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award for embodying honor, service, courage, leadership and patriotism through various school projects and activities. “He’s by far the best player we’ve played against this year,” said Bob Gaddis, head coach of rival Columbus East High School. “He’s a leader and a competitor, and he always makes the right plays. Going into the game, we knew we had to stop him, and we prepared for that and we still couldn’t do it. Any time he needed to make a play, he made it.” 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. The selection process is administered by RISE Magazine, 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. McIntosh joins recent Gatorade Indiana Football Players of the Year Matt Ernest (2006-07, Crown Point HS), Luke Schmidt (2005-06, Jasper HS), and J.B. Paxson (2004-05, Center Grove HS) among the state’s list of former award winners. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit gatorade.com/playeroftheyear.