CHICAGO (December 6, 2018) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Nick Henrich of Burke High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Nebraska Football Player of the Year. Henrich is the first Gatorade Nebraska Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Burke 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 Henrich as Nebraska’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, Henrich 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-3, 215-pound senior linebacker recorded 96 tackles, 19.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks this past season, leading the Bulldogs to a 13-0 season and their first Class A state championship. Henrich was selected to both the Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska team and the Lincoln Journal Star Super-State squad and has been chosen to play in the 2019 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Henrich has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, Athletes 4 Children and Open Door Mission. “Henrich is a tough, hard-nosed kid who can really play, from sideline to sideline,” said Larry Martin, head coach at Omaha North High. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s one of the top two or three linebackers I’ve coached against in 28 years. He’s a tremendously talented player who never stops out there on the field.”
Henrich has maintained a weighted 4.20 GPA in the classroom. He has verbally committed to play football on scholarship at the University of Nebraska next fall.
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.
Henrich joins recent Gatorade Nebraska Football Players of the Year Milton Sargbah (2017-18, Omaha North High School), Trevor Nichelson (2016-17, Ashland-Greenwood High School), Jadyn Kowalksi (2015-16, Bellevue West High School), C.J. Johnson (2014-15, Bellevue West High School), and Harrison Phillips (2013-14, Millard West High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Henrich 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.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate studentathletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at