Life’s a sport. Drink it up.
Cole Hagen, the Deseret News' 2019 Most Valuable Player for the 6A division, is doing just that as he caps his prep career on the gridiron. The quarterback who led the Corner Canyon High to the 6A state trophy has been named the 2019-2020 Gatorade Utah Football Player of the Year, the first Charger to ever win the 35th annual coveted honor.
The award distinguishes the senior as one of Utah’s best high school football players and qualifies him for consideration for national Player of the Year designation. The national honor will be announced later this month.
Gatorade reserves the award for players who demonstrate outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement, and exemplary character on and off the field.
“The Gatorade Player of the Year award doesn’t happen unless I am surrounded by great coaches and teammates,” Hagen told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Our team as a whole made it possible for me to win this award.”
With the win, Cole Hagen also carries on a family tradition. His father, Sean, won the award for the 1992-1993 football season. He also continues a proud Canyons tradition. Since the District’s founding in 2009, the award has been given to a CSD student athlete five times. Jordan High’s Austin Kafentzis won the award in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015, Brighton’s Simi Fehoko was the winner in 2015-2016, and Alta High’s Josh Davis was recognized in 2016-2017.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior quarterback passed for 3,655 yards and 43 touchdowns this past season, leading the Chargers, with a 14-0 record, to the Utah High School Activities Association championship. Hagen completed 213 of 358 passes, and rushed for 1,069 yards and 11 touchdowns on 137 carries.
A two-time First Team All-State honoree, Hagen has been invited to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl. An Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, Hagen is also president of his church’s youth group and has volunteered locally on behalf of a homeless shelter as well as the Draper Rehabilitation and Care Center.
“Cole Hagen is a tremendous quarterback,” said Aaron Behm, head coach at American Fork High School, which finished No. 2 to the Chargers this year. “He’s a good passer who is very good with his feet and very, very smart.”
Hagen has maintained a 4.0 grade-point average in the classroom. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
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 and 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.