Each year, the Fitzpatrick Trophy is awarded to the top senior football player in the state of Maine. A lineman has not won the award since 1977, nor had one been a finalist for the award in 20 years. Thomas Horton of Bonny Eagle High School has already accomplished the latter, and hopes the former will soon follow. Oh, and he's doing all this a year ahead of schedule.

Horton is up for the award alongside two fellow seniors because he skipped the 8th grade.

Just imagine that for a second. Horton began high school a year early and now four years later is arguably the best high school football player in the state. Though, it's nothing new for the 6'1", 255lbs Horton, who said he's been playing with older kids since the days of Pee Wee Football.

But football is just part of an already impressive resume for the 17-year-old. Horton was recently accepted into the University of Maine's prestigious School of Engineering, where he'll enroll in the fall. Horton has also been offered a roster spot on UMaine's football team and will continue a tradition of some of the state's best homegrown talent playing for the Black Bears.

"As a Maine kid, a Maine football player, that's kind of like a dream almost to be able to play at the University of Maine," said Horton during his appearance on The Drive on Thursday.

This year will be the 50th Fitzpatrick Award handed out after the cancellation of the 2020 high school football season due to COVID-19. But Horton, Windham's Will Leadbetter and Cape Elizabeth's Caden McDuffie will have to wait a while longer to find out who will take the coveted trophy home. The banquet, originally scheduled for this week, has been pushed to an undetermined date in March due to recent spikes caused by the Omicron variant.

Check out Horton's full appearance on The Drive, below -



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