Saturday, May 20, 2023 | 2 a.m.
In January, Micah Alejado received notice confirming what many already knew: He was the best high school football player in Nevada.
The Bishop Gorman quarterback was selected as the state Gatorade Player of the Year, a rarity for a junior in high school but an honor that was certainly deserving. He passed for 3,575 yards and 54 touchdowns while completing 75% of his passes for the state champion Gaels.
Alejado is a finalist for Male Athlete of the Year at the Sun Standout Awards, the Sun’s annual high school sports awards show. The program on Monday celebrates the best in preps over the past year, honoring the top games, moments and players.
Alejado’s noteworthy performances weren’t limited to the gridiron.
On Jan. 16, hours after learning of the Gatorade honor, Alejado rolled a perfect 300 game for Gorman’s bowling team. It was the 19th perfect game in Nevada high school history.
“(Bowling) is the same concept as football,” Gorman football coach Brett Browner said. “He’s willing to put in the time practicing. He just doesn’t walk out there and bowl a 300.”
Many football games at national power Gorman are contested in front of a sellout crowd. They are against top opponents and frequently broadcast on an ESPN network, meaning Alejado has spent the past two seasons in more than his share of pressure situations as the Gaels’ quarterback.
Yet, there was a different type of excitement and anticipation as he neared the perfect game in bowling. A crowd of random supporters at the lanes at Sam’s Town wandered over to watch and cheer on the man of the hour.
“The last frame, the alley got quiet,” Alejado said. “I was like, ‘Is this really happening?’ ”
Alejado became a regular at the South Point Bowling Center after his family moved to Las Vegas from Hawaii when he was in middle school.
Bowling was more than a hobby — it was a way to pass time. Some mornings he’d tell his mother he was leaving at 7 a.m. to get a few games in. Before his January gem, the closest he got to a perfect game was 278.
When Gorman’s football program traveled to Northern Nevada in December for the state tournament, players enjoyed a night of bowling at the hotel as a team-bonding experience.
“Everyone was trying to beat Micah,” Browner said. “It was cool to see him in that environment and with that concentration.”
That concentration carried over to the championship game, where Alejado passed for three touchdowns in Gorman’s 70-6 victory. The Gaels scored on their initial three plays in following a similar script from the regular season — the Alejado-led offense was downright unstoppable.
For the season, he had just two interceptions. Every game, “it was like we had something to prove,” he said.
Alejado is verbally committed to play in college at Hawaii, but he still has one more season left at Gorman. The Gaels will again play a who’s who of national opponents, meaning Alejado will have a chance to add to his legacy.
If all goes as planned, he’ll lead Gorman to another championship — and maybe bowl another perfect game along the way.
Alejado is joined as a finalist by Noah Barrus of Shadow Ridge volleyball; Jordan Evans of Palo Verde swimming; Quentin Gomez of Palo Verde soccer; and Dedan Thomas Jr. of Liberty basketball.
Gomez and Thomas were the state players of the year in their respective sports; Barrus and Evans are finishing their seasons.
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