Broward High Schools

American Heritage standout named Gatorade Track and Field Player of the Year

Plantation American Heritage standout Anthony Schwartz poses with the Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year award Thursday, June 28, 2018.
Plantation American Heritage standout Anthony Schwartz poses with the Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year award Thursday, June 28, 2018. jmcpherson@miamiherald.com

Anthony Schwartz has already been able to say he was one of the top high school athletes in Broward County and that he was the best high school track star in the state of Florida this year.

Now, the Plantation American Heritage Plantation and Auburn signee can take his title one step further.

Schwartz was named the Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Player of the Year on Thursday. Gatorade surprised Schwartz with the trophy at his high school with his teammates, coaches and family surrounding him.

"I was just speechless," Schwartz said.

That's mainly due to the fact that he didn't know the award was coming until the trophy was in his hands.

Schwartz was initially told the team was getting together to celebrate an award honoring football coach Pat Surtain. But shortly after everyone gathered, Miami Dolphins first-round pick and former Alabama standout Minkah Fitzpatrick entered and presented Schwartz with his latest accolade before his teammates mobbed him in celebration.

"There's a lot more to come in the future for him," Fitzpatrick said. "He's a great young man, great athlete. I know he's going to carry on what he does at the next level."

And although there's the Auburn-Alabama rivalry between them, Schwartz said he was honored that Fitzpatrick presented the award.

"Just him being able to present my award is an amazing feeling, especially knowing that he was one of the most dominating players in college football this past year," Schwartz said. "Now he's in Miami so we have that connection.

"But I still had to tell him 'War Eagle.'"

Schwartz, a speedy 6-foot, 172-pound wide receiver and sprinter, plans to participate in football and track during his collegiate career — and there's no denying what he did on the track as a senior for American Heritage.

Schwartz won two individual titles in Florida's Class 2A state championship, taking the 100-meter dash in 10.07 seconds and the 200 meters in 20.41 seconds. He also served as the anchor of American Heritage's 4x100-meter relay team that reached the top of the podium with a 40.14-second showing.

On the football field, Schwartz — a four-star prospect and the 30th-ranked receiver in the 2018 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite ranking — helped the Patriots win their fourth state title in the past five years.

Schwartz will make his way to Finland next week to compete at the IAAF World U20 Championships. After that, it's off to Auburn to begin his college football and track career.

"I'm on the national stage now," Schwartz said. "... It's just amazing. I had to work my way up from the bottom and then I felt like this year was the year that everything just paid off and everyone knew who I was."

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