Stratford High School quarterback Jacob Park was named the state’s Mr. Football on Saturday, becoming the second straight area player to claim the coveted award.
The announcement was made at halftime of the annual North-South all-star game in Myrtle Beach.
“The one thing that has impressed me with Jacob is how humble he is,” Stratford offensive coordinator Dennie McDaniel said. “He is not one for the limelight. He always speaks to people in the hallway. He helps our younger quarterbacks on and off the field and has stayed grounded through this whole process. That is a testament to his family… I am excited about what the future holds for him.”
The University of Georgia commitment guided the Knights into the Class AAAA Div. II championship game this season and threw for nearly 3,700 yards and 34 touchdowns. The Knights finished with a 12-3 record in Park’s final campaign on Crowfield Boulevard.
The other Mr. Football finalists were Spring Valley linebacker Christian Miller (Alabama), Daniel running back Jae’lon Oglseby (Clemson), Northwestern quarterback Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State) and Latta lineman Donnell Stanley (USC).
“It’s a shocking feeling,” Park told reporters on camera after winning the award. “I was surprised. Sitting next to Mason Rudolph and Donnel Stanley, I didn’t think I had much of a chance. It’s a shocker. I’m speechless.”
Last season, Goose Creek High School playmaker Tramel Terry was the winner of the award. He is also at Georgia.
“The fact we have had Mr. Football two years in a row in the city of Goose Creek speaks volumes about the level of football talent we have in this town and Berkeley County,” McDaniel said.
Park is the only four-year starter at quarterback in Stratford history. He will play in this Saturday’s Shrine Bowl in Spartanburg before taking part in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio next month. The other four Mr. Football finalists were also chosen for the state’s Shrine Bowl team.
Shortly after the all-American game, he will enroll at UGA.
For his career, Park passed for over 8,000 yards and tossed 72 touchdowns. He became the first Stratford player to win the Mr. Football award since Moe Thompson in 2001.
McDaniel said he was proud of Park off the field too.
“Many people know about his accomplishments on the field but Jacob is well-rounded young man,” McDaniel said. “He helps with our mentoring program the football team participates in at College Park Elementary. Just last week Jacob and another player, Michael Simmons, had the entire lunchroom sing Happy Birthday to one of our special needs students. During his lunch you can find him helping out with our special needs class.”