Skyline senior quarterback Max Browne garnered yet another honor on Tuesday when Gatorade named him its National Player of the Year for the 2012 football season in a surprise ceremony with Seahawks rookie Russell Wilson.
“My coach called me out of class and I thought I was talking to a college coach about one of my guys for a future offer,” Browne said. “I walked in and saw Russell, the cameras and all my friends and I knew they got me.”
Browne’s parents Mike and Cheryl and head coach Mat Taylor were also forced to keep the news under wraps, a challenge Taylor said was nearly unbearable at the team banquet. Mike Browne said while his son’s statistics and state championships are certainly accomplishments worthy of praise, it is his dedication in the classroom and community that stands out.
“It’s awesome that he has kept it all in perspective,” Mike said. “It’s more than the numbers. It’s cool that he contributed his part.”
Browne, who will enroll at USC in time for spring practice after playing the Army All-American Bowl, led Skyline to a 14-0 record with 4,526 yards through the air and 49 touchdowns against only five interceptions. His 12,947 career passing yards in the most in Washington prep history and eighth all-time nationally. Browne’s volunteer work with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Generation Joy were also weighed during the selection process, as was his 3.5 grade point average.
“It comes from my parents,” Browne said of his dedication in school and desire to contribute in the community. “As long as I can remember, they raised that humble nature about me.”
Gatorade recognizes state players of the year in each state and Washington D.C. in 12 sports and selects the national winner from that pool. In July, Max and his parents will be the guests of Gatorade in Hollywood for the ESPY awards, a signature of the sports and entertainment world that recognizes the year’s outstanding and indelible moments. He will also be entered to win one final distinction, as Gatorade’s Male Athlete of the Year.
Browne is used to pressure and certainly no stranger to the media, but as he said, “this is the first time I’ve had the circle.” JOSH SUMAN, ISSAQUAH-SAMMAMISH REPORTER
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