Deshawn Capers-Smith got the news via Twitter while sitting in school Thursday morning.
The congratulatory messages immediately started pouring in almost as often as Capers-Smith throws touchdowns passes on a Friday night.
Capers-Smith, Warren Easton’s senior quarterback was named Louisiana’s Gatorade Player of the Year on Thursday. He is the first Easton athlete to be named Gatorade Player of the Year in any of the 12 sports the honor is awarded.
“I always dreamed about it,” said Capers-Smith. “I was happy that I got it, but it will probably have even more emotions about it when I get the actual trophy for it.”
But for now, Capers-Smith is more concerned about another trophy: a state championship title.
He has guided the Eagles to an 11-2 record and into the semifinals of the Class 4A playoffs. Easton plays Plaquemine on Friday at Pan-Am Stadium.
“I know I have to just stay focused like I always do,” Capers-Smith said. “I still have to do what I have to do (Friday) night.”
What Capers-Smith has done so far this season is account for touchdowns.
At the time of his selection, he had completed 202-of-323 passes (64 percent) for 3,379 yards and 47 touchdowns against just one interception. He also rushed for 1,138 yards and 21 touchdowns on 174 carries.
“Deshawn is a playmaker and a superior athlete which shows on the field weekly,” said West Jefferson coach Kevin Fox. “His combination of speed and agility makes him tough to tackle in the open field and he has a ton of natural ability.”
The honor isn’t just awarded for on-the-field success. It also recognizes high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character.
Capers-Smith has maintained a B average in the classroom. He has volunteered locally with the Warren Easton Recycling Program and has donated his time to the Just Keep Livin’ Foundation, which empowers high school students to live healthy, active lives.
“He’s the most humble, compassionate, unselfish kid I have ever been around,” said Easton coach Tony Hull earlier this season. “Words can’t really express how good of a kid he is. And he has been that way ever since I’ve met him. He is just that well-rounded kid with a great heart and spirit.
Capers-Smith, who has verbally committed to play at Texas A&M,, gave the New Orleans area its third consecutive Gatorade winner.
Former St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette, now playing at LSU, won the award the previous two seasons. Landon Collins (Dutchtown) and Anthony Johnson (O.Perry Walker) won the two years before that, ,putting Capers-Smith in some pretty good company.
“It feels real good, especially coming behind Leonard,” Capers-Smith said. “I played park ball with him so to see him get it and then to get it means a lot.”