Fairview junior Aidan Atkinson was named the Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year in football Thursday morning following a successful season with the Knights.
The junior quarterback started all 10 games during the regular season for the Knights and finished with 3,952 passing yards and 55 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. He threw for five touchdowns or more in eight of the 10 games he started this season. His standout performance this year was in a 67-33 win over the Legacy Lightning on Sept. 28 when he threw for 687 yards and nine touchdowns, both setting state records in 11-man football.
Atkinson missed the postseason for the Knights due to a thumb injury. In November, he made a commitment to play football at Northwestern after high school.
Fairview head coach Tom McCartney said he and the rest of the team were elated to the news Thursday morning.
"Everyone here is super excited for Aidan," McCartney said. "He has been a tremendous player for us all year long. The numbers he put up this year were incredible, and he did that in just 10 games."
McCartney added that Atkinson felt it was a recognition to the entire team with his award.
"Aidan will be the first to tell you this is a team award," McCartney said. "He is a big-time player for us and we are all thrilled for him."
Fairview athletic director Terrin Kelly released a statement to BoCoPreps regarding Atkinson's honor as well.
"We are so very fortunate at Fairview to have such a fine young man on our football team," Kelly wrote. "Many people outside of the school can see his tremendous successes on the football field with a quick glance at the statistics. Upon deeper examination, you find a tremendous person. He works extremely hard on all aspects of his life. He is a great student, a great teammate, a great leader, and he is extremely humble. In my interactions with Aidan, he has always been open and honest, looking out for the needs of his fellow students. Trust me when I say we are all extremely proud of this accomplishment and super happy for Aidan," the statement read.
According to its website, the Gatorade Player of the Year program "recognizes the nation's most outstanding high school student athletes for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character." Atkinson is now a finalist for the national Gatorade Player of the Year award in football.
The Knights finished the 2018 season with a 10-2 record and reached the second round of the Class 5A state football tournament.