Nick Singleton made his first trip to Los Angeles this week hoping to make history as the first Gatorade National High School Male Athlete of the Year from Pennsylvania.
The Gov. Mifflin grad and freshman running back at Penn State will have to settle for some nice consolation prizes.
Cross country runner Colin Sahlman of Newbury Park High School in Newbury Park, Calif., was named the 2021-22 male award winner at a presentation Tuesday night at the Goya Studios in Hollywood.
Basketball player Kiki Rice of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., was selected the Gatorade National Female Athlete of the Year.
Sahlman will attend Northern Arizona, and Rice will attend UCLA. The two winners were voted on by a national panel that included approximately 400 sports journalists, coaches and others.
“It (winning the award) would mean a lot to me and my family,” Singleton said a few hours before the presentation. “My family has always been telling me about it. If I win, it’ll probably go down in history. It would feel good to win it.”
The other male nominees were Gradey Dick, Sunrise Christian Academy, Bel Aire, Kan., basketball; Brock Porter, St. Mary’s Preparatory School, Orchard Park, Mich., baseball; Jacob Murrell, McDonogh School, Owings Mills, Md., soccer; and Cade Flatt, Marshall County High School, Benton, Ky., track and field.
The other girls nominees were Averi Carlson, Lovejoy High School, Lucas, Texas, volleyball; Natalie Cook Flower Mound High School, Flower Mound, Texas, cross country; Keagan Rothrock, Roncalli High School, Indianapolis, softball; Riley Jackson, Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell, Ga., soccer; and Juliette Whittaker, Mount De Sales Academy, Catonsville, Md., track and field.
Past male winners include LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, Dylan Bundy, Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kyler Murray, Jayson Tatum and Bobby Witt Jr.
Singleton had received such honors as the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year, the Maxwell Club National Offensive Player of the Year, the Adidas All-American Bowl Offensive Player of the Year, the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year and Mr. PA Football for big schools.
A five-star recruit, he finished his high school career with 6,326 rushing yards and 116 touchdowns, both Berks records. Last season, he ran for 2,059 yards, scored 44 TDs and led the Mustangs (10-1) to the Berks Football League Section 1 title and District 3 Class 5A final.
Singleton and the other 11 Gatorade boys and girls finalists will attend Wednesday night’s ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, which will be hosted by Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.
“Obviously I’d like to meet Steph Curry,” Singleton said. “I would love to see him and (Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman) Aaron Donald and really all the athletes. Just to be in that environment is going to feel good.”
He has spent a few days touring Los Angeles with his parents, Timmy and Nichole.
“It’s my first time seeing LA,” Singleton said. “I always dreamed of being in LA. Seeing all the parts of the city just feels good. It just feels unreal.
“My parents love it. It’s their first time here, too. They’re taking advantage of it. Seeing all these places. They’re having fun.”
Singleton will begin his first preseason camp at Penn State in less than two weeks (Aug. 1). He will battle veterans Keyvone Lee, Devyn Ford and Caziah Holmes and fellow freshman Kaytron Allen for playing time.
“I can’t wait to go to camp and hopefully earn my spot, compete with all the other running backs,” Singleton said. “It’s going to be fun. I can’t wait for it.
“I was really good in high school and got all these awards. But now at the college level, you gotta be humble. It’s like you’re starting over a little bit.”
Source: Berkshire mont