Mililani’s Gabriel named Gatorade POY

No quarterback in the history of Hawaii has thrown for more yards than Mililani's Dillon Gabriel, who has also won a state championship. Photo by Dennis Oda/Star-Advertiser.

In yet another example of Hawaii being the hotbed of quarterbacks, Gatorade named Dillon Gabriel of Mililani its Hawaii Football Player of the Year on Thursday.

Quarterbacks have won the award in eight of the last 10 years, with running backs Vavae Malepeai of Mililani and Punahou’s Steven Lakalaka the only exceptions. In the first 10 years the award was given out, beginning in 1985, no quarterbacks were selected. Jason Gesser of Saint Louis was the first signal-caller so honored, doing so in 2000.

Gabriel threw for 3,754 yards and 38 touchdowns this season, leading the Trojans to the state championship against Saint Louis and concluded his career with 9,848 yards and 105 touchdowns. The award is also based on character and achievement in the classroom, where Gabriel holds a 3.91 grade point average.

He will also be given a $1,000 grant to award to the local or national youth sports organization of his choosing.

Gabriel, the state’s career passing leader, is the first quarterback to take the award despite not winning a state title since Larry Tuileta of Punahou in 2012. He won a Division I title last year with Mililani.

Gabriel is now up for Gatorade’s national award, which will be announced later this month.

Past winners
2018: Dillon Gabriel, Mililani, QB
2017: Chevan Cordeiro, Saint Louis, QB
2016: Tua Tagovailoa, Saint Louis, QB
2015: Vavae Malepeai, Mililani, RB
2014: McKenzie Milton, Mililani, QB
2013: Larry Tuileta, Punahou, QB
2012: Larry Tuileta, Punahou, QB
2011: Steven Lakalaka, Punahou, RB
2010: Marcus Mariota, Saint Louis, QB
2009: Andrew Manley, Leilehua, QB
2008: Manti Te’o, Punahou, LB
2007: Manti Te’o, Punahou, LB
2006: Sam Fehoko, Farrington, DE
2005: Dylan Rush, Konawaena, TE/DE
2004: Kaluka Maiava, Baldwin, LB
2003: Abel Werner, McKinley, QB
2002: Abel Werner, McKinley, QB
2001: Johnathan Mapu, Kahuku, DE
2000: Pesefea Fiaseu, Saint Louis, RB
1999: Timmy Chang, Saint Louis, QB
1998: Joe Igber, Iolani, RB
1997: Jason Gesser, Saint Louis, QB
1996: Jason Gesser, Saint Louis, QB
1995: Jason Ching, Punahou, DT
1994: George Ornelles, Saint Louis, REC
1993: Vavae Tata, Saint Louis, DE
1992: Viliami Maumau, Saint Louis, DT
1991: Nate Kia, Punahou, DT/TE
1990: Mark Atuaia, Kahuku, RB
1989: Adrian Murrell, Leilehua, RB
1987: Adrian Murrell, Leilehua, RB
1986: Manley Williams, Saint Louis, LB
1985: Simnua Tiatia, Farrington, RB


  1. Bye December 6, 2018 10:17 am

    When did he win a state championship? Regardless, he’s a baller.

  2. Ilh December 6, 2018 12:28 pm

    Why does he get it, Delaura was way better them Gabriel, and played less, Gabriel, threw the ball 50 to 60 times a game and was still playing in the 4th qtr. When they well ahead of the other team. Just saying.

  3. Robocop December 6, 2018 12:32 pm

    This could have been Jordan Botelho

  4. ??? December 6, 2018 1:45 pm

    Well Deserved !!

    @ Bye, if you read the story it tells you he won a state championship last year.

    @ILH, same reason Tua didn’t win AP college POY. Sitting out 4th qtrs obviously hurt his chances.

    @Robocop, could’ve, should’ve, would’ve !!

  5. football4life December 6, 2018 2:12 pm

    He’s a competitor on the football field who respects and cares for his Trojan brothers.
    Holds a 3.91 GPA.
    Serves and represents his community.
    He’s a man of character. Well deserved!

  6. Falcon Future December 6, 2018 2:24 pm

    I am certain they picked this award on stats. Everybody who follows football closely knows that Tuitele is clearly the best player and biggest difference maker on the field this year.

  7. ??? December 6, 2018 2:50 pm

    @Falcon Future
    I’m Not a STL Academy fan but I agree that Tuitele was the biggest difference maker.
    This award like the Heisman is about stats and popularity, a lineman will never win the Heisman.

  8. ILH December 6, 2018 3:00 pm

    Im not so convinced that it was well deserved but more of a DOWN year.

    Not much competition as I see it.

  9. Coach C December 6, 2018 3:55 pm

    Lol, de la ura?? Gabriel took down all the records. Tui could lose some pounds. Fehoko Kia and Mapu only dline monster recognized.

  10. Haters Gonna Hate December 6, 2018 3:56 pm

    Hawaii is just full of the A’ama Crab Syndrome:
    People always bring other people down, and in this case grown adults bringing down a 17 year-old adolescent.
    Hope you feel proud of yourself and evaluate.

  11. Inflating the stats December 6, 2018 4:00 pm

    Gabriel could beat the lessor teams, but couldn’t pull off wins against equally matched or better ranked opponents (when they beat kahuku, the red raiders was already depleated and on their way down).

