Kline named Gatorade State Player of the Year

Here’s the full press release.

CHICAGO (December 1, 2011) – In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s
best high school athletes,, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with
ESPNHS, today announced Zach Kline of San Ramon Valley High School as
its 2011-12 Gatorade California Football Player of the Year. Kline is
the first Gatorade California Football Player of the Year to be chosen
from San Ramon Valley High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence,
but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character
demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Kline as California’s
best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious
Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in
December, Kline joins an elite alumni association of past state
award-winners in 12 sports, including Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission
Viejo HS, Calif.), Wes Welker (1999-00, Heritage Hall HS, Okla.),
Terrell Suggs (1999-00, Hamilton HS, Ariz.), Anquan Boldin (1998-99,
Pahokee HS, Fla.) and Jerome Bettis (1989-90, Mackenzie HS, Mich.).

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior quarterback has led the Wolves to a 9-3
record and a berth in the CIF North Coast Section Division I semifinals
against Monte Vista High, scheduled for Dec. 3. Kline passed for 3,079
yards and 32 touchdowns, completing 195-of-289 attempts while throwing
just six interceptions through 12 games. A 2012 U.S. Army All-American,
he was also an ESPNHS Elite 11 Quarterback Camp invitee.

Kline has maintained a 3.28 GPA in the classroom. A devoted member of
his church community, he has volunteered locally as an elementary school
guest speaker and on behalf of Locks of Love, a non-profit organization
which provides hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children
suffering from medical hair loss.

“Zach Kline is an outstanding quarterback with limitless potential and
the desire to be the best he can be,” said San Ramon Valley High head
coach Mark Kessler. “His work ethic is relentless and he always finds
time to improve.”

Kline has verbally committed to play football on an athletic scholarship
at the University of California beginning in the fall of 2012.

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 & field, and awards one National Player of the Year
in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPNHS and the
Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top
sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished,
veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each

Kline joins recent Gatorade California Football Players of the Year Cody
Kessler (2010-11, Centennial High School) Malcolm Jones (2009-10, Oaks
Christian School), Ryan Kasdorf (2008-09, Notre Dame High School) and
Matt Barkley (2007-08, Mater Dei) among the state’s list of former award

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • Prep Fan

    Congrats to Zach on a great honor. He was absolutely lights out against Cal and single handidly kept bringinig the Wolves back. Even though Cal scored 38 points, he came through time and again including the final drive to get SRV to 42 points and the win. Good luck against MV this week and at Berkeley in the coming years.

  • greenboy

    These awards seem like they are decided in the summer. The kid from Folsom who may throw for 5000 yds this season is a far better choice to represent our state.

  • Voice of Reason

    Just remember Greenboy, it is more than just what you accomplish on the field. No knock against Tanner Trosin, but I wonder if he has accomplished what Zach has off the field.

  • S1lverngreen

    Very nice! Contratulations Mr. Kline…Tagaloa, Barton, Walker, the Bears have done very well with local talent. If they can get Thompsom from Grant (who has been named as a National POY candidate) Cal will end up with a top notch 2012 recruiting class…

  • Prep Fan

    Greenboy, this was not decided last summer. Kline did not have a good year last season and would not have been in line for an award like this based on what he did last season or over the summer. He was probably the most improved QB in the East Bay this year. I saw him play 3 times last year and twice this year so far, and he has been incredible. As a fan of the Cal Bears, I hope he continues to work hard and show improvement.

  • Paydirt

    Congratulations Mr. Kline. Keep up the great work on and off the field, and good luck with your future.

    We, the peanut gallery, should thank our lucky stars that we get to see the level of talent and competitiveness in the East Bay. Zach is just one example of the excellence in our midst.

    See you at the gridiron.

  • ManDown

    Congratulations Mr Kline. This is a great honor and I know your team and family are proud. Keep up the good work and get CAL on top of the Pac-12!

  • greenboy


    You make my own point, Kline didnt have a good season last year and yet was invited to every tournament and combine on the west coast. Why was a guy that wasn’t even the 3rd best qb in the area last year invited to the “Elite 11”? Whether or not you chose to believe this it’s true. There is a whole business behind these things run by people who want money. Look at the Mitty QB from last year Boehm…another Cal committ…he was awful, not just his terrible passing numbers in 2 years but mechanically he was unsound, yet he was another “Elite 11” guy…there are alot of guys in lot of places playing the position of QB alot better than some of these “Marquee” east bay qb’s. Now if the award also considers grades, behavior, and penmanship than maybe he was the best choice…one good game against an average CAL high team does not make you the Gatorade player of the Year.
    If he was that good maybe his team would have played DLS a bit closer….just saying

  • Prep Fan

    Greenboy, I didn’t see the SRV-DLS game but read that he played well in that game despite DLS dominating. The SRV defense is not good and it is not Kline’s fault they gave up 40 points to DLS. Sure, he could have made some more completions nad gotten them into the end zone, but DLS has shut down a lot of excellent QBs over the years. I did see him against both Cal and MV, and he was fantastic in both of those games.

