In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade last week announced Moses Meus of Saint Raphael Academy is the 2022-23 Gatorade Rhode Island Football Player of the Year. Meus is the third Gatorade Rhode Island Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Saint Raphael Academy.
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, distinguishes Meus as Rhode Island’s best high school football player. He is a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in January.
The 6-foot-2, 245-pound senior linebacker and running back led the Saints to a 10-2 record and a Division II Super Bowl championship this past season. Meus recorded 103 tackles, six for a loss, one sack, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, two blocked punts and one blocked field goal. He also rushed 76 times for 606 yards, averaging 7.97 yards per carry, and scored four touchdowns in addition to catching 16 passes for 286 yards and five touchdowns.
Meus has volunteered locally during Saints Olympics fundraising week, collecting food items for the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen and hygiene supplies for the Ronald McDonald House. He also has donated his time as a youth flag football coach for several years.
“What I think is most impressive about him is not only what he can do with the ball as a runner and receiver, but what he does when he doesn’t have it in his hands,” said Portsmouth High School coach Dustin Almeida. “He’s an unbelievable defender and a devastating blocker. He is not afraid to do the dirty work.”
Meus has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom and will be attending the University of Rhode Island to play in its D1 football program.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.