    Won this award because of his stats.
    Mililani coaches left him in on most blowouts so he could inflate his stats and give him a better look for colleges.
    If York was concerned about the “team”, then they should have pulled him (so he wouldn’t get hurt) and let the back up get more reps like StL and Pun did.
    Then again, his dad was on the coaching staff so that would explain things.

  12. Mike December 6, 2018 4:05 pm

    STL can’t win everything now!! 🙂

  13. Inflating the stats December 6, 2018 4:05 pm

    But Gabriel is a good player and without him, Mililani wouldn’t have done as good.
    There were other very importantful players who couldn’t have been POY too.

  14. Robocop December 6, 2018 4:43 pm

    I do think Gabriel benefits from Delaura being a young first time starter and Soljay Maiava being gone. Gabriel can run his stats up but when you watch him play good pass defenses like Punahou, and St Louis, he folds.

  15. REAL BIG D! December 6, 2018 6:01 pm

    Coach C

    I guess you can break ALL the records but NOT win the games that matter the most. Punahou, Campbell (playoffs) and the Saints EXPOSED him. In the college level he gotta show more TOUGHNESS to his game. He cannot be flopping to the ground once he feels pressure. He gonna have show that he can stand tall in the pocket and take a hit once in awhile. In my opinion I think it easily could’ve gone to Bothello, Tuitele or even Marist Liufau. But they rather give it to a kid who plays all 4qrts being up by 35 points and couldn’t do anything against a real Defense. Unreal!

  16. Popcorn December 6, 2018 6:01 pm

    Congratulations to this young man!

    At the end of the day, we all end up cheering for our HI kids at the next level!

    So as the Rock loves to say…..IT DOESN’T MATTER!!! #livealoha

  17. Haters gonna Hate December 6, 2018 6:20 pm

    These comments are pretty par for the course in Hawaii, bringing successful people down.

    Assuming these commenters are adults . . .
    Hope you feel great about yourself being harsh on a 17-year-old adolescent.

    Congrats Dillon on this award.

  18. ? December 6, 2018 8:58 pm

    Those of you leaving negative comments on this page are ridiculous. And I’m sure you are all adults…please be supportive of these young high school athletes. Especially if you don’t know them personally. At the end of the day, they represent Hawai’i. They are kids!
    Dillon, congratulations on a great HS career and good luck at the next level. Rooting for you!

  19. rrforlifebaby December 7, 2018 9:09 am

    Congrats to this kid, a definite ballah!
    But, imho, and I hate to say it, cause I come from the North, but I think the Bothelo kid could’ve won this award too.


  20. Red Red Bleed RED December 7, 2018 2:08 pm

    Mililani was offense was distructive because of one reason, Dillon Gabriel. He made the OC look good with his athletic ability to stay and move out from the pocket. Play calling at mililani is sometimes questionalble? And may have cost them the big games, not from this year but from last year and years before that. Mililani was lucky to have a Mckenzie Milton and a Dillon Gabriel for the past 5-6 years. Lets see the OC play calling when he really needs to use strategy when you dont have an athlete back there like Milton and Gabriel. I bet the offensive numbers wont be that good like the past 5 years.

  21. KalihiFB December 7, 2018 3:23 pm

    To Popcorn, Haters gonna Hate, & ?……rajah dat! When Gabriel goes to college, the 808 will need support him and hope he does well. That is what the 808 is doing for Tua, Milton, Jordan T, Malapeai, and so much other Hawaii players right now? They represent Hawaii that the mainland colleges always see. Dillon, go to UCF, brother Milton got your back!

  22. Couch Potato December 8, 2018 6:12 am

    To Haters Gonna Hate: Check your facts champ….DG3 ain’t 17. Perhaps you forgot he was once at Punahou but couldn’t beat out Nick Kapule so he repeated. He’s a good player but lets keep it straight homer!

  23. Coach C December 8, 2018 1:26 pm

    #15. Real big dal. Yes, records. As in 2015, T ua was groomed ,if he won. Mililani had Malepeai,lol. Kesi Ah Hoy led Kahuku to undefeated season beating Tua and POY. Lol, Ah Hoy only player to go all state on offense in 2015 then All State defense in 2016. That is awesome, but it’s about records.

  24. ? December 8, 2018 3:20 pm

    Couch Potato: coming from someone who knows him personally…he turns 18 in December, and never repeated a grade. People leave schools for different reasons and personal ones pertaining to their family so check yourself. I don’t understand why so many people hate on this young man. Not only can this boy play, but is also a great teammate, is a 3.9 student, gives of his time and energy to his local community, and is a faithful servant of the man up above. May I remind you, he is a high school player not a professional athlete…let’s keep it classy.

  25. Wake up December 8, 2018 10:54 pm

    All you damn crybabies. He’s an adult, take the criticism because when you go to college they media won’t give a crap. As far as Ah Hoy, where is he now?

  26. Couch Potato December 10, 2018 1:36 pm

    Wake Up. Well then he started school late because if his birthday is in December, then he should’ve graduated last year 2018 with all of the other kids who were born in 2000 not 2001 like the rest of his classmates. Agree lets keep it classy but truthful too! BTW I think Gabriel is an excellent player but lets not pretend that he’s some young progeny when in fact, he’s older than most of his classmates. That’s all.

  27. Couch Potato December 10, 2018 1:37 pm

    Not Wake Up…??? or Go Figure See #26

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