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East Anchorage quarterback Kyler Johnson named Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 12:14 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - East Anchorage senior Kyler Johnson typically wakes up around 7:00 a.m. to get ready to go to school. On Tuesday, he received an ecstatic wake up from his parents ahead of his alarm.

“My mom and (were) dad screaming coming in my room at 6:30 in the morning, because they got the email,” Johnson said. “I am trying to wake up and it finally got through my head that I won it and, so yeah I mean just, it was, wow.”

The Thunderbirds’ star quarterback was named the Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year in football after a stellar senior season where he lead East Anchorage to the Division I state title. The 6-foot signal caller threw for 2,103 yards, tossed 25 touchdowns and added 10 more rushing touchdowns while also playing defensive back.

“We tremendously underestimated how athletic Kyler was as he exploited us in every way imaginable,” South Anchorage coach Walt Harmon said. “He was truly special.”

The award not only recognizes the on-field greatness witnessed by Alaska high school football fans this year, but also rewards excellence in the classroom and community involvement as well. Johnson volunteers as a youth basketball coach and referee and has donated time distributing food to families in need.

“(I’m) just trying to help out my community and give back because, I mean, I remember I was just a little kid and the things I do, I wish I had when I was younger.” Johnson said.

Alaska Football Gatorade Player of the Year Kyler Johnson volunteers as a youth basketball coach.
Alaska Football Gatorade Player of the Year Kyler Johnson volunteers as a youth basketball coach.(Kyler Johnson)

The award is just the latest recognition for Johnson, who was previously named First-Team All-Cook Inlet Conference quarterback, First-Team All-State, and the MaxPreps Alaska High School Football Player of the Year.

Johnson is the third Gatorade Player of the Year winner out of East Anchorage in the last four seasons, joining wide receiver/defensive back Jordan Holland (2020-21) and running back/defensive back Colton Herman (2018-19).

As the winner, Johnson will have the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local youth sports organization of his choosing and is a finalist for the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced later this month.

Johnson is still weighing out his collegiate options as he prepares for his senior season of high school basketball.

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