Buchholz’s Whittemore named Mr. Football

Buchholz's Creed Whittemore scores his second rushing touchdown in the first quarter on Thursday.
Buchholz's Creed Whittemore scores a rushing touchdown against the Gainesville Hurricanes on Oct. 6.
Photo by C.J. Gish

Senior quarterback Creed Whittemore of Buchholz High School has been named the 2022 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Football following a final round of voting by a statewide panel of high school football coaches and media representatives. 

“I was running routes when my dad called me and told me,” Whittemore said. “The coolest thing is the guys who came before me. It’s great to be on the same trophy that they were on.”

Whittemore, the Class 4S Player of the Year, easily won the award by finishing with 15 of the 25 first-place votes and 183 points. Class 2S POY Blake Boda of Cocoa was the runner-up, receiving four first-place votes and finishing with 116 points.

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Buchholz football Creed Whittemore
Photo by Megan Winslow Creed Whittemore

“Blessed to have been a small part of Creed’s high school career,” said new Buchholz football coach Chuck Bell, who was the team’s defensive coordinator last season. “His tenacity and electricity on Friday nights was something to behold.”

Whittemore, who has signed to play at Mississippi State, led Buchholz to a 10-3 record and its second straight state semifinal appearance by completing 179-of-305 passes for 2,693 yards with 35 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,285 yards (8.29 yards per carry) and 17 TDs.

“I couldn’t have been in this situation without my teammates, and my coaches as well who put me in positions to make plays,” Whittmore said. “If my offensive line doesn’t block, I don’t run for that many yards, and if my wide receivers don’t make the plays, I don’t throw for that many yards.”

Whittemore’s win marks first time that a football player from Alachua County has won the prestigious award, which has been given annually since 1992 to the best overall football player in the Sunshine State.

“This is a historic award for our school and our county,” Bell said. “Creed was already on the Mt. Rushmore of Buchholz athletes. This award proves he should be considered one of the best athletes in Alachua County high school sports history.”

Whittemore, who also had six picks on defense, led the Bobcats to a 22-5 record and back-to-back state semifinal appearances his junior and senior seasons.

“It’s hard for me to sum it in one word but I think consistency would be the word,” Whittemore said when asked to sum up his prep career. “Buchholz is going to stay at the top. We are going to continue to see the name Buchholz in the papers, in articles and on TV. We started something that a lot of kids are going to carry on and that word ‘consistency’ is going to carry on.”

Meanwhile, Hawthorne’s Jailen Ruth, the Class 1R Player of the Year, finished seventh in the voting.

Hawthorne football Jailen Ruth
Photo by Megan Winslow Jailen Ruth
Hawthorne football coach Cornelius Ingram
Photo by Megan Winslow Cornelius Ingram

Ruth finished his senior season with 94 tackles, including 64 solo. The senior defensive end had 27 tackles for a loss, 19 sacks, 2 interceptions and 7 forced fumbles.

Hawthorne football coach Cornelius Ingram finished fourth in the voting for the overall Coach of the Year.

Ingram was named the 1R Coach of the Year after leading the Hornets to a 12-0 record and the Class 1R state title, their first state football championship in program history.

Lakeland’s Bill Castle, who recently announced his retirement after 47 years as Lakeland’s head coach, was named the Coach of the Year. Castle won his eighth state title in 2022, leading his team to a 14-0 record and the Class 4S state championship. 

2022 MR. FOOTBALL – FINAL VOTING RESULTS (Note: Points awarded on a 10-7-5 basis)

Player                                                        Total Points     1st-place Votes

Creed Whittemore, Buchholz                    183                   15

Blake Boda, Cocoa                          116                     4

Keyone Jenkins, Central                   78                     4

Cedric Bailey, Chaminade-Madonna            65                     1

Alberto Mendoza, Columbus                        36                     0                

Cedric Baxter, Edgewater                              27                    1                                            

Jailen Ruth, Hawthorne                   22                     0                                                          

Damarcus Creecy, Mainland                          17                 0

Olsen Henry, First Baptist Academy              5                      0

Nehemiah Vann, Seven Rivers Christian        0                0

Past Mr. Football Winners:

