Lewis Central senior Max Duggan has been named the 34th Gatorade Iowa Football Player of the Year for his all-around performance during the 2018 season.

The award, which recognizes both athletic and academic excellence along with exemplary character, distinguishes Duggan as Iowa’s best high school football player.

The TCU recruit becomes a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award, to be announced later this month.

He is the second Council Bluffs football player to earn the award, joining St. Albert graduate Brian Ratigan, who won it in 1988 before going on to play at Notre Dame and with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

Duggan joins the company of such state award winners as Emmitt Smith (1986, Escambia High School, Florida), Matthew Stafford (2005, Highland Park High School, Texas) and Christian McCaffrey (2012, 2013, Valor Christian High School, Colorado).

A 6-foot-2, 195-pound quarterback, Duggan passed for 2,130 yards and 24 touchdowns this season, leading the Titans (11-1) to the Class 3-A semifinals. He completed 123 of 186 passes with just three interceptions, and also rushed for 1,223 yards and 25 touchdowns on 113 carries. A first-team all-state selection, he was an Elite 11 national finalist.

“This season means a lot,’’ Duggan said. “I think it brought the community together. I think we hopefully set the bar for the next generation, the next teams at Lewis Central to take the next step.’’

A member of his school’s student council, Duggan has volunteered locally on behalf of a campus clean-up initiative and a wheelchair athletes program.

“Duggan is the toughest, best player and athlete on the field at all times,” Glenwood coach Cory Faust said. “He’s like an elite running back who plays quarterback. He takes great care of the ball and I’ve never seen him lack composure or class.”

Duggan has maintained a 3.53 GPA and will join the TCU program in January.

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.

From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.

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