    Cal might have been an “average team”, but Kline’s performance that night was one for the ages as he was 19 of 23 for 337 yards and 5 TDs. On may of those plays, he was running for his life and throwing on the run. Cal’s “average” defense did not give up 30 points to any team all year, including holding DLS (Houston)& MV (Lockie) to just 24 points, except that night when Kline single handidly got them the victory with a 42 point effort.

    I was skeptical of Kline’s abilities based on last year’s performances, but obviously Cal-Berkeley saw something they liked. Based on what I’ve seen this year, I would say Kline has played far and away better than any other QB I have seen. The Elite 11 people made good choice including him after last year. Sure there is some politics involved and you may thinkmuch of Kline, but I have nothing but respect for the way he his improved his game this year.

  • Panther4

    Greenboy, put Folsom against De La Salle and you will end up with the same results as everyone else. It’s hard to play well when you are sacked nine times. No need to come on here and bash a kid who just won an award. Either congratulate him or don’t say anything at all. Kline is a great kid who worked his butt of to get where he is. You don’t need to put one kid down to say how good another is. Congratulations to Kline for winning this award and to Trosion for a great year. See that was easy.

  • greenboy

    It is a forum for opinions. My opinion is that Kline is an above average HS qb. He is not the best player in the state and not the best qb within 50 miles. Has he improved, yes, but this is not what that award is for. By the way the numbers you throw around for Kline’s signature performance was an average night last season for Ricky Lloyd and/or Mannion from the year before, neither of whom were Elite 1 guys.

  • TheOld97

    Greenboy, quit being such a damn hater. Jesus, the kid obviously earned the award – let him enjoy it! Just because you may have been a below-average high school athlete doesn’t mean you have to be a Debbie Downer when someone does well.

  • VeeTee

    Those other QB’s probably throw a lot more because the offense they run. I would take every college coaches opinion, Trent Dilfer’s and the Elite 11 staff, over someone bitter.

  • DVAL Watcher

    Kline is obviously an above average QB. The award thou is not based solely on athletic ability READ the article! Then state your opinion, intellectually !!

  • I saw Kline at De La. he has a rocket arm, threw a pass close to 70 yds over streaking receiver’s arms.
    He is the real deal. If he gets the award, he deserves it.
    Lots of ex-big time QB’s ran for their lives against DLS.
    Kline, Lockie, Marion, Wright, Nottingham, Kellar, Dixon, Leinhart, etc, etc, etc.
    De La takes no prisoners when it come to quarterbacks, they all go down. Most of them will never have that kind of game for the rest of their careers. They will carry that stigma for a long time, they never beat De La.

  • wow- Houston had the total control of the game tonite- didn’t throw much but when he did he threw darts- he really beat Pitt with his feet tonite- one tough strong runner- would not go down, you had to be there to understand it- he is one tough hombrie!

  • Prep Fan

    Houston will get one more chance against either Kline or Lockie to show his stuff. But playing against the SRV or MV defense is not anything like playing against the DLS defense. Apples & Oranges, or maybe Kias & Maseratis. I’m not sure it would have mattered who was behind center last night as the DLS defense just choked the living daylights out of Pitt.

  • junior

    It always matters who is under center.

  • Prep Fan


  • junior

    and your point? is there really any argument as to the value of QB play? regardless of what the defense does?

  • Prep Fan

    You know my point. QB play is usually extremely important, but as I said I’m not sure it would have mattered who was behind center last night as the DLS defense just choked the living daylights out of Pitt. DLS could have had their frosh QB in there and Pitt would still not have scored. It was a compliment to the way DLS thrashed Pitt. Not that Houston didn’t play a key role in it, but DLS played so well that not a whole lot mattered except that DLS moves on and Pitt is done.

  • junior

    no-i did not know what your point was. I disagree. The wrong qb play leads to turnovers, punts, etc. who knows what happens if DLS gets poor qb play. The defense is capable of keeping teams at bay, but even as good as they are, the offense must help.

  • Soccer Guy

    Fine, you win. The only way DLS wins that game last night was to have Houston uner center. Anyone else and it could have been a disaster.

  • FNL680

    What happens happened vs STA. Prep fan is complimenting the D. Good example of QBs having to keep their teams in the game was MV vs SRV league and Cal vs SRV. Both games D struggled and QBs had to have very good games to keep their team in it.

  • junior

    STA game proves my point. I know he was complimenting the d- the convo was not about that.

  • S1lverngreen

    STA lost to Dwyer…6-3

  • http://ebalprepfootball.wordpress.com/ pics of recent games here. DLS v Pitt, SRV v. James Logan, Pitt v Berkeley, Monte Vista v. Heritage