Mililani's Dillon Gabriel wins Hawaii Gatorade Player of the Year
HONOLULU In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Dillon Gabriel of Mililani High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Hawaii Football Player of the Year. Gabriel is the third Gatorade Hawaii Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Mililani 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 Gabriel as Hawaii’s best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in December, Gabriel joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, 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, 190-pound senior quarterback passed for 3,754 yards and 38 touchdowns this past season, leading the Trojans (10-3) to the Division I Open state tournament championship game. The 2018 Oahu Interscholastic Association Offensive Player of the Year, Gabriel is a three-time First Team All-OIA selection. He concluded his prep football career with a state-record 9,848 passing yards and 105 touchdowns.
Gabriel has volunteered locally with the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart program and he has donated his time as a youth football coach and official. “Even though we beat Mililani, I was worried until the end of the game that Dillon would bring them back,” said Kale Ane, head coach of the Punahou School. “He is a tremendous leader and an impact player.”
Gabriel has maintained a 3.91 GPA in the classroom. He has verbally committed to attend the United States Military Academy, where he will play football, in the fall of 2019.
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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Gabriel joins recent Gatorade Hawaii Football Players of the Year Chevan Cordeiro (2017-18, Saint Louis School), Tua Tagovailoa (2016-17, Saint Louis School), Vavae Malepeai (2015-16, Mililani High School), McKenzie Milton (2014-15, Mililani High School), and Larry Tuileta (2013-14, Punahou School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Gabriel has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.