Congratulations to Bellevue Wolverines student athlete Isaiah Ifanse who was recently named Washington’s 2017-18 Gatorade Football Player of the Year.

Ifanse is a senior running back and defensive back who rushed for 2,485 yards and 44 touchdowns this past season, leading the Wolverines (11-2) to the Class 3A state semifinals. In three postseason games, Ifanse rushed for 604 yards and 11 scores. He broke the 200-yard rushing barrier six times this fall and recorded 34 tackles on defense. Ifanse concluded his prep career with 4,158 rushing yards and 65 touchdowns.

A member of the Young African American Men’s Group at Bellevue High, Ifanse has volunteered locally as a youth football coach. “Isaiah Ifanse is hands down the best back we’ve seen in the time I’ve been coaching at Redmond,” said Jason Rimkus, head coach of Redmond High. “He’s by far the toughest kid to tackle. He’s so strong, runs violently and gives tremendous effort on each down.” Ifanse has maintained a 3.02 GPA in the classroom.

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.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Ifanse will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.