Damonte Ranch High quarterback Cade McNamara became just the second player in Nevada history to win two Gatorade Football Player of the Year awards and the first to do it in back-to-back seasons.
McNamara was named the 2018-19 player of the year Thursday after leading Damonte Ranch to a prefect regular season and 12-1 overall record, the lone loss coming in overtime to Bishop Manogue in the Northern 4A Regional title game. McNamara passed for 2,995 yards and 39 touchdowns against six interceptions in 2018. He also broke the state records for career passing yards (12,804) and career passing touchdowns (146), surpassing the previous state bests of 11,828 yards and 138 touchdowns.
The only other football player to win two Gatorade Player of the Year awards in Nevada is Tate Martell, who won the 2014-15 and 2016-17 awards as the quarterback of Bishop Gorman. Martell is now a backup quarterback at Ohio State. The Gatorade Player of the Year state football awards have been handed out every year since 1985. Last year, McNamara became the first Northern Nevada player to win the honor since McQueen's Tyler York in 2008-09.
McNamara and Bishop Manogue's Peyton Dixon were top candidates for this year's award. Dixon became the first player in state history to rush for more than 3,000 yards in a season while leading the Miners to the state championship game, where it fell to Bishop Gorman. Dixon finished the season with 3,136 rushing yards (the fourth most in the nation) and 45 rushing touchdowns.
McNamara will sign with Michigan during the early signing period in December and is enrolling in college a semester early. He'll leave for Ann Arbor in January. You can read about McNamara's entire journey in our feature on the star quarterback from last month.