Garrett Gosse was already enjoying a memorable senior year as a three-sport star at The Meadows.
Throw in a coveted award, a trip to New York with his family and dinner with Louisiana State defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, and Friday became a day Gosse will remember the rest of his life.
Gosse was named the national male winner of the Wendy’s High School Heisman at an awards banquet in New York. Nearly 48,000 total students applied for the award.
Since 1994, the award has honored seniors who excel in athletics, academics and community service.
“It was definitely a surprise,” Gosse said of his name being called. “I doubled over, didn’t know what to think. Then I saw my mom and dad. It was a surreal moment. It’s an experience I’m going to cherish the rest of my life.”
The 6-foot-3-inch Gosse has carved out his place as the most accomplished athlete in the history of The Meadows. He is a strong-armed quarterback in football, a versatile forward in basketball and an ace right-hander in baseball who was a Class 2A first-team all-state pick in all three sports his junior year.
Gosse passed for 2,700 yards and 32 touchdowns with only six interceptions as a senior this fall, helping the Mustangs to the Class 2A state semifinals. He led them to the 2A state title in 2009.
But the math and sciences aficionado has an impressive resume in the classroom, too. Gosse has a 4.72 weighted grade-point average, a perfect math and science score on his ACT and was the school’s Junior Student of the Year.
“Every day he’s upbeat, always wanting to learn more,” said Frank DeSantis, The Meadows’ longtime football and baseball coach and athletic director. “He sets an example I wish everybody would follow. I wish everybody in the city would follow him.”
The girls winner was cross country and track runner Selena Pasadyn of Brunswick, Ohio.
Gosse’s father, Rick, said sharing a table with Mathieu at the awards banquet and meeting the other college Heisman Trophy finalists added to the memory.
“Win, lose or draw we were happy,” Rick Gosse said. “We watched the bio videos of the kids and all their accomplishments, and every kid would have been a great winner. I would have cheered for every one of those kids.”
Gosse is The Meadows’ second winner of the national award in the past four school years. He joins former football and basketball player Brett Leibowitz, who won in 2008.
“It’s a direct reflection on The Meadows,” said Gosse’s basketball coach, Gary Hannig. “The Meadows, bar none, is the best school in Nevada. The award is for three areas, and one of those, obviously is academics. Academics are No. 1 here. Garrett’s a special athlete, but he’s a great student, a great all-around kid.”
Gosse is being recruited by Ivy League schools, and his father said Massachusetts Institute of Technology also is in the mix.
“It’s a great award for all my teammates,” Gosse said. “It wouldn’t be possible without them.”
Gosse will be honored briefly during today’s college Heisman announcement, and Friday’s high school awards ceremony will air Dec. 18 on ESPN2.