Brighton quarterback Jalen Apperwhite was named the Boston Scholar-Athletes Boston Public Schools Football Player of the Year during a banquet at Gillette Stadium Saturday night.
The senior, who collected 21 passing and 5 rushing touchdowns, beat out last year’s Player of the Year, Kyle Dance, whose Latin Academy squad lost to St. Clement in the Division 6 North semifinal Saturday night.
Apperwhite said he thought either Dance or Brighton running back Ricardo Edwards was going to win the award.
“I actually thought Kyle was going to win,” Apperwhite said during a telephone interview on Monday. “I was very surprised when they said Brighton. I was like, ‘Oh, Ricardo got it.’ When they said, ‘Jalen,’ I was like, ‘Wow.’
“It felt good. I started training for the season back in June so it felt good to know that my hard work paid off.
"I couldn’t have gotten the stats this year without my teammates working out with me in June, July, August and throughout the season. None of that would have been possible without my brothers. It feels good after all the hard work to get that recognition.”
Former Patriot Patrick Pass gave the keynote address at the banquet, which was held in the EMC Club that overlooks the field.
“It was very nice,” Apperwhite said. “I couldn’t think of a nicer place to have the banquet at.”
O’Bryant coach Kevin Gadson was voted Coach of the Year by his peers after leading the Tigers to an undefeated regular season before falling to Latin Academy in the playoffs.
"It just meant that our program is going in the right direction and we’re doing a good job," Gadson said during a telephone interview on Monday. "It’s not a reflection of me. I think it’s more a reflection of our program and assistant coaches."
Brighton was unbeaten in the regular season before losing to Manchester Essex Regional, 42-28, in the Division 5 North sectionals at Harvard Stadium.
“We knew what to expect, and to go out there and lose our first game, it felt like it’s not supposed to happen, like we're supposed to go to the Super Bowl,” Apperwhite said. “I think that was part of the problem. We started thinking we were supposed to [go to the Super Bowl].
“The only thing I will say is that we did fight to the end. We didn’t turn into that team that doesn’t care anymore. We finished out the season as best as we could and made the best of what we had left.”
Apperwhite said he is applying to Stonehill, Amherst, Colby, and Howard, but he also is thinking about joining former Brighton standout football and basketball player Prince Unaegbu at Bridgton Academy in Maine.
“Right now I’m applying to both,” Apperwhite said. “At the end, I’ll weigh my options and see which is best for me and which is best for my future.”
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- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.