1992 – Jammi German, Fort Myers

1993 – Shevin Wiggins, Bradenton Manatee

1994 – Daunte Culpepper, Ocala Vanguard

1995 – Frankie Franklin, Jacksonville Sandalwood

1996 – Travis Henry, Frostproof

1997 – Zain Gilmore, Tampa Robinson

1998 – Anquan Boldin, Pahokee

1999 – Willie Green, Kissimmee Osceola

2000 – Adrian McPherson, Bradenton Southeast

2001 – Leon Washington, Jacksonville Jackson

2002 – Andre Reese, Pierson Taylor

2003 – Xavier Lee, Daytona Seabreeze

2004 – Antone Smith, Pahokee

2005 – Tim Tebow, Ponte Vedra Nease

2006 – Robert Marve, Tampa Plant

2007 – Jacory Harris, Miami Northwestern

2008 – A.J. Graham, Tallahassee Godby

2009 – Matt Elam, William T. Dwyer

2010 – Quentin Williams, Tampa Jefferson

2011 – Randy “Duke” Johnson, Miami Norland

2012 – Derrick Henry, Yulee High School

2013 – Dalvin Cook, Miami Booker T. Washington

2014 – D’Andre Johnson, Jacksonville First Coast 

2015 – DeShawn Smith, Brooksville Nature Coast Tech

2016 – Nick Tronti, Ponte Vedra

2017 – Bryce Carpenter, Venice

2018 – Carson Beck, Jacksonville Mandarin

2019 – Demarkcus Bowman, Lakeland

2020 – Trey Wainwright, Niceville

2021 – Jaylon Glover, Lakeland Lake Gibson

2022 COACH OF THE YEAR – FINAL VOTING RESULTS (Note: Points awarded on a 10-7-5 basis)

Player                                                                Total Points          1st-place Votes

Bill Castle, Lakeland                              127                               8              

Dave Dunn, Columbus                            89                                 6

Tavaris Johnson, Lake Wales                             83                                3  

Cornelius Ingram, Hawthorne                        67                                4

Gibudale Joseph, Central                                    64                                2

Ryan Schneider, Cocoa                                       37                                2            

Dameon Jones, Chaminade-Madonna                26                                        

Billy Sparacio, First Baptist Academy               14                                               

Ben Bullock, Lake Highland Prep                      12                                

Phillip Simpson, Homestead                                7

Past Football Coaches of the Year:

1992 – Wally Dunne, Coral Springs

1993 – Paul Maechtle, Bradenton Southeast

1994 – Rod Shafer, Lake Wales

1995 – Bob Withrow, Jacksonville Sandalwood

1996 – Robby Pruitt, Lake Butler Union County

1997 – Danny Green, Lake City Columbia

1998 – Bill Castle, Lakeland

1999 – Milton Watson, Belle Glade Glades Central

2000 – Nick Coleman, Venice

2001 – Al Morrell, Clewiston

2002 – Richard Wood, Tampa Wharton

2003 – Bill Kramer, Naples

2004 – Bill Castle, Lakeland

2005 – Joey Wiles, St. Augustine

2006 – Robert Weiner, Tampa Plant

2007 – Billy Rolle, Miami Northwestern

2008 – Robert Weiner, Tampa Plant

2009 – John Wilkinson, Cocoa

2010 – Dale Salapa, Orlando Dr. Phillips

2011 – Robert Craft, Tallahassee North Florida Christian

2012 – Tim Harris, Sr., Miami Booker T. Washington

2013 – Tim Harris, Sr., Miami Booker T. Washington

2014 – Tim Harris, Jr., Miami Booker T. Washington

2015 – Deran Wiley, Jacksonville Raines

2016 –  Billy Rolle, Miami Southridge

2017 –  John Peacock, Venice

2018 – Bobby Ramsey, Jacksonville Mandarin

2019 – Cameron Duke, Orlando Edgewater

2020 – Eric Lodge, Sanford Seminole

2021 – Matt Thompson, Tampa Jesuit

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