Garden City football star Trevor Yeboah-Kodie was named the 2018-19 Gatorade New York Player of the Year on Thursday, earning recognition for his outstanding athletic success, academic achievement and high character demonstrated on and off the field. The award is given to one player from each state each year.
The 6-foot, 185-pound senior running back joins Jeremy Ruckert (2017-18, Lindenhurst), Jack Coan (2016-17, Sayville) and Jordan Fredericks (2014-15, Lawrence) as recent players from Long Island to be honored with the award.
Yeboah-Kodie is the first Garden City football player to be chosen and the second athlete overall. Bethany LeSueur was named Gatorade Player of the Year for girls basketball in 1999-2000 and 2000-01.
Yeboah-Kodie rushed for 1,532 yards and 22 touchdowns on 129 carries to lead Garden City to a 12-0 season and its third straight Long Island Class II championship. He also caught 10 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown and returned two punts for touchdowns.
Was Garden City coach Dave Ettinger surprised by Yeboah-Kodie’s selection? “I believe he was the best player in Nassau County,” he said.
It wasn’t just his success on the football field that qualified Yeboah-Kodie for the distinction. He maintained an “A’’ average, volunteered on behalf of sports programs in his community and raised funds to benefit diabetes research.
The full-plate approach is just the way he likes it.
“I just want to be successful in anything I do, because I really just hate losing,” Yeboah-Kodie said. “So I know I have to put my time into the books and help out around the community, and I’ve been able to develop a balance that works for me over the years.”
Yeboah-Kodie will be balancing academia and athletics next year at Brown University, where he will play lacrosse. With the Gatorade award tying a bow on his football career, he can reflect on the legacy he leaves behind at Garden City.
“To have my name remembered as a part of such an historic program is truly special,” he said. “It’s nice to know that the kids will look up to me.”