LR Christian's Justice Hill named Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year
Justice Hill of Little Rock Christian Academy as the 2018-19 Gatorade Arkansas Football Player of the Year, Gatorade announced on Thursday. Hill is the third Gatorade Arkansas Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Little Rock Christian Academy.
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 Hill as Arkansas’s best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in December, Hill joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Emmitt Smith (1986-87, Escambia High School, Fla.), Matthew Stafford (2005-06 Highland Park HS, Texas) and Christian McCaffrey (2012-13, 2013-14, Valor Christian High School, Colo.).
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior quarterback passed for 3,084 yards and 37 touchdowns this past season, leading the Warriors (13-1) to the Class 5A state championship. Hill completed 208 of 291 passes (70 percent) with just four interceptions, while also rushing for 1,000 yards and 21 touchdowns on 112 carries. MVP of the state finals, he is an All-Conference and All-State honoree and a finalist for the Landers Award recognizing superior football achievement.
Also a basketball standout, Hill is a devoted member of his church youth group and has served as a mentor for younger students. “Justice Hill is the best athlete we’ve played against in several years, maybe the best in my 11 years coaching at Greenbrier,” said Randy Tribble, head coach at Greenbrier High. “He’s a very smart quarterback and he can completely take over a game with his speed and quickness.”
Hill has maintained a 3.25 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Arkansas next fall.
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.
Hill joins recent Gatorade Arkansas Football Players of the Year Layne Hatcher (2017-18, Pulaski Academy), Taylor Powell (2016-17, Fayetteville High School), McTelvin Agim (2015-16, Hope High School), and Ty Storey (2014-15 & 2013-14, Charleston High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Hill has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.