Nobody did it better.
Nobody did it better than Lake Oswego senior running back Casey Filkins.
Filkins, already a two-time Three Rivers League Offensive Player of the Year and the 2018 Class 6A Offensive Player of the Year, added another honor to a career filled with them when he was recognized as the 2019 Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year on Dec. 6.
The honor caps a senior season that saw Filkins lead his team with 2,500 yards rushing and 37 touchdowns on 315 carries. In the process, he led the Lakers to a second straight Class 6A state championship game appearance, where Lake Oswego fell to Central Catholic 49-28 on Dec. 7.
"Very honored to be named Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year!!" Filkins wrote on Twitter. "This would not have been possible without my teammates and coaches."
His success came as no surprise to longtime Lake Oswego coach Steve Coury, who summed up Filkins' abilities in the team's 2019 preview story.
"He's a winner. He's a leader. He's a great football player," Coury said.
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, recognizes Filkins as Oregon'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, Filkins joins an elite group of past state football award-winners, including Emmitt Smith (1986-87, Escambia High School, Florida), Matthew Stafford (2005-06 Highland Park High School, Texas) and Christian McCaffrey (2012-13, 2013-14, Valor Christian High School, Colorado).
Filkins is the fourth Gatorade Oregon Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Lake Oswego High School.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior running back led the Lakers to an 11-3 overall record in 2019. In addition to his rushing exploits, Filkins — a Stanford commit — also caught 20 passes for 210 yards and one TD, and after taking over in the Wildcat formation down the stretch in 2019, passed for 450 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 48 percent of his throws.
"The past 4 years have been nothing short of special at Lake Oswego," Filkins tweeted at the conclusion of his 2019 season. "I'm proud to be part of a senior class who brought a winning culture back. I can't thank my teammates and coaches enough for their support in my success."
The 2018 Class 6A Offensive Player of the Year and state championship game MVP, Filkins has also been selected to play in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio next month.
Beyond his prodigious success on the field, Filkins has volunteered locally as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit ALS research, and has also donated his time as a peer tutor and a youth football referee.
"Casey is one of the best we have ever played against," said Shawn Stanley, head coach of West Salem High School. "Without him, that team is done after (the first round of the playoffs). The best part is that he doesn't say a word. He doesn't have to — his play speaks for itself. He could line up at any position other than offensive line and be an all-state player."
Filkins has also maintained a weighted 4.05 GPA in the classroom.
Filkins joins recent Gatorade Oregon Football Players of the Year Nathan Overholt (2018-19, Wilsonville High School), Trey Lowe (2017-18, Jesuit High School) and Tim Tawa (2016-17, 2015-16, and 2014-15, West Linn High School), among the state's list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Filkins 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